How To

4X4 Tips: 5 Tips for Stress-Free Mud Driving

Mud Driving would have to be one of the most fun forms of off-road driving, but it’s not without risks. The chance of becoming bogged is quite high, as you know mud is not exactly a high traction surface. If you do make it to the other side unscathed, there is now the often forgotten after vehicle care to worry about too. Here are our five top tips for anyone looking to get dirty this weekend.


1) Always inspect the obstacle before driving it. A quick poke with a stick to check for depth will give you a perfect indicator as to how deep the mud will be. This is also the perfect chance to check for submerged objects such as rocks or logs, that could damage your vehicle.


2) If you get stuck on your first attempt, select reverse and see if you can go backwards. Quite often a build-up of mud in front of wheels is what halts forward momentum. Select reverse, back up as far as safely possible and have another try with a bit more momentum.

Mitsubishi's Pajero Sport has taken off to a great start in 2017 vehicle sales.
Mud driving can be fun, but also dangerous and damaging to your vehicle.

3) Turn the vehicles steering wheel side-to-side quickly (referred to as sawing) in an attempt to gain extra traction if you find forward progression lacking. This is an especially effective technique if you are climbing a muddy hill.


4) If you do think there is a chance of getting stuck, do you need to drive the obstacle in the first place? If you decide to go ahead, do you have an out if things don’t go to plan? If you answer no to having traction aids, a winch or another vehicle with a quality recovery kit available, the best bet it to avoid the obstacle.


5) Wash your truck afterwards, I can’t stress this enough! Not only will old, crusty baked on mud be harder to clean off when you do decide to (this will damage your paint), but it will also accelerate the chance of rust. Mechanical components such as wheel bearings and brakes also hate mud, so by washing your vehicle underneath as well as on the body, you will reduce the risk of issues down the line.


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  • Another issue or risk is the mud or muddy water entering your alternator and fouling things up. I have been on the receiving end of that one. But on the upside I got a new alternator, got the old one rebuilt and now I have a spare. Expensive day just for a play in the mud. But then again, isn’t this why we bought our 4wds? Have fun and adventure out with nature off the blacktop.

  • Just got back from a long session at the wash bay, then a longer session with the garden hose to finish off. getting soaked. If a had a choice I would go around every bit of mud I came across over the last 6 days, but… By the way, full under-body protection is great but bloody hell it traps some stuff don’t it!

  • Don’t forget about the radiator, mud or silt in the vanes will end the day very quickly. Consider putting a blind on.

  • Personally I love mud driving in other peoples trucks as I’ve learnt the hard way that it always costs me money. Brake pads, Wheel bearing being the most common items but brake rotors and sticky hand brake cables also get a hammering. Oh and washing the 4wd afterwards,ARRRGG. Matt

  • best tip is to stay out of the stuff in the 1st place
    I’m not impressed with the totally ripped up (go no where) tracks along/around the murray river following the ‘big’ rains; including one set of wheel tracks I saw heading off into the scrub. Surprisingly enough; many wheel tracks were big wide mud tyres.
    If the tracks get closed who will be yelling the loudest? —- just saying Pat!

  • On that last point, I learned the hard way that lime in red mud will eat through paint in under 24 hours. Left my car in need of a respray as it was too deep to polish out.

  • I agree that it is important to pre-inspect the area in which you will be driving a 4X4 truck. I’d imagine there is no telling what you could run into if you don’t. I went up the famous Hollister Hills in a Jeep with some friends in a Jeep and we got stuck because we did not inspect the territory beforehand.

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