Maintaining and servicing your 4WD can be a costly process. If you go off-road a lot, you’re probably more than aware of some of the issues that can arise – poor quality or badly fitted parts can break and cause more damage, heavy towing or rough conditions can accelerate wear, and the expense involved in making sure your rig is running smoothly can skyrocket. But there are a few bits and pieces that can be carried out at home to make sure your problems (and costs) are kept to a minimum......Read More

 

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Maintaining and servicing your 4WD can be a costly process. If you go off-road a lot, you’re probably more than aware of some of the issues that can arise – poor quality or badly fitted parts can break and cause more damage, heavy towing or rough conditions can accelerate wear, and the expense involved in making sure your rig is running smoothly can skyrocket. But there are a few bits and pieces that can be carried out at home to make sure your problems (and costs) are kept to a minimum.

Terrain Tamer’s Head Engineer, Allan Gray says that owner servicing of modern vehicles is only really limited by the mechanical knowledge of the operator and the equipment available. Keeping this in mind, he’s given us the following list as an example of work that can generally be completed by the average vehicle owner:

  • Check the electrical components such as the lights, horn, wipers, etc.; as well as wiper blades and pedal rubbers. Loose floor mats can also be a worry.
  • Check all fluid levels, including clutch and brake, radiator, windscreen washer fluid, and differential transmission oils.
  • Check engine drive belts for cracking, shredded cords, slipping or contamination.
  • Check tires for uneven wear pattern, pressures (including the spare).
  • Clean battery terminals. If corrosion is present, flush the terminals, battery and surrounds with warm water and a handful of bicarb soda to neutralise any acid action.
  • Check the radiator and heater hoses for cracking, excessive softness or brittle condition.
  • Don’t overlook the air conditioner cabin filter and give it a shot of ‘Glen 20’ or an equivalent product. Vehicles manufacturers recommend operating the air conditioner for at least 5 minutes or longer.
  • Lubricate the tail shaft and any other grease points. Change the engine oil, oil filter, fuel and air filters.

Tip: It’s imperative to follow your vehicle’s servicing book recommendations regarding the engine oil specifications. 

Tip: To prevent costly engine/fuel systems damage due to contaminated fuel, late model diesel should have an extra fuel filter fitted in the supply line.

Service intervals, Allan says, should always be modified to suit any abnormal or extreme conditions that a vehicle might experience. These can include heavy towing, extremely dusty environments or continuously slow running operations, all of which would require more frequent servicing.

When getting your car professionally serviced, be aware of any parts being fitted by the workshop. 4WD parts specialists such as Terrain Tamer offer a full range of parts, at mostly competitive prices, which have been designed and made to OE standards or higher, and have a warranty that is at least equivalent to the genuine manufacturer. This will ensure you’re fitted with good, high quality parts that are made to withstand harsh conditions and shouldn’t break the first time you take you vehicle out on the tracks.

Keeping Allan’s owner servicing checklist and tips in mind, and making sure you’re fitted with good quality parts might just save you a lot of money and stress the next time your vehicle’s service is due!