No offense to owners of 4 wheel drives whose miles are accumulated on city streets and the occasional trip out of Sydney. But there’s a big difference between serious off road driving and what you guys get up to on your weekends away.
If you plan on taking your 4 wheel drive for a week or two and you’ll be covering some kilometres well it’s good practice to have a 4 wheel drive service before you go. If you are doing some serious off road driving then you need to go and see a 4 x 4 specialist and have him go over your vehicle with a fine comb. If you’re looking for a great 4 wheel drive service centre in Sydney then you should look no further than Southern Cross Automotive Repairs in Mascot. After your car mechanic has done that you’ll want to make sure that all your check lists are accurate and thorough and you should have your car mechanic check them because he won’t be out on there with you should anything go wrong.
What’s the big deal about checklists you might ask? Well ask a pilot, they live and die by their checklists. Their situation is not that dissimilar to being out on a remote track in your 4 wheel drive with nobody in sight for days. Having a checklist won’t guarantee that nothing can go wrong but at least you’ll have had the opportunity to check something that might go wrong – something that without a checklist might well have been forgotten.
And before we give you a bit of a summary about what you need to be checking, remember that it’s bad practice to go on driving into the night. You’ll need plenty of daylight to look over your vehicle at day’s end and perhaps a bit more to carry out any repairs that need doing.
Everyday you need to check the following whether your off road or on road:
- Axles & Differentials
- Belts and hoses
- Body and frame
- Your cooling or heating systems
- Communications (you never when you might need to call)
- Driveline and transmission
Then, when you’re thinking about going off road then there are additional checks you need to make. They consist of :
- Checking the fuel gauge – It sounds elementary but the last thing you need is to run out of fuel. If you are somewhere remote then make sure you calculate how much fuel you will require to get to where you need to be so you can fill up.
- Voltage – make sure your voltage gauge is at the appropriate level.
- Oil pressure and temperature gauges – both of these gauges should be checked for the right pressure.
- Engine RPMs – you need to make sure you’re maintaining a smooth engine idling speed. Any strange noises like misfires should be checked.
- Transfer case – make sure that your transfer case engages properly at 4 wheel high and 4 wheel low and then check that it disengages properly.
- Traction control – the rear locker should engage properly and test the front locker as well.
- Load – ensure that your is properly secured for your sake and for others who you might pass or share the road or trail with. Check any exterior mounted items like your high lift jack and your shovel.
- Walk around – have a final look around and check of your vehicle. Check that caps are screwed back on and there’s nothing lieing around that you’ll regret leaving behind later on.