Jeep Off-Road Guide

With legendary Jeep capabilities backing you on every adventure, driving off-road in a Jeep 4×4 vehicle is a fun and rewarding experience that anyone can do. It is important to adhere to basic guidelines and drive consistent with the terrain conditions. It’s imperative to check your vehicle prior to going off-road. Be prepared before you hit the trail by ensuring that all hoses are in good condition, fluids are topped off, and make sure all four tires have proper tire pressure. Always observe posted signs and stay on trails and areas approved for off-roading. Visit for more information on how to protect an area while enjoying your off-road adventures. Turn to the experts at our Jeep dealership near Johnstown, NY, to help you find the perfect Jeep to take your daily commutes and off-the-beaten-path adventures to new heights. Whichever 4×4 Trail Rated® Jeep SUV that you choose, take a look at our off-road guide and get ready to conquer the great outdoors!

Snow and Mud

When snow or mud is present, engage the on-demand or part-time 4 wheel-drive system. The Quadra-Trac 1® system automatically engages, so there is no input needed from you. If you’re driving in heavy snow and are trailering a heavy load, shift to a low gear and shift the transfer case to 4WD-LOW if applicable, but remember to keep forward momentum and not to shift to a lower gear than necessary. Over-revving the engine may spin the wheels, losing traction. If you find that you are losing traction in snow or mud, turn the steering wheel back and forth rapidly to help the wheels grab fresh terrain. Stop immediately if you lose traction, as spinning your wheels will just force you in deeper.


To achieve maximum traction on sand, decrease air pressure 10-12 pounds below normal pressure on conventional tires. Just remember to return to normal tire pressure after off-roading in sand. High-range 4WD can help you maintain momentum while low-range 4WD may also be necessary depending on the condition of the sand. Remember to make wider turns if possible because tight turns can slow the vehicle down too much, causing you to get stuck in the sand. Forward momentum is essential to not getting stuck.


Before you decide to go up a hill, it’s a smart move to know what is on the other side. This simple precaution can save you from a potentially dangerous situation on the way down. Never drive up a hill at an angle or sideways, as this leads to instability; always go straight up or down when climbing hills. If you happen to stall on your way up, simply back straight down the hill in reverse. When you start to ascend the hill, at the base, use more power but ease up as you reach the top. When you are going downhill, always use the lowest gear if you have a manual transmission, but do not disengage the clutch and allow the vehicle to coast. This can damage your clutch disc. If you have an automatic transmission, use low-range and the lowest drive setting. If you don’t feel completely confident driving up a hill, do not attempt it.

Rock Crawling

When crawling, use a low gear and low-range 4WD to allow your Jeep to crawl and idle when tackling large objects in your path, like rocks or logs, but never straddle rocks. Be mindful of ground clearance when traversing the top of rocks and always navigate over them slowly. If you hear a scraping noise, know that your Jeep skid plates and rock rails can handle it. It’s also a good idea to lower tire pressure 3-5 pounds for enhanced traction and to avoid tire puncture on rocky terrain. Remember to return tire pressure to normal after your adventure. Keep in mind that the ideal speed to crawl rocks is 1-3 miles per hour.
Come to Fuccillo Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Amsterdam to talk to the Jeep experts and to get more information on the Jeep lineup. Visit us today and get on the road to your next adventure!