If you intend to take your trusted steed off-road, you will eventually become stuck. It’s not a question of if but of when, and it doesn’t matter if your preferred terrain is rocks, mud, snow, or sand.
A 4wd winch is an upgrade that many new 4WD owners overlook. While a winch won’t give your 4×4 the same performance boost as a suspension or tyre upgrade, having the peace of mind that it’s there if you need it will make your next off-road adventure much more enjoyable.
Considerations When Purchasing a Winch
When selecting the best winch for your vehicle and overall off-roading needs, there are several factors to consider. It’s easy to go with the flow and buy the first winch your friend recommends or that guy with the handle 4wdmaster on the Australia 4wd forum. Doesn’t he seem to know everything? Wrong. Do your research, check the boxes below, and choose the best winch for your needs.
Establish Your Budget
Once you’ve determined what size winch you require, consider which models are within your price range. Prices for winches range from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. Manufacturers such as Smittybilt and Warn have multiple offerings in popular sizes to meet your needs and budget. Winches differ in price depending on their features, construction, and location. Synthetic cable, aluminium fairleads, and winch thimbles are all worthwhile upgrades. You should purchase these items if you are on a tight budget since they can be added later when funds permit.
Before acquiring one, you must decide how you will connect a winch to your car. There are several front winch bumpers available with top-mounted or recessed mounting options. Furthermore, some manufacturers have created semi-hidden winch kits that preserve a portion of the factory bumper for a semi-stock appearance. Others provide a drop-in or universal winch plates that may be installed on your 4WD winch vehicle. Before selecting a bumper or winch mounting system, be sure it will fit your car. Determine if you want a top-mounted design with the winch in the middle or if you want to hide it with a recessed winch system for a more streamlined look. You may need to make some car changes, so do your research.
Think about your front end.
The weight of winches may not seem significant, but depending on whether you use synthetic rope or steel cable, they add between 25 and 45kg to your bumper. However, synthetic rope is more prone to fraying and chemical and heat damage than natural rope, and it is lighter in weight. Adding steel wire to your arrangement will significantly increase its weight, but it’s more durable and often less expensive. In addition to requiring less maintenance, steel cable is prone to rust and burrs, thereby reducing its strength. Make sure that your front bumper is tight before installing the winch, and make sure you don’t overburden your suspension by installing it since this might affect your vehicle’s handling.
Even the most meticulously manufactured low-mount winches occasionally suffer from flaws despite multiple quality control stages. This is when the warranty comes into play. In what ways does it differ from other insurance policies, what does it cover, and what does it not cover? What is the process for resolving a warranty claim? Do you have an easy time contacting the seller and do they turn around repairs quickly? Does your winch need to be repaired if it’s not covered under warranty? It is essential to take these factors into account before you make a financial commitment.