Off-Roading

7 post-quarantine tips for getting your off-roading rig ready to hit the trail

Before you hit the trail, you'll want to follow these tips to make sure your rig is ready.

Photo by Getty Images

The trails are calling your name. Before you hit the road following an extended period of self isolation and driveway storage time, your off-roader may need a little TLC. Here's some quick tips to make sure your rig is ready for off-roading.

Check your tire pressure.

Sure, you may intend to lower the pressure when you hit the dunes, but you don't want to ride low on the way there. Having low tire pressure increases fuel inefficiency and can make you more susceptible to losing control of the vehicle while driving.

Make sure your lights are ready to go.

There are a number of reasons fuses go and sometimes it seems like there's no rhyme or reason. Before you set off, make sure all your lights are working, including the auxiliary ones you may have installed. Also, make sure none of the casings have been damaged and wire housings aren't showing any signs of dry rot.

Step back and examine the bumpers.

Were you parked in the street and got a bump you didn't know about? Has something slumped while parked? A once-around the car is a good idea just to be sure.

Don't forget about the spare tire.

Are there mice living in there? Has something rotted? Take a quick peek to ease your mind.

Check the cooling system.

You don't have to go elbows deep for this one. Just be sure that there's nothing obstructing the air intakes, radiator, etc. Leaves, dust, dander, and animal nests can easily take up residency while your rig sits unused.

Take a low speed spin around your neighborhood or head to a parking lot.

To make sure your steering and braking is as it should be after sitting for so long, get the system going in a safe manner at low speed. Execute tight turns, brake check with no one behind you, and ensure the throttle is working as you hope.

Test your tinkers.

Have you been tinkering with your off-roader during lockdown? Be sure to give it a thorough test drive before you set off for a day of fun, testing all your modifications. Even if you think you have everything right, there still may be something amiss.

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The Grand Cherokee is now available with three rows.

Stellantis

The Grand Cherokee has always been the Jeep that could haul the family to the mall as easily as it could traverse serious off-road terrain. The design was starting to age, however, after ten years on the market without a major redesign. Jeep fixed that for the 2022 model year, and after a week behind the wheel, there are three things we think you should know about the new SUV.

It Comes in Two Formats

The three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuted in 2021 as the first Grand Cherokee with more than two rows of seating. The standard Grand Cherokee followed it with many of the same features and upscale finishes, but in a more familiar two-row SUV format. The move to a two-body-style lineup for the Grand Cherokee does not mean there's less choice. The standard two-row model is offered in a staggering number of configurations, including a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The new Grand Cherokee ups the luxury considerably. Stellantis

It's Luxurious

Top Grand Cherokee trims have long been plusher and more luxurious than most people expect from a Jeep, and the new model takes things further down that road. Top trims feature luxurious materials such as quilted leathers and real wood trim, along with desirable and innovative electronics features. An optional passenger-side touchscreen offers climate controls and other functions to front-seat passengers, and Stellantis' UConnect infotainment software is among the easiest to use and most intuitive interfaces in the auto business.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Grand Cherokee can take its passengers far off the beaten path.Stellantis

It's Available with Three Strong Powertrains

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available, and Jeep's excellent 4xe plug-in hybrid can be added to certain trims. The Wrangler was the first vehicle to use the system, which provides instant torque and excellent all-electric driving range. When the battery is depleted below a certain level, the vehicle then switches to operate as a normal hybrid.

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The first Hummer EVs are rolling off the line.

GMC

After a year filled with delays and production issues, General Motors has a great reason to celebrate. The first GMC Hummer EV Pickups are rolling off the production line and will be in buyers' driveways soon. The first, VIN 001, was purchased at a Barret-Jackson auction back in March for $2.5 million, but the rest were sold at the EV's asking price, which starts at $110,295.

The Hummer EV comes as Chevrolet announces that orders will open for the Silverado EV in early January, and as Ford readies the F-150 Lightning for production. It also lands just as Rivian is getting its R1T pickups out the door, so we've moved from zero electric pickups to several in the span of just a few months.

GMC HUMMER EV PICKUP | Customer Deliveries Start Now youtu.be

The GMC Hummer EV offers several enticing features that include a four-wheel "CrabWalk" function for diagonal movement around off-road obstacles, adaptive air suspension, a Watts to Freedom (WTF) mode that allows the hefty EV to scoot from 0-60 mph in just three seconds, and Super Cruise, GM's hands-free driving system.

GMC sold out of the Edition 1 Hummer, but reservations for other models are still open. The vehicle is being built at GM's Factory Zero facility in Detroit-Hammtramck, and will be joined by the Silverado EV when its production commences. The plant saw a $2.2 billion renovation to produce EVs and is key to GM's early electrified successes.

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