Five of the Best Off-Road Trails in Utah

With the winter coming to a close and the temperatures rising, it’s time to take that 4×4 out for a spin again! Utah has some of the most scenic and challenging off-road trails in all of North America, which can make for some amazing experiences.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the state’s best trails that you should mark down on your bucket list. Whether you’re driving a Jeep, Bronco, 4Runner, or otherwise, these tails are sure to give you an off-road experience unlike anywhere else.

Please note that this list contains trails that are not for inexperienced drivers or stock vehicles. Some of these contain extremely aggressive elevation changes and technical challenges that should be avoided if you are looking for a safe and easy time.

So without further ado, here are five of the best off-road trails in Utah in no particular order!

Moab Rim Trail – Challenging

This 8-mile out-and-back course located right outside of downtown Moab is one of the more popular trails in the area. Due to its popularity with hikers, Moab Rim can be a little crowded during peak hours. However, if you are able to find time to go when it’s emptier, this trail strikes the perfect balance of being beautifully scenic, close to a city, and challenging even for experienced off-road enthusiasts. 

Toquerville Falls – Intermediate

This lengthy 11.7-mile out-and-back trail is one of the most unique on the list, with it providing a breathtaking view of the waterfalls. It’s regarded as a moderately challenging route, and fairly technical. It’s a popular spot, so expect to run into other off-road explorers on your journey. 

White Jeep sitting on dirt trail in Toquerville, Utah

Mesa Arch Trail – Entry Level

One of the shorter trails, Mesa Arch is a great trail for those getting their feet wet in off-roading or even advanced drivers looking for a relaxing and scenic drive. Located in Canyonlands National Park, this 0.8-mile loop is popular for hikers, runners, and off-roaders alike. Open year-round, it’s one of the most accessible on this list by far. 

Sunrise above an arch on Mesa Arch trail

Red Canyon – Intermediate

True to its name, Red Canyon provides some of the brightest red rocks you can find as you drive through the slot canyons of Kanab. It’s an intermediate 8.7-mile out-and-back trail with some of the most breathtaking views of southern Utah’s best nature. It’s dog friendly, and a popular choice for locals with 4x4s. 

Hurrah Pass – Easy/Intermediate

While not too technically difficult, Hurrah Pass in Moab is the longest on this list. Measuring in at over 19.3 miles, the trail can take the better part of a day to complete. It’s a family-friendly adventure and a fun weekend trip. A high clearance 4×4 should have no problem taking on the challenges posed by this trail, but there are a few points where it’s possible to become stuck, and the inexperienced should beware of water crossing along the way (though generally shallow). 

4×4 Service in the Salt Lake Valley

Do any of these trails sound enticing? Make sure your off-road vehicle is prepared for whatever you throw at it with the 4×4 service at Matson Point S in Riverton. Whether you need new off-road tires, suspension work, transmission service, or anything in between, our ASE-certified technicians will ensure your vehicle is ready to go!

So call or schedule online with us today and our friendly service advisors will walk you through the service process every step of the way.


How Much Does a Driveshaft Replacement Cost?

The driveshaft is one of the essential parts of your vehicle’s drivetrain, as it’s responsible for transferring rotation from the transmission to the wheels. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles utilize driveshafts, and front-wheel drive vehicles utilize CV axles and joints. This article will focus on RWD and AWD driveshafts specifically.

What is a Driveshaft?

The purpose of a driveshaft is to power your vehicle down the road. It takes the torque from the engine through the transmission and sends it to the rear axles. Without this transfer of torque, your car wouldn’t be able to move.

Driveshafts are metal tubes that run the length of the bottom of the car, connected to both the transmission and differential.

Drive shaft removed from vehicle sitting on ground

What Happens if My Driveshaft Fails?

Driveshaft issues can transpire in a few ways. A failing driveshaft can have a variety of symptoms, including any of the following.

  • Excessive vibration from under the vehicle
  • Difficulty taking turns
  • Loud squeaking noise
  • Shuddering when accelerating
  • Clunking noises

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms, it’s important to take your car to a professional, as a full driveshaft failure when driving can leave you stranded.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace?

Unfortunately, there’s no set price for a driveshaft replacement. The cost of both parts and labor varies heavily depending on the vehicle.

