4WD, SUV or 4X4, it doesn't matter what you call them, the fact is that 4WD's are some of the most popular vehicles on the road today. While many never see a dirt track, it's important to understand that 4WD's need regular maintenance. This is especially true if you are towing or are into serious recreational 4WDing.
If you are a veteran hard core off-roader, you likely know all there is to know about servicing and maintaining a 4WD vehicle. However, if you are new to the off-road driving scene, or are considering starting an off-road driving career, there are some things you need to know about keeping your 4WD in top-notch condition, one of which is that you need to service your vehicle much more regularly than the factory service schedule prescribes. So, let's take a closer look at why you have to service your 4WD vehicle more regularly, what's likely to break in the bush, and what you can do to prevent at least some unexpected breakdowns.
While most modern proper 4WD vehicles have excellent off-road capabilities, there is no such thing as a perfect 4WD, and even the best 4WD’s break down from time to time. Moreover, most hard core off-road driving places extreme demands on even the best 4WD’s.
Factory specified service intervals are designed to keep a 4WD vehicle in good mechanical condition only if it is not frequently subjected to dusty conditions, water crossings, thick sand, deep mud, extreme suspension articulations, and the severe vibrations that come with hard core off-road driving over extended distances.
Thus, since vehicle manufacturers cannot foresee all eventualities or accept responsibility for breakdowns and parts failures that happen when their products are used in extreme conditions, it falls to the owners of 4WD vehicles to take suitable precautions to prevent such failures as far as is practicable. However, since knowing what reasonable precautions to take requires some knowledge of what is likely to break under extreme operating conditions, we have compiled a short list of the most common weaknesses of even the best 4WD vehicles on the market today.
Above are just a few examples what can go wrong on 4WD or indeed all vehicles that are used in extreme conditions for extended periods. Many other things can go wrong even on well-maintained 4WD’s, which means that you may not always be able to prevent all possible disasters all of the time, even if you service your vehicle twice as often as its servicing schedule prescribes.
Nonetheless, you can greatly reduce the chances of suffering unexpected breakdowns and parts failures simply by having your vehicle inspected by a specialist 4WD repairer after each off-road excursion. Doing this will help you to identify incipient problems that you can correct or fix before your next trip, and before these minor issues can develop into major issues that could leave you stranded hundreds of kilometres from any sort of help or assistance.
Many 4WD's on the road in Australia today are fueled by diesel, below are a few things you need to know if you are driving a diesel vehicle.
Is your 4WD due for a service? You can book online today with your local Repco Authorised Service centre here.