Did you know that the majority of roads in Australia are unpaved or dirt? Most of the surfaced roads are to be found in the heavily populated coastal belt areas, but if you're somebody who likes an adventure, then you know that the "good stuff" is in the bush. Now that you have an all-wheel-drive vehicle and some spare time on your hands, you might want to take the bull by the horns and do some real exploration. To do this, you need to be sure that your vehicle has the proper tyres for the situation. What do you need to think about before you head to the dealership?
The Challenge Ahead
You're going to encounter a wide variety of obstacles as you head further and further "off-road." The type of tyre that you choose has to be able to deal with all of these challenges without failing. There is a fundamental difference between conventional tyres and off-road covers, as the latter have a lot of "pliability" in thier construction. This means that the sidewall of the tyre can move under pressure to give you more traction. So, your tyres will flex as they drive over a rocky surface or try to climb a steep incline.
What Are Your Options?
If truth be told, all-wheel-drive vehicles today are not manufactured with truly off-road driving in mind. The vast majority of owners will, after all, drive them along motorways and urban roads. You do need to have a look at your manual, therefore, to see what type of tyres your vehicle is able to accept. You might like to ask some questions in online forums as well, to get some advice from others.
It's possible that you may have to adjust the ride height of your vehicle, or even fit a suspension kit before you can alter the size of the wheel and consequently the tyre. Usually, off-road tyres will be "taller" than normal and this might affect how the vehicle handles. Remember this when you go back to highway driving, and don't expect the vehicle to be able to corner quite as efficiently as it did before.
You may have to recalibrate your vehicle's speedometer as well, because it's designed to show you an accurate reading through conventional wheels and tyres. Your new configuration will cover the same amount of distance at a different speed, due to the size variation.
Getting the Right Advice
Have a word with your tyre dealer to ensure that you get the right type of cover for your adventure, and remember that in off-road driving conditions, these tyres are the most important factor.