Now is the perfect time to get outside! With weather conditions improving and school ending it's tempting to pack everything up and head out for an off-road adventure.
We've put together a few key things to get your vehicle ready for a summer of off-road wheeling, camping and adventure.
Fluids and Filters
We ask a lot of our vehicles and summer is no joke! Extreme temperatures are demanding on engines and proper maintenance can go a long way in ensuring reliability. Going off-road can be a dirty endeavor. Your 4x4 can benefit with new air filters which help keep contaminants out of the engine. Speaking of the engine: change the oil and filter and make sure all your fluids are clean and topped up. You might be putting extra stress through your differential as well, pay special attention to the fluid and seals in both the front and read differentials.
The number one cause of vehicle failure in the summer is overheating. Check your cooling system and make sure your coolant levels are ideal. This little step can save you a whole lot of headaches on the trail.
This is a no-brainer. We're all about having fun but safety comes first! I guarantee that outing is going to suck if you can't stop. Freeway, downhill descent, you name it...brakes are key. Make sure calipers are in good working order, and that there is enough material on pads and rotors. If you have any odd noises, get them checked out!
Everything: steering input, power, and braking translates to the ground through these four patches of rubber. Make sure the tread depth is within manufacturer spec and that inflation levels are correct. This is a critical, yet often overlooked part of the vehicle.
We also recommend having the vehicle aligned and the tires balanced if it's been a while.
Batteries don't last forever, and summer takes a toll on them. Most batteries contain fluid that can evaporate with heat. Those low fluid levels can damage the structure of the battery and lead to failure. Typically, batteries last around 5 years. If it's time to replace the battery, you might want to look into AGM style batteries as they can typically withstand the heat better than "wet-cell" type batteries.
If you're changing the battery, it might be a good time to add a battery hold down.
We'd be crazy if we didn't put this one in there. If you're going off-road please make sure you have a way to get unstuck. Nothing ruins the outdoors quite like being stuck there, like, really stuck.
A good recovery kit is essential to your well-being. We'll dissect our personal recovery kits in a later post, but the basics are as follows:
Having a winch is a huge benefit as well. Either way, preparation is key! Keeping your rig equipped and in tip-top shape goes a long way towards keeping the odds in your favor.
This is in no way a 100% complete list, so comment below if you have additional tips to keep your vehicle adventure ready.
Now go out and Find Your Adventure!