It doesn’t matter if your 4×4 has been holed up in the garage all weekend or you’ve been out enjoying the frosty trails – spring weather is finally here! Your vehicle is an investment, and it’s essential to keep it well-maintained after every season of driving so you’re not stuck on the side of the trail when you go offroading this year. Check out the spring maintenance tips for your 4X4 below!
Start With a Thorough Cleaning
Whether you’re a DIY car washer or have it detailed by a professional, you can’t skip this step before going back on the road. Snow and freezing winter weather means salt, and that means residue that can damage the underside and body of your 4×4. Ensure your exterior cleaning job is comprehensive enough to get rid of that residue; it can eat away at the paint and eventually lead to corrosion.
Don’t miss washing the undercarriage with a high-pressure hose. If your fenders are messy and gunked up, consider upgrading to a set of off-road fenders for your 4×4. When you’re done cleaning off the mess, head to your headlights. Well-lit trails and roadways are vital to staying safe, and if you can’t get your headlights clean to allow the light entirely through, it’s time for a replacement or even an upgrade to LED lights.
Time for a Check-Up
Now that your 4×4 vehicle is thoroughly clean, it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of maintenance.
Undercarriage: Check for loose parts, hoses, damage, frayed wires, or anything else that could lead to severe problems when you’re out on an adventure. Tighten any bolts on gear, and make notes for when you bring in your Jeep for any modifications or repairs.
Exterior parts: When you’re offroading in the mud, rain, or heavy wind, make sure you’re protected from the elements. Replace your wiper blades, check plastic windows, and replace broken or old parts. It will help keep you safer and less exposed and could prevent serious problems on the trail.
Battery: Check that your 4×4’s battery is fully charged, properly attached, and free of corrosion. Ensure that your jumper cables work, and even think about picking up an extra battery to have on hand when you’re on the road.
Belts and hoses: These are essential parts of keeping your 4×4 running smoothly. When belts and hoses aren’t working correctly or worn down, you’re at risk of breaking down or even ruining your engine altogether.
Tires and brakes: Between climbing and stopping, traction is a big deal when it comes to keeping your 4×4 safe and in top shape. Tires should have plenty of tread, and brake pads need to be thick enough to help you stop safely.
Oil and other fluids: This is a great time to change your oil, regardless of what your odometer says. Make sure you also replace the oil filter to keep things running well through spring. Top off wiper fluid, coolant, power steering, and brake fluids while you’re at it.
Talk to Us About Mods
Spring is a great time to make an appointment to upgrade your 4×4 with custom modifications to enjoy sunny spring and summer offroading.
- Backup cameras are a great feature for new drivers or those new to driving a 4×4, especially if it’s modified to be larger, longer, or taller than the factory model. They allow drivers to see what’s behind them and come in handy during inclement weather. Wiring can be tricky for this modification, so experienced professionals should do it.
- Factory latches are generally made out of stretchy rubber, and while it’s unlikely that your hood will fly off on the highway, the movement at faster speeds may seem problematic. Upgrading your latches will give you peace of mind and even more security to protect any expensive aftermarket upgrades under the hood.
- If you only choose one modification, let it be a recovery winch — especially if you’re interested in using your 4×4 for offroading. Winches are the only way to get your vehicle out of a ditch or other tricky spots. Having one can be particularly handy if you’re offroading with friends and they get stuck.
- Think beyond size and width when choosing something different from the factory tires that came with your 4×4. Unless you plan to use your vehicle strictly for road driving, it’s wise to select a set of all-terrain (A/T) tires that adapt traction to your driving surface.
Are you ready to take on spring in your 4×4? Follow the checklist of maintenance tips above and get ready to hit the road! We’re your team if you need a fresh set of eyes or looking for modifications. Get in touch with our team today!