Off-Road Truck Maintenance Basics

Off-roading takes its toll on your vehicle even if you are using upgraded aftermarket components from a Houston truck accessories provider. A large part of the fun of taking a truck or jeep off-road is taking your vehicle to the max of its abilities. Like any other machine, your vehicle can only withstand so much fun. You will have fewer issues with breakdowns or poor performance if you use beefed-up components and accessories and have Houston bed covers to protect your stored truck bed belongings and supplies.

Good Habits Will Preserve Your Vehicle

Do your truck a favor. The best habit you can get into after you have taken it for an off-road romp is to thoroughly clean and inspect your off-road vehicle. The parts will wear down more quickly if your vehicle has been driven hard and parked when it is caked with mud, dirt or water. Preventive off-road truck maintenance lessens the likelihood that you will experience any breakdowns while you are out on the trail or driving on the highway. It is important to become familiar with your vehicle so you will be able to address any problems that may occur when you are off-roading.

Here is a general maintenance checklist all off-roaders should follow to keep their vehicles in top shape.

  • First, you need to thoroughly clean off the vehicle, including the engine compartment and the undercarriage. Keeping your machine clean protects it and helps you notice any worn out components that can be replaced at a Houston truck parts shop. Washing will also prevent accidentally bringing home invasive plants, such as poison ivy, that might be trapped beneath the undercarriage. It is also easier to examine your vehicle when you can clearly view the components.
  • After you clean the engine compartment, check for loose or damaged hoses, belts and clamps, and replace them as necessary. Look at the fluid levels, and refill those that need it.
  • Check the tire pressure when you get home and again the next day. The pressure rises when the tires are heated through use. The pressure will decrease when the temperature lowers. Be sure to check your spare tire also. It will not be very helpful if you need it, and it is flat. Examine the tires for cuts or missing lug nuts. Replace any lugs you lost on the trail, and tighten any that became loose. If you are using over-sized tires, check the spare tire rack for stress or cracks along the weld lines.
  • Examine the transmission and differential for leaks or damage, especially if you have heavy-duty covers. Those covers can leak. If you were in high water, examine the fluid. Change it if it has become milky-white from water contamination.
  • Make sure your shocks do not have leaks or dents. Also check the mounts and bushings.
  • Inspect your brake drums if you were in deep mud, sand or water. If you have lifted your truck for more clearance, check the brake lines as well. They can get stressed if they are over-extended, which can make you lose braking power.
  • Look for signs of wear such as cracks or bends on your ball joints, knuckles and stub shafts. Tug on every wheel when the vehicle is jacked up to see if they are loose or wobbly.
  • Always check the control arms, springs, bump stops and track bar for damage or wear. Crawl beneath the vehicle, and look for loose nuts or bolts. Make sure the steering box is mounted securely.
  • Be certain that your radiator is not leaking or clogged. Clean or replace your air filter as necessary.

Regular maintenance will keep your off-road vehicle running its best, which will increase the fun and adventure. You will reduce the number of problems you have and save money by avoiding costly repairs. 

  • Posted on   02/25/16 at 07:16:14 PM   by biz  | 
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