After a day off road its good practice to do some maintenance checks on the vehicle. Off road driving puts stress on components and we all push our vehicles at times and things do happen.
Give your vehicle a good wash. Leaving mud stuck to the underside can trap damp against your body and chassis, prematurely aging the vehicle.
Pay particular attention to wheels as mud stuck there could cause an imbalance of your wheels resulting in wheel wobble through the steering. Also brakes and callipers need a good rinse out. If you’ve been in sandy, gritty areas and not washed the brakes out could result in a grinding paste wearing pads and discs out earlier than needed.
I always like to grease my prop shaft and ujs after venturing off road as the new grease will push and dirt and damp out prolonging the life of the components. (Blue lithium grease is what I use as it protects bearings against corrosion and provides effective wear protection for ball joints, drive shafts and other parts subjected to high pressure and shock loading. It also won’t melt in the heat or wash out)
Check your tyres for cuts and slits in both outside edge and inside edge. Rocks and flint can easily nick the rubber. Better to check now than risk a blow out.
Check you axle oil and diff casing. If you’ve been in water the hot oil in your axles could have been shocked by the cooler temperature of the water causing a sucking action. If the oil looks milky change it straight away.
Check your air filter. Raised air intakes (also known as snorkels) help breath cleaner air from higher up. If the vehicles been off road it may have a dirty filter. Changing for a clean on will give the vehicle its performance and correct MPG again.
Engine oil check should always be done before the vehicle was started before the trip but a check for colour won’t harm after but the level won’t be correct until it’s cooled. If its milky you’ve got water in the engine!
Recovery equipment also needs maintenance after use. Wash and dry ropes and straps after use saves grit and dirt drying in and stops damp rotting and impeding the safe working load. It’s also a good idea to inspect your recovery equipment now as well as before you go, if any damage has occurred it provides time to order replacements.