A few minutes of prevention can save you a lot of hassle when you’re taking your 4×4 off-road. Newbies and veterans alike can run into trouble when they least expect it – the trouble is it could have been fixed before you even left home. Here are five easy checks you can do on your 4WD to help stop trouble before it starts.
1. Check your lights
This one is simple and can save you a lot of hassle while driving and with the boys in blue. Check all of your lights, both mounted and internal, are working before you set off. Make sure all lights turn on when brakes or indicators are engaged. Ensure your LEDs are all in working order to help you through dusty conditions. You should also pack some spares before you set off, too: brake lights are usually the first types of globes to fail.
2. Check your oil and fluids
Checking that your oil is filled up is mandatory. Low oil can cause all sorts of breakdowns and motor hazards. Make sure that you do a check of all your vehicle fluids while your bonnet’s up, too: radiator coolant should be “full”, as well as power steering fluid and brake fluid. You should also check windscreen wiper fluid. Dust and muck can accumulate on your windscreen more often than you think; make sure it’s full before you set out. While you’re at it, make sure your windscreen wipers are fresh (not older than 12-18 months) to ensure prime visibility.
3. Check your tyre pressure and tread depth
Incorrect tyre pressure not only increases fuel consumption, it can also increase wear on the tyre if it’s over or under-inflated. A tread depth check is crucial, as worn tyres means decreased traction on the road and a loss of control on wet or slippery surfaces. Look at your tread depth indicator on your tyre; if it dips below the line, replace your tyres immediately. You should also check tyres for damage, inflections, or bubbles. Remember to check your spare, too – and if you don’t have one, get one!
4. Check your drive belts
Your drive belts, including your timing belt or fan belt, are not only costly parts to replace when they break, but will leave you stuck with a 4WD that can’t move; especially your timing belt. You should check your timing belt especially for slack or wear. If you haven’t replaced it in a while (or ever), you should check your logbook for when your manufacturer recommends replacement. If it’s anywhere near that time – get it done!
5. Check your brake and clutch
If your brake pads are worn and your clutch isn’t working, you won’t be going very far. If your brake pads are worn to within 5mm, replace them immediately. You should also check that your handbrake is in working order too. If it clicks more than four times before engaging, it isn’t safe for use (and unroadworthy.) You should make some turns to see if your brakes veer from side to side. If your clutch isn’t working properly for any reason, get it checked before you go out on the open road.
We are a family owned private business that takes pride in providing quality service along with the best quality 4×4 accessories in Perth. We stock all TJM 4×4 accessories along with other top Australian 4wd accessories brands.
If you would like some help in getting the right gear for your 4wd, please feel free to contact us or visit 9 Pritchard St, O’Connor WA 6163 Australia.