4WD Service and Maintenance Tips
4WD vehicles bear a lot of abuse as they conquer off-road terrains. Proper 4WD maintenance will help improve the longevity of your car. Read the excerpt below for some 4WD service and maintenance tips.
Choose a Service Centre
Most 4WD repairs require a skilled mechanic. When selecting a 4WD service centre, inquire about their specialisation and the services they provide. Preferably, work with a centre specialising in the repair and maintenance of your vehicle's make and model. Some service centres also have car clubs where members meet and organise 4WD related events.
Invest in Upgrades
4WD upgrades are a sure way to enhance the capabilities of your vehicle. For instance, a lift kit increases the vehicle's ground clearance enabling you to handle rocky terrain. An engine tune-up will improve the vehicle's horsepower and torque. Heavy-duty suspension will enhance your comfort in rough terrain.
Conduct some research before installing aftermarket parts on your 4WD. Check internet reviews on motoring blogs and forums to determine the reliability and durability of the various components. Do not attempt DIY projects if you are not an experienced mechanic.
Inspect the Vehicle Regularly
Regularly inspect the vehicle for the following;
- Worn out tires. You need sufficient grip when navigating through rocky or muddy terrain. Otherwise, the car could slip or topple.
- Damaged suspension. Check the suspension system for signs of cracked coils or bent shock absorbers. This can happen when you put too much strain on one side as you drive through rocks.
- Oil leaks. These can be caused by oil pan or transfer case damage.
- Overheating engine or transmission. This can happen when you push the vehicle beyond its limits.
Below is a short guide on how to service your 4WD.
Routine engine servicing could include changing the oil, spark plugs, oil, air filters and the injectors. Check the condition of the timing and serpentine belts. Consider an engine overhaul every hundred thousand kilometres, which can be an opportunity to replace oil seals or a worn-out crankshaft, camshaft or pistons.
Your vehicle should have sufficient transmission fluid at all times. Strange noises or a change in the colour of the transmission fluid are signs of damaged gears. Over time, your mechanic may recommend a transfer case clean up to get rid of contaminants inside the transfer case.
You may need to change suspension components if you experience a rough ride, or have oily shocks or uneven tire tread. The bushings, linkages and struts should be changed at regular intervals. Do not forget to conduct wheel balancing and alignment.
Maintaining your 4WD could not be any easier. Choose a specialised 4WD service centre, use high-quality aftermarket parts, regularly inspect the vehicle and observe the recommended servicing tips.