There is nothing better than a 4WD. It buys you freedom; you can travel anywhere you want, and open up an entirely new world. There are plenty of areas you can only access with a 4WD, and if you like to camp off the grid, then you know just how important that 4WD is. More importantly, do you know how to take care of yours? It’s not a cheap purchase, so it’s in your best interests to look after it.
Once you purchase your 4WD, your first step should be to sit down and read the manual. In the manual, you will find all of the relevant information regarding your service schedule. It will make several suggestions, and you can choose the right schedule based on how you plan to use it your 4WD. So, if you plan to work it hard or use it to tow your boat or off-road vehicles, then you will need to have it serviced more frequently. Typically, your 4WD should be serviced every 10,000 miles. Be sure to use a mechanic that you can trust.
You should learn how to do all the basics like checking the fluids and do this before you take off on a long trip.
The tire pressure affects wear, as well as traction. If your tires are the wrong pressure, they will wear down unevenly, quicker, and lead to poor traction. This is especially true when you head off-road as the dramatic terrain change is particularly taxing on your tires. So, it’s vitally important that you inflate your tires to the correct pressure. Moreover, the tires that you choose for your 4WD matter! You must consider what you expect of your 4WD and where you plan to take it when you select your tires. Remember, they absorb the bumps and humps, as well as vibrations. You want your tires to absorb as much of that as possible. You can inflate and deflate your tires based on the terrain you plan to tackle.
And All The Rest
You should always have an ear open for odd noises. This will become easier as you get to know your 4WD. As soon as you notice them, head to the mechanic. It’s also wise to fit an external gauge so you can monitor the temperature of the coolant and exhaust gas. Often, factory installed gauges are inaccurate, and temperatures are critical to engine longevity.
It’s also important to consider weight. Think about how your body feels when you lift a heavy weight and try to walk around. It’s rough. Well, your 4WD has to work hard to carry or tow extra weight. So, make sure that you balance your weight properly and don’t overdo it. The more weight your 4WD carries, the more wear it will experience, the more fuel it will consume, and essentially, it will shorten the lifespan of the vehicle. You will find weight guidelines in your manual. Can you legally tow the trailer you plan to hitch to your 4WD, have you evenly distributed your load?
One final note, salt water is not your 4WDs friend; you should avoid it at all costs or at least make sure you give your car a good wash afterwards.