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Basic Care Tips for Your Four Wheel Drive Vehicle

05-23-2013 00:00:00

Many owners consider their 4WD vehicle to be indestructible, with practically no maintenance necessary. A four wheel drive is certainly a tough vehicle, but neglecting to keep a check on it may result in some hefty repair bills down the line. Below are a few tips on what to regularly check for on your 4WD, to keep it in great working order.

Keep a check on your tyres

This is particularly important if you use your 4WD off-road. Make sure to check your tyre pressure regularly. Over time tyres slowly deflate, and low pressure tyres will cause irregular wear on your tyres. Low tyre pressure will also cause poor cornering and braking, making your car less safe to drive. In extreme cases, tyres may even blowout. Your tyres act as a buffer between the road and your car and incorrectly inflated tyres can reduce the life of your tyres, and are also a cause of greater fuel consumption. When checking your tyres, make sure you do so when they are cool as warmer tyres can give an incorrect pressure reading. Make sure you fill your tyres with the recommended psi rating. Whilst checking your tyre pressure, it is a good idea to use the opportunity to check for uneven wear or damage to your tyres. If your tyres seem worn down or are cracked or split in anyway, have them checked over by a professional, and replaced, if necessary.

Keep a tool kit and emergency kit

Your should always stock a basic tool kit specific to your vehicle, in your vehicle at all times. Additional extras you should consider adding are spare parts that your vehicle may need in an emergency. Ideally this should include a set of springs to suit your vehicle, trailer spares if towing, an ignition coil, a distributor cap, radiator hoses and clips, water pump and fuel pump kit, spare fan belt, wheel baring kit, at least one spare tyre, at least 2 inner tubes and a puncture repair kit. Also include lubricants and oils, such as engine oil and WD40.

Try not to overload

Overloading your 4WD can lead to the suspension giving out and the chassis cracking. Overloading, hard driving, and general neglect can lead to sagging suspension springs and chassis damage. The chassis outriggers may end up cracking where they join with the main frame, causing significant damage. So it is best not to load up your 4WD too much.

Dry out your 4WD

Make sure your vehicle has an opportunity to dry out after it has been off-road, or through rough conditions. Certain parts of a 4WD are prone to rust. A steel chassis for example can be susceptible to rust, so check that all drain-holes are clear. Also check that interior carpets and dry to prevent rust or mold from forming.

If you intend to take your vehicle off-road for any length of time, consider including some important items such as an air compressor, strong spotlights, and radio communication. A good 4WD accessory shop will have a wide range of 4WD accessories and 4WD equipment and parts available, such as roof racks, and 4x4 suspension parts. Discuss with your local dealer if you need more information.

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