Venturing off the well-beaten path can be an exciting experience—when everything goes as planned. But this isn’t always the case. While impossible to control all variables when off-roading, you can increase the likelihood of success with regular off-road vehicle maintenance. Off-road vehicle maintenance includes steps and best practices that ensure your vehicle can take you there and—most importantly—back home. Let’s explore a few tips you can use to protect your vehicle and adventure in Martinez CA.
Start with the Basics of Vehicle Maintenance
Whether you’re planning off-road or on-road adventures, basic maintenance is non negotiable. Every vehicle requires regular oil changes, regular servicing, coolant checks, brake repair, and other services to ensure it performs at their best. It’s always a good practice to keep at least a quart of oil and a bottle of coolant in your vehicle if something goes awry.
General vehicle maintenance also includes regular inspections to verify components are working, including the wipers, lights, accessories, and air filter. Make sure to add these inspections to your pre-adventure checklist. If you notice strange sounds, see dashboard indicator lights, or experience shaky performance, bring your vehicle to Outlander Motorsports in Martinez, CA for vehicle diagnostics.
Make Sure Your Tires Are Safe and in Good Working Order
Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that contacts the road, which makes them critical. A few tire services you should perform as off-road vehicle maintenance:
- Check the tire pressure of all tires, including the spare.
- Visually inspect your tires for signs of deep cuts or missing lug nuts.
- Check your lug nuts and tighten them as needed.
- Because larger off-road tires have extra weight, check the spare tire carrier for stress signs.
Service Your Drive Chain, Drive Shaft, and Steering
Your vehicle’s drive chain requires frequent lubrication to deliver smooth power to your wheels. Lubricating the drive chain helps prevent accumulated water and dirt from causing rust and corrosion. The drive chain may also require adjustments to ensure it’s at the proper tension.
But don’t forget to have a comprehensive inspection of your drive shaft. During the inspection, the team at Outlander Motorsports will look for any signs of leaks and proper lubricant levels. Your steering column and handlebars will require greasing and tightening at critical areas. And if you have a lift kit or leveling kit, it should be serviced.
Transmission and Differential Check
Off-roading can wreak havoc on the most fundamental parts of your vehicle, including the transmission and differential. Because of this, it’s a good practice to inspect the transmission and differential for signs of leaks or damage. While many off-roaders use heavy-duty covers to protect the differentials, a dented cover can leak. Or if you’ve been in deep water, check your fluid for a milky-white color. A milky white substance means you have water contamination, and the fluid should be changed.
Inspect Your Shocks
Whether you’re on the highway or off, your shocks reduce the vibration and impact felt in the cabin. Before and after you go off-road, you should always check your shocks for any signs of damage. Common types of shock damage include leaks and deep dents. And when you’re inspecting your shocks, don’t forget about your mounts and bushings.
A Deeper Suspension Inspection
In addition to your shocks, check all other suspension components for signs of wear and tear or damage, including the control arms, bump stops, springs, and track bar. Pay special attention to signs of parts rubbing together. As you’re underneath the vehicle checking out the suspension and steering components, wiggle parts around to detect looseness. All parts must be securely connected to withstand the jolts and rigors of off-roading.
Contact Outlander Motorsports in Martinez CA for Off-Road Vehicle Maintenance
At Outlander Motorsports in Martinez, CA, we are California’s premier off-roading modifications and overlanding specialists. In addition to off-road modifications, Outlander Motorsports offers an array of preventative maintenance services and auto repairs. From oil changes to tune-ups to fluid flushes and inspections, our off-road vehicle maintenance services can empower you to go where other vehicles wouldn’t dare.
Contact Outlander Motorsports in Martinez, CA. Call 925-839-4144, visit us at 1424 Shell Ave #D, or complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment.