5 Things to Check In Your Vehicle After Off-Roading

car engine check


There’s a lot to love about off-roading: the thrill of adventure, the rush of conquering challenging terrains, as well as the glorious outdoors. However, the excitement of the drive can be unfriendly to your 4WD. If you don’t regularly inspect your vehicle after off-roading, it may suddenly give up on you and put a stop on your outdoor escapades.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of performing a thorough inspection of your off-roading rig immediately after you get home. This way, you can make adjustments, repairs, or replacements as needed. If you need to buy new parts, make sure to get them from a trusted auto parts supplier so you can be confident about their quality.

Here are the parts you should check after you take your vehicle out for a spin on rough-and-tumble terrains:

The Engine

The engine is what makes your vehicle run, so obviously, you need to make sure that it’s in good shape for your future off-roading exploits. However, your entire vehicle may be incredibly dirty after a romp in the dust, mud, and water. As such, the first order of business is to get your vehicle clean.

After a good washing, it will be easier for you to inspect the engine. Watch out for potential leaks or clogs, as well as loose parts and other broken components. You should also pay careful attention to the underchassis. It’s one of the most exposed, most banged-up parts when off-roading, so perform a thorough check and fix any issues before heading out again.

The Tyres

If you’re an off-roading enthusiast, you’ve probably already kitted your vehicle with all-terrain tyres that can handle any road type. That said, it doesn’t mean that these types of tyres are indestructible. If you don’t take care of them, they’ll give up on you sooner rather than later.

Just like the engine and the underchassis, it’s best to wash your vehicle’s tyres first before inspecting them for damage. Look for any cuts or punctures, as well as any pieces of debris that may be stuck in the treads.

Another important thing to do is to restore the tyre pressure to the recommended PSI. It’s common practice to deflate tyres a little when you go off-roading to give them more grip, but underinflated tyres are no good for city driving. Before you go off-roading, try setting an alarm or reminder on your smartphone so you can re-inflate your tyres back to “normal” pressure.

Finally, check your tyres for any loose parts, such as lug nuts and beadlocks. These are easy enough to tighten on your own, so get to it ASAP if you find they need it. If the wheels themselves are loose, check the axles. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, bring your vehicle to your trusted mechanic.

The Brakes

After rolling your 4WD over the roughest, most challenging terrains, you better pay extra attention to your brake lines. They can get snagged on bushes or cut by sharp rocks, resulting in a brake fluid leak. The brake lines can also snap due to overuse, especially since you may be braking more often and more powerfully when off-roading.

These situations are certainly less than ideal, so you should definitely make sure that your brake lines are in good condition after off-roading. Of course, check the brake pads and rotors, as well, to see if they’re damaged in any way.

The Suspension

Your vehicle literally bounces and jumps around on uneven off-road terrains, which gives the suspension system quite the workout. The shock absorbers, in particular, can get warped or dented. In worst cases, they may even leak.

Always check your off-roading vehicle’s shocks after a jaunt on the trails, especially after rigorous activities like rock racing, rock crawling, and mudding. While you’re at it, make sure to inspect other parts of the suspension, too. These include:

  • control arms

  • track bar

  • bump stops

  • springs

  • tie-rods

  • bearings and bushings

It’s also a good idea to give the steering system a thorough check along with the suspension. This is because the steering and handling quality of any vehicle is greatly affected by the condition of the suspension.

The Bushings

Last, but certainly not least, make sure to check the bushings of your vehicle. These small but important parts prevent friction between metal parts, minimising noise, vibrations, and harshness. You can find bushings in the suspension and steering systems.

What makes bushings especially vulnerable to damage is not their size, but also their material. Usually made from rubber, bushings can decline in quality due to extreme heat and friction. If you can, replace your vehicle’s current bushings with longer-lasting ones made from polyurethane.

When your 4WD is in its best shape, your off-roading adventures become safer and much more enjoyable. Make sure to check these above-mentioned parts after every trip for a great off-roading experience each and every time.

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