One major factor is the make and model of the car. German and European cars will usually have more expensive replacement parts and cost of labor, so you might be paying close to the top of the price range. Japanese and American vehicles will usually have less expensive parts and labor, but it depends heavily on the specific model and shop.

Of course, these are all generalizations. The price is heavily affected by the type of driveshaft, as more complicated shafts with more moving parts are usually the higher priced parts. 

Another factor in the price is the location of the service. Certain cities have higher labor prices for vehicle service no matter the type of vehicle. 

Driveshaft replacements from a shop can cost anywhere between $500-$1500 all in, depending on a variety of factors. Calling a shop for a quote is always the best way to get an accurate idea of what you could pay for a replacement. 

Driveshaft repair is a service you can opt for, but in many (if not most) cases, a full replacement will be easier in the long run. Repairs can fail or be pricey to get done properly, so choosing a replacement outright might save you a headache. 

How Often Do I Need to Replace My Driveshaft?

Driveshafts and the platforms they power vary so heavily that it’s hard to put a lifespan estimate on them, however starting to check for damage and wear at around 75,000 miles is a good rule of thumb.

Some driveshafts will go for the entire life of the car, while others may fail before the 100,000-mile mark. It’s important to keep an eye out for the symptoms of a failing driveshaft and to catch it early. 

Driveshaft Replacement at Matson Point S

Suspect a bad driveshaft? Bring your vehicle into Matson Point S in Riverton, Utah for an inspection and service! Our ASE-certified technicians will have your drivetrain back in running condition with quality repairs and friendly service.

Call or schedule an appointment online today to secure a spot with our knowledgeable service advisors and experienced technicians!

Can I Drive on My Winter Tires All Year Round?

Driving during winter is no joke, especially if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions. Winter tires are specifically designed to provide drivers with better traction and control on icy and snowy roads. 

But what if you’re wondering whether you can use winter tires all year round? Is it safe? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of driving on winter tires year-round and help you make an informed decision.

Am I Able to Drive on My Winter Tires All Year Round?

Technically speaking, you can drive on winter tires all year round. However, it’s not recommended for several reasons. Winter tires are made from softer rubber than all-season or summer tires, which makes them better suited for cold temperatures. 

When the weather gets warmer, the rubber in winter tires can become too soft, leading to reduced handling and increased wear and tear.

Winter tires also have deeper and more aggressive tread patterns, which are designed to provide better traction on snowy and icy roads. However, these tread patterns can also be noisy and can cause increased road noise and reduced fuel economy when driving on dry roads.

Car tire sitting in snow

Is it Safe to Drive on Winter Tires All Year Round?

Driving on winter tires all year round can be safe if you live in an area with mild weather conditions. However, if you live in an area with extreme temperatures or severe weather conditions, driving on winter tires year-round can be dangerous.

When the weather gets too warm, the softer rubber in winter tires can become too pliant, reducing their grip on the road. This can cause your car to slide or skid, which can lead to accidents. Winter tires also have deeper treads, which can lead to hydroplaning on wet roads.

Furthermore, winter tires are not designed to handle high speeds on dry roads, and using them year-round can increase the risk of blowouts and other tire-related issues.

Pros and Cons of Driving on Winter Tires All Year Round

Here are some pros and cons of using winter tires year-round:


  • Better traction on snowy and icy roads
  • Safer driving in winter conditions
  • Longer lifespan than all-season tires (if used only during winter months)


  • Reduced handling and increased wear and tear on warmer roads
  • Increased road noise and reduced fuel economy on dry roads
  • Higher cost than all-season or summer tires

Alternatives to Driving on Winter Tires Year-Round

If you want to avoid the hassle of switching between winter and all-season tires every year, there are some alternatives you can consider:

  1. All-Season Tires: All-season tires are designed to provide good traction in all weather conditions, including light snow and rain. While they may not provide the same level of traction as winter tires on snowy or icy roads, they offer better handling and performance on dry roads.
  2. All-Weather Tires: All-weather tires are a hybrid between all-season and winter tires. They offer good traction in both wet and dry conditions, as well as light snow and ice. While they may not provide the same level of traction as dedicated winter tires on snowy or icy roads, they offer better handling and performance than all-season tires.

