3 Point Turn

Dirt roads

Because it's a big country with a relatively tiny population, once you're in the backblocks of Australia, it's almost impossible to avoid dirt roads. And why would you? Driving on dirt is part of the great adventure 4WD ownership offers.

It's best to shift into four-wheel drive as soon as you hit unpaved surfaces, simply because the greater traction and adhesion of all four wheels driving delivers both driver confidence and safety. Thanks to Pajero's unique Super Select transmission system, Pajero owners can do this on the fly at any speed up to 100km/h, and if the going becomes really heavy (such as in the bulldust patches of the Plenty Highway or deep sandy sections on many coastal dirt roads), you can even engage 4WD Lc (4WD locked centre diff, high range) for even more peace of mind, again without backing off the throttle. (If you do lock the centre diff, remember to pull back to 4WD open centre diff once the surface hardens up, otherwise you'll get transmission windup, which can both make driving difficult and cause permanent damage to transmission components.)

A few other dirt road pointers:


*If travelling with others, stay back out of the dust. Many people don't, simply because they're afraid of being left behind. The fact is, missing a corner or hitting something on the road like a rock is far more likely if your driving visibility is impaired.
*
Slow down when you see another vehicle coming towards you. This minimises the danger of stones being thrown up by the other vehicle and potentially cracking your windscreen. If it's a road train coming the other way, move off the road and stop.
*
To minimise dust entry into the vehicle, keep the aircon on and switch from recirculate to fresh. Yes, I know that sounds paradoxical, but it works.
*
In daylight hours, if you have driving lights fitted, make sure the covers are on.
*
Many dirt roads have dips cut into them to allow for water run-off. Brake on approaching, but lift off the brake just before you hit the bottom of the dip. This raises the front of the vehicle, decompressing suspension components. Likewise, approaching the dips obliquely rather than straight on is easier on the suspension.
*
If driving dirt roads a lot, check your air filter for dust build-up. Clean by simply knocking the dust out.

Finally, enjoy the adventure.

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