Have a new 4X4 that’s still under warranty? Congratulations – there’s not much you have to do on your own to keep up with the basic 4×4 maintenance other than quick visual checks (see below). This blog post isn’t for you quite yet, but it’s important to read and bookmark. Put a few miles and years on your 4X4 you’ll want to know the ins and outs of preventative maintenance.
The best place to start is with your vehicle’s owner manual. Who better than the vehicle’s manufacturer to tell you how to care for it? Even if you’re not one to love following the rules, the owner’s manual is a great way to best understand what you can be doing to take care of your 4X4. Plan out a maintenance schedule and even though you may be tempted, don’t wait longer than recommended in between service appointments.
Much of this you can do on your own, starting with visual checks that can be performed as often as every time you drive your 4X4:
- Fluid levels: Oil, wiper and transmission fluids, brake fluid, power steering, coolant – these are all fluids that are crucial for keeping your 4X4 on the road.
- Tires & batteries: Test the air pressure in tires and the tread for wear. Pop the hood and look at the battery connectors; if there is rust or corrosion you need to do some light cleaning.
- Radiator and Hoses: Leaks and cracks can cause serious havoc under the hood, so look closely for those as you perform your visual check.
- Brakes: This is a little more complex of a job and should really be tackled by a mechanic but you will know when your brakes need to be repaired when you drive your 4X4.
These visual checks will alert you to any small issue with your vehicle, and the regular services listed below will also alert mechanics to any need for repairs:
- Oil & filter change: The frequency of this service depends on the make and model of your car and the type of oil you use. You could try this on your own if you’re comfortable with the task, but just make sure to replace the oil filter as well.
- Fuel filter change: Your fuel filter keeps the “guts” of your car clean and you need to change it frequently to maintain the performance of your 4X4. This is generally included in services that mechanics offer.
- Tire rotation: This is another simple service but also one that should be performed by someone who has the skills and experience to do it quickly and safely, but it’s a regular service that goes a long way towards extending the life of your tires and the overall performance of the vehicle.
Don’t overlook the importance of checking any mods you may have on your 4X4 as well. Mechanical issues with mods like winches or suspension, for example, can become a huge safety concern and grow into serious issues later on down the road.
Ultimately, it’s best to talk to an experienced mechanic about the type of preventative 4×4 maintenance schedule you can create for your vehicle. As Missouri’s go-to team for Jeeps and 4X4s, we are constantly studying the latest trends and researching new-product manufacturers because we own the responsibility of providing our clients with the highest quality parts and most dependable service. To maintain that quality reputation, we have filled our shop with state-of-the-art equipment and the best mechanics in the midwest. Contact us today to get started!