It’s important to keep in mind that these types of tires work best in the winter on all-wheel or front-wheel drive vehicles. Rear-wheel drive cars will struggle in the snow without proper snow tires. 

Tire being installed on wheel

The Wrap Up

While you technically can drive on winter tires all year round, it’s not recommended due to reduced handling, increased wear and tear, and reduced fuel economy on dry roads. 

Additionally, driving on winter tires year-round can be dangerous in extreme temperatures or severe weather conditions.

If you live in an area with mild weather conditions, using winter tires year-round can be safe, but it’s important to keep in mind the downsides and possible decrease in safety.

Tire Service at Matson Point S

With the hot summers in Utah, changing out your winter tires for ones suitable for summer driving should be at the top of your to-do list.

Luckily, Matson Point S in Riverton, Utah is your resource for a wide variety of tire choices at a fair price. Our service advisors will help you decide which tire brand, type, and size is best for your vehicle, and then get them installed by our expert technicians.

Call or schedule an appointment online to secure a tire appointment with our friendly team!

Can I Drive With a Damaged Tire Sidewall?

Getting a flat is a reality of owning a car. Most drivers have dealt with this issue at one point or another. Flats are usually caused by a tear or puncture in the tread, the part of the tire that is in contact with the road. 

However, damage to the sidewall of the tire can happen for a variety of reasons. While this kind of damage does not always result in a flat, it can pose a serious safety risk if it’s not addressed. 

In this article, we are going to look at several different types of tire sidewall damage, how it happens, and whether or not it’s safe to continue driving. 

Types of Tire Sidewall Damage

Sidewall damage can present in several ways depending on what caused it. 

Bubbles or Bulges

If you notice a section of the tire sidewall protruding or bubbling out, it’s a good indicator that the structural integrity of your tires has been compromised. Bubbling sidewalls are caused by impact with road debris, speed bumps, or potholes. The impact leads to the sidewall weakening or becoming damaged internally. 

Sometimes, a bulge or bubble can be caused by weathering, a manufacturer defect, or age. Even if the bubble is not caused by an impact, the tire is still damaged and unsafe. 

Tears and Punctures

A torn or punctured sidewall will not only weaken the tire, it could leave you stranded. Unlike a bubble, punctures and tears will typically lead to air escaping, resulting in a flat. Torn or punctured sidewalls can be caused by glass, nails, sharp rocks, or other debris in the road. 

Audi TT with a flat tire

Scuffs and Gouges

If you’ve ever “curbed” your car, you were probably more concerned about damaging the wheels than the tires. However, the impact of scraping the curb can do some serious damage to your tires. Smaller scuffs are not a big concern, but if there is a lot of material gouged out from the sidewall, the integrity of the sidewall is likely jeopardized. 

Can I Drive With Tire Sidewall Damage?

Driving with any tire damage is a bad idea, but driving with a damaged sidewall should be avoided at all costs. The sidewall supports the weight of the vehicle, and the risk of a tire blowout goes up significantly when it’s damaged. A tire blowout can lead to a serious accident, especially if it happens at high speeds. 

The only time you should drive with a damaged sidewall is to get your car to a tire shop, but even then it’s best to put your spare tire on. It’s not worth the risk. 

Is Sidewall Damage Repairable?

Unlike punctures and damage to the tread, sidewall damage is not repairable. The tire needs to be replaced if the sidewall is seriously compromised. 

Tire Services at Matson Point S

If your tire sidewalls are damaged, you need to get them replaced. It poses a risk for you and others on the road. Matson Point S is your one-stop for all things tires. Our shop in Riverton, Utah is staffed with tire experts that can answer any and all questions you have, and help you find replacement tires to get you safely back on the road. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

Symptoms of Old Transmission Fluid: How Often Should It Be Changed?

Transmission fluid, and maintenance, are overlooked. Other fluids in your vehicle, like oil and brake fluid, get all the attention and as a result, get serviced more regularly. Transmission fluid is just as essential to the health and usability of your car or truck. 

It’s not uncommon for car owners to completely ignore transmission fluid services. While it is true that transmission fluid does not need to be changed nearly as often as engine oil or brake fluid, neglecting it for too long can result in some expensive repairs. 

