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4×4 Water Crossing Tips


  • Let your best judgement be your guide. If it looks too risky then it probably is.
  • Be aware of your where your vehicle’s intake and computer are; don’t allow water to interfere with their functioning.
  • Turn off headlights prior to entry to allow them to cool. A sudden shock of cold water may cause them to crack.
  • Securing a tarp (think auto-bra) to the front of the vehicle will create a bow wave if forward momentum is sustained. This will help keep water from spraying off the radiator fan and on to your intake/ignition.
  • Do not get water in the intake.
  • Select 4×4 low, first gear, and keep steering straight. Drive slow and steady to create a wake around your vehicle.
  • For shallow fast-flowing streams drive at a slight angle upstream.
  • Never cross fast-flowing deep streams.
  • Once you’re across be sure to pump your brakes to clear any left over water, silt, or mud.
  • Check and drain gear oil from front and rear diff’s when you get home, and lube all joint fittings.
  • Don’t stop
  • Don’t shift gears if you’re driving a stick
  • Change all your oil before frosts sets in

Here are some more great tips from our friends at ARB:

Have some more water crossing tips? be sure to comment below!