The jeep I've recently acquired is a '13 JK sport, 2 door soft top automatic. She's all stock.
Brand new member here. (Quite a newb, go easy!
) I have searched the entire forum's history for all beach driving related threads and read at least 90% of all the posts. I have learned a lot but there is some conflicting information. I write this post because I think my situation might be a bit different than what has already been discussed. Basically, I think how I want to use my Jeep on the beach to be light duty.
Here is my own summary of what I've read about airing down:
Air down should be directly proportional to dryness/softness/deep was of sand at least 20 psi or lower, maybe 15 or lower depending on tires. However, many report not needing to air down much if at all. I understand this will dig deeper ruts in the sand which isn't nice, inconsiderate, and run the risk of getting stuck.
The way I plan my beach use of the Jeep is not prolonged at all. It will be New Jersey sand which I understand is typically less soft. Perhaps a 5 minute ride on sand (maximum time) from the entrance for 4WD's to where we park near the surf. Occasional trips into town for lunch, etc. I don't plan on any extended driving on the sand.
So that leads to my questions about the way I intend to beach drive as illustrated above:
1) Do you think I can get away with only minimally airing down for a short beach drive? Say to 25 psi? 20 psi? (Stock tires)
Follow up question: how far and at what max speed to find a gas station without a line at the air pump? (Have been highly considering getting an air pump, but the wife is frowning on too many accessories for now haha).
2) Considering my automatic transmission, 4H or 4L for a short drive onto the beach? Think with a short drive I'll be relatively safe from the dreaded "hot oil" light while in 4H? From what I've read, it seems like the consensus is 4L is for very deep, soft sand, or for to try to get yourself unstuck. I think I answered this one for myself with 4H but would like to poll the community anyway. And how does 4L keep things cooler anyway? I'd really like to just use 4H because it'd be easier to get into and out of for a newby like me.
3) I've read on other threads about a) the benefit of turning off ESC for 4H and b) partial off versus full off (hold for 5 seconds for full off) I should definitely turn ESC all the way off, right? I've seen the difference of partial off and full off explained but I don't quite understand the appropriate setting for each to be used. I also understand that in 4L it is fully off by default.
Thanks to those who read and reply, I greatly appreciate any advice.
-Mark, that guy who can't wait for Memorial Day.