Outside the recommended intervals, there are some things to keep an eye out for that might indicate it’s time to get some fresh fluid in your vehicle’s transmission. Keep on reading to learn about some common symptoms of bad/old trans fluid!

Ford Mustang automatic transmission shifter

What is Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid lives inside the case of the transmission, much like oil lives inside the engine. Transmission fluid varies depending on the vehicle, manufacturer, and type of gearbox. 

Automatic transmissions use a fluid referred to as ATF. Older manual transmission cars utilize a heavier-weight gear lube, but some modern manuals use an ATF as well. 

Other technologies like CVT (continuously variable transmission) or DCT (dual-clutch transmission) use highly specialized fluids. There is no standard rule for what transmission fluid to use. You should always consult your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor. 

What Does Transmission Fluid Do?

Transmissions have loads of moving metal parts. Without a lubricant, these parts would grind against each other and wear down extremely quickly, generating immense amounts of heat. In all cases, transmission fluid keeps the gearbox lubricated and cool. 

ATF also acts as a hydraulic fluid, and assists in gear changes. The pressure and friction created by the hydraulic fluid make switching gears much easier. 

The final purpose is cooling. The fluid absorbs heat from the transmission as it circulates through the system. Eventually, the fluid reaches the transmission cooler, which cools it and in turn, the transmission. This process happens over and over to ensure the proper temperature for your transmission. 

How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid

The period between changes varies heavily depending on the make and model. Some modern cars use a lifelong transmission fluid that according to the manufacturer, never needs to be changed. While this fluid will last a long time, it’s still vital to check and change it if needed, especially if using the vehicle for any hard driving or towing. 

For cars with fluid that needs to be changed, the intervals can vary. In general, service intervals can range from anywhere between 30,000-100,000 miles. You should periodically check your transmission fluid for contamination if you allow it to run close to the recommended maximum mileage. More frequent fluid changes are recommended for higher mileage vehicles.

Symptoms of Old Transmission Fluid

Neglecting to flush your transmission regularly can lead to some pretty noticeable symptoms. 

Dirty Transmission Fluid

One of the easiest ways to see if you should replace your fluid is to look at it. Contaminated or old transmission fluid will be a dark brown or black color. The darker the fluid, the more critical it is that you replace it. The fluid may also have a burnt smell. 

ATF fluid is red when new, and will become a darker red as it’s used in the transmission. These colors are normal and signify fluid that’s still okay to run in your vehicle.

Manual transmission fluid for older manuals is golden/amber in color, similar to motor oil. It will also become darker and dirtier with age. 

Engine Running Hot

It may be counterintuitive to think that your engine would be reaching high temperatures due to your transmission, but it’s possible! When the transmission fluid can’t flow as it should, the gearbox is unable to cool itself. The transmission will build up excess heat through friction if the fluid is not lubricating like it should, and since it’s connected to the engine, will transfer the heat to it. While there are many other reasons your engine could be running hot that should be looked at first, it may be worth checking your transmission fluid.

Grinding Transmission

When transmission fluid degrades and becomes contaminated, it loses its lubricating properties. Moving parts will start to grind against each other and can cause some very unnerving noises. If you hear any similar noises, it may be time for a transmission fluid change. 

Transmission Slipping

As transmission fluid becomes worn out, it can impact how your transmission shifts. A reduction in hydraulic pressure causes the transmission to struggle when holding the car in a certain gear and can allow the transmission to slip back into another gear. Slipping can be a symptom of more severe mechanical issues, but in some situations changing the transmission fluid will help. 

Surging Transmission

If your vehicle “surges” or jolts forward every so often, it may be a product of old and dirty transmission fluid. Similar to when gears slip, the fluid isn’t able to flow at the rate it needs to which causes it to get stuck at certain points. This causes inconsistency in the power delivery and occasional surges that send your car lurching forward. 

Transmission Fluid Service at Matson Point S

If you’re experiencing any symptoms similar to these, it’s best to bring your vehicle to a professional to service it. Driving with old transmission fluid can be harmful to your car’s health in the long run, and catching issues early can save you a lot of money.

Luckily, Matson Point S in Riverton, Utah is your resource for transmission service and fluid changes. Our experienced technicians will ensure your transmission is healthy. Call or schedule online today to meet with our friendly team!

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