Top 4 4WD Maintenance Tips
Getting out and adventuring in your 4WD is always something to look forward to, but maintaining your vehicle before and after each trip is vital. While a regular service is a great way to keep your rig in excellent shape, there are some small things you can do at home to ensure you’re always ready to get out in the mud or sand.
1. Inspect Your 4WD
The factory service schedule on your 4WD is a guide, however you should always check your vehicle before and after every offroad trip. If you’re planning on doing some hardcore four wheel driving, this is particularly important. Sand, dust, mud and water all put increased stress on the suspension, drivetrain and other vital components. The last thing you want is to discover something’s gone wrong from your previous adventure halfway through another trip. Make a quick visual inspection of your vehicle and ensure nothing is broken, worn or even dirty. If you’re not sure about any components, contact the experienced team at Australian Mechanical today.
2. Check Your Fluids & Filters
A quick and easy way to improve your engine’s life (and ensure it doesn’t fail while four wheel driving) is to check it’s fluids and filters. A few important items that will be easy to check are:
- Your Engine Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. Without it, your engine may be damaged beyond repair. If your oil is low and/or dirty (fresh engine oil is a golden honey colour), it should be changed before driving your car. If you would like a mechanic to service your oil, contact the experienced team at Australian Mechanical today.
- Your Engine Coolant
Your engine coolant is very important when driving offroad. The 4WD is usually working a lot harder at lower speeds, providing less airflow and making your cooling system work overtime (not to mention making your 4WD overheat). If your coolant is low, top it up (NOTE: Never open your radiator cap when the car is hot. Your cooling system is pressurised with super hot liquid and you may burn yourself). If your coolant is milky, you should call a mechanic to investigate the issue.
- Your Air Intake Filter
Your air intake filter works to keep water, dirt, rocks and other nasty items out of your engine. When driving offroad, your filter is usually catching more debris than on the road and can start to get clogged up. If you notice your filter is dirty, replace it with a fresh one. If you would like a mechanic to inspect and replace your filter, contact us to book in a service.
3. Wash Under Your 4WD
If you enjoy beach 4WDing, washing the outside of your vehicle is recommended, but how often do you wash underneath? Mud and sand can get caked on, but salt can be much worse. With enough salt, you risk rusting the underside of your vehicle which can lead to costly repairs down the track. A simple tip is to use a high pressure water cleaner under your 4WD to wash it thoroughly or visit a purpose built 4WD washing station often found near popular 4WD locations.
4. Perform A Brake Test
Brakes are one of the most important parts of your 4WD. No one wants to discover their brakes are worn down, when they need them most. Listen out for any squeaks or other noises coming to a stop. If you feel any odd vibrations or change in the feel of the brake pedal, you should have your brakes inspected. Ensure the brake pedal can be applied no more than halfway while the engine is running.
If your 4WD needs a service before going on its next adventure, contact the professional team at Australian Mechanical to get your rig ready for fun.
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