The next time that you find yourself bouncing and bumping your way down a corrugated road in the middle of the outback, take a minute and think if this is what is happening to you, then what is happening to the various different parts that make up your vehicle. Despite the fact that most 4×4 live a life of punishment, they are still able to deliver on most counts, which is why you need to avoid some certain things so that they can keep on delivering for you for many years to come.
One way of looking after your 4×4 and making it last longer is by putting in on the bitumen and babying it, but doing that means you will not get the most out of the vehicle. It is only right that it is used to the fullest of its abilities whilst also lasting as long as it possibly can so that the money that you paid for it goes that bit further. To ensure that happens, you need to avoid doing the following.
Not Deflating The Tyres
The tyres on a good 4×4 are not cheap and a full set can set you back a few thousand dollars, so you want to make sure that you look after them correctly. This is why it is important to have them at the correct pressure – especially when you are planning to drive off road. Having a tyre pressure that is too high whilst going over rocks and gravel will cause big chips and dramatically reduce the overall lifespan of the tyres. In addition to this, tyres are important to soaking up and absorbing any vibrations and bumps and so they need to be at the correct pressure to do that.
Not Keeping It Clean
Although being covered in mud and dirt is a visible sign that some fun has been had in your 4×4, it is no good for the paintwork nor for any exposed pieces of metal that are on the vehicle. Because mud contains large amounts of salt and other harmful substances, it can easily damage the panel work on your vehicle if it is not quickly washed away. This is why it is important to get in the habit of cleaning it often, especially after journeys across salt lakes or along beaches.
Although it is easy to keep throwing stuff into the bed of your 4×4, adding a large amount of weight does come with some consequences, including damaging the bed. To keep that well protected, check out this advanced bedliner coating. It is also important that when towing something like a caravan or another vehicle that the capacity of your 4×4 is not exceeded, as this can cause serious problems. Beyond damaging the chais, overloading the vehicle also puts lots of stress on every single part of it, causing both the engine and suspension to work harder than usual.
Accelerating, Braking & Steering Harshly
Although putting your foot down on the gas is fun, the mose acceleration that the vehicle needs to do, the quicker that it will be worn out. By adopting a regular and comprehensive maintenance regime will more than certainly overcome this, but nonetheless, it is a waste of time and money. For this reason, you should try and accelerate gently and do the same for braking and steering – your differentials, transmission, brake pads, and tyres will thank you for doing so.
Driving In Salt Water
Taking your 4×4 for a drive through salty sea water is one of the very worst things that you can do to it., as it is very damaging for the vehicle. Even if you wash it thoroughly afterwards, it is still very difficult to get it all off of the vehicle. You should avoid salt water at all costs if you want your vehicle to last a long time.
Making Poor Quality Modifications
By putting modifications onto your vehicle that are wrong or of poor quality, it can actually make it wear out faster than what it would have. For instance, affixing a cheap metal roof rack to the top of your 4×4 might provide you with a much needed storage option, but when it begins to rust and this goes all over your vehicle, then you will not be happy. To avoid this happening try industrial painting to prevent rust.
Not Servicing It
Regularly servicing your vehicle and doing necessary maintenance is up there with the most important things that you can do for your 4×4 in order to ensure that it lives a long and happy life. This is why you should use the correct air filters and oil, stick to the correct service schedule for the particular model of vehicle that you have, and ensure that the work is done to the highest standard. If you get this wrong at all, it can have the potential to greatly impact on the lifespan of your 4×4.
Driving Too Fast Off Road
Whenever too much speed is used when driving off road, something inevitable always goes wrong. The minimum you can expect by doing this is damaging your vehicle in a way that the results are not instantaneous and you can still keep on driving. By taking it slow and steady you can avoid doing any unnecessary damage to your vehicle.
Wheel Spinning In The Air
It is inevitable that when driving off road that at some point you will find yourself with a wheel / wheels off of the ground. Whilst ever the wheel is in the air spinning there is no issue, however when it touches back down on terra firma, the likelihood of damage being caused to the differential, axle, or CV go up dramatically.
Whilst this is by no means an extensive list of things that you should avoid, there are many other things that you can do to extend the lifespan of your 4×4, including using low range where necessary, towing heavy trailers in the correct gear, and just generally being careful with it.