Off-roading can be a great way to spend a weekend with some like-minded friends. But too few are truly prepared for the wear and tear that comes with taking a vehicle off road. Maintaining your vehicle is just as important after you return to civilization and high traffic, paved roads. To make sure you are prepared for the trail and the blacktop, here are some of the things you should be considering in regards to auto maintenance in Lansing, MI for off-roading vehicles:
- Tire pressure: If you are taking your truck or 4×4 bouldering, you may have dumped some air from your tires for better grip. Unfortunately, once you get back on the general road, low tire pressure won’t do you much good when it comes to responsive handling on dry, wet or icy surfaces. Be sure to not only check your tire pressure once exiting your off-road trail, but also to check it before you get back to your regular daily driving routine.
- Undercarriage damage: It doesn’t take much to do some serious damage to the vital components under your vehicle. Especially when driving over uneven terrain, watch for the signs of a punctured oil pan or damage to other car parts like your exhaust pipe. While some vehicles are specially designed for off-roading adventures, others are not. Your vehicle may need extra attention to ensure it can handle the rigors of off-roading.
- Shocks and struts: Old or damaged shocks and struts can make for an uncomfortable ride both on and off the trail. If shocks need to be replaced, you may notice signs such as difficult steering, unusual noises, fluid leaks or excessive bounce. An unfortunate part of taking to the bumpy trail is the hard toll it takes on vital parts of your vehicle.
- Axles: Nothing ends a truck party like a broken axle. The stress of off-roading can and often does damage axles. The telltale sign that you need to have this essential part of your vehicle examined is a loud and sudden clunking or sputtering. Only a knowledgeable mechanic can tell for sure whether an axle is broken. If it is damaged, it is not safe to drive anywhere.
- Engine and transmission: Transmissions, fluids and filters get put through the wringer as you climb your off-roader up and over rough terrain you encounter on the trail. From the constant downshifting to climb obstacles to driving through clouds of dust that clog filters, checking the main systems of your vehicle is important to keep it running smoothly.
Take your 4×4 out for a rough and tumble weekend for a fun time, and then take it in for a checkup with your local auto mechanic. If your off-roading vehicle requires maintenance after a rocky adventure, or if you are in need of general auto maintenance in Lansing, MI, pay a visit to the certified technicians at PFS Auto Repair. We offer a wide range of automobile services and have all the necessary equipment to get the job done right.