Mercedes-Benz is teaching G-Class owners how to go mudding in their luxury SUV.
Mercedes isn’t exactly the first name you’d think of when someone mentions off-roading, but the G-Class is more than up to the job. With a 4.0-L twin-turbo V8, the G500 gets 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, while the AMG G 63 gets 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Combined with beefy front independent suspension and a set of 19-inch all-terrain tires, the G-Class is more than capable of handling anything you can throw at it.
However, mud presents a specific set of challenges that can overcome the unwary driver even in a car like the G500. To help educated their customers, Mercedes has put out a new educational video on YouTube to teach people how to drive through mud.
Starring off-road racer and women’s land-speed record holder Jessi Combs, the video provides step-by-step instructions on what to do when presented with a muddy trail.
Step 1: Make sure you’ve got at least 9.5 inches of ground clearance. The G-Class generally has over 17 inches of ground clearance (and can even ford water as deep as 27.5 inches), but mud is a special challenge. You don’t want too deep of a mud puddle, otherwise you’ll get stuck.
Step 2: Turn on your low range gearbox as well as your rear and center locking differentials. The idea here is to ensure that power is being spread to all four wheels equally to provide maximum torque and traction. You can turn on the front locking differential too for extremely muddle holes, and generally you want to keep these locking diffs deactivated except for off-roading.
Step 3: Keep your approach smooth and steady. The best thing to carry you through is the car’s momentum. Any sudden accelerations could cause your wheels to spin, flinging mud everywhere and digging a hole in the ground where you can get stuck. If you start to slow down, gently accelerate until you get clear.
Step 4: Aim for tire ruts if possible. Those tracks usually indicate an area where the mud has been compressed and is therefore less likely to break apart and cause you to sink when you drive over it.
Step 5: Once clear, clean your brakes by lightly tapping your brake pedal a few times. This’ll get rid of any mud that’s accumulated on the brake pads and rotors.
Step 6 is mostly optional, and that’s to clean off any collected mud clumps on the underside of your G-Class. You don’t have to though, and some might even want to keep them on for a bit of added character.