Heading to Cape York soon? Here are some tips for a fun, memorable, and safe Cape York trip in your 4WD.
1. Install a new breather kit to your 4WD
Your 4WD drive is already fitted with breathers, and they’re going to be pretty much okay when you’re driving on asphalt. But water crossings and overland drives are a different beast altogether. As you push your car to its limit, your transmission and differentials can start to heat up.
The breathers attached to your 4×4’s driveline can handle the sudden changes in temperature and pressure when you make a water crossing. But they’re usually seated on the diffs, and this extremely low positioning can be a problem during river crossings.
As the underside of your vehicle gets submerged in the water, so do your breathers. All that dirty water mixes with your vehicle’s gear and oil, and you can look forward to potential problems on the road because of that.
Before you leave, make sure to have the breather kit replaced first. These kits are easy to find online or at auto parts and accessories stores. You can install one by yourself or have it installed by a reputable mechanic.
2. A bull bar is a must for a Cape York trip
A bull bar doesn’t just protect your 4WD from debris, and it’s definitely not just for aesthetics. It might not be ideal for city driving, but it’s a must for your Cape York trip.
The Cape York Peninsula is one of the most untamed spots in the country. As such, it’s completely normal to encounter different wildlife while you’re driving to your destination. Outfitting your vehicle with a bull bar protects your vehicle just in case you run into wildlife as you drive 100 km/h or more.
3. Get your vehicle a snorkel
You love water crossings, and during your Cape York 4wD trip, we’re sure that you’ll encounter a lot of it. While 4WDs are designed to take on water crossings like it’s no big deal, frequent exposure to water can damage your engine and result in seizing.
The solution is to deck your 4WD with a snorkel, a handy accessory designed to let the vehicle breathe during water crossings and sand driving. But it does more than just protect your engine during water crossings.
Are you heading out to the beach or planning to drive across the outback after your trip to Cape York? A snorkel is also a must for driving on the beach or desert as it helps keep dust from entering your 4WD’s air filter.
4. Make sure your suspension can handle the toughest challenges
The suspension system your four-wheel drive came with is largely fine for city driving (unless you’re hauling some pretty heavy stuff in there every day, then you should reconsider).
But if you’re planning a Cape York trip in your 4WD, then talk to your auto mechanic and have them check if your vehicle can take on all that load you’re bringing with you, as well as multiple water crossings and driving on muddy terrain. Have your suspension modified if needed so you can take on the toughest terrain without being bogged down.
5. Check your tyre pressure before heading out to Cape York
Camper trailer? Check. Multiple camping chairs? Check. Grill? Check. You’ve packed up everything, and now you’re ready to hit the road.
But we’ll never get tired of telling adventurers to make sure that their vehicles can take on all that weight before heading out. Check your tyre pressure right before leaving, and constantly check it as you travel. If your tyres are made for city driving, then it’s time to swap them out for ones that can take on different terrains and multiple water crossings.