Adventure season is coming up on us quick! It is time to get your rig ready for all the trials and tribulations you are going to put it through, if we are being honest none of us are all that nice to our off-road rigs. But that is why we build them to be tough!
Spring cleaning overland style is much more enticing than cleaning out the garage, or that one closet downstairs. So, here is a checklist I go through when it is time to get the rigs ready:
- Wash your rig, and I mean actually wash it, not just hose it off. Under the hood – lets you get up close and personal to see if anything is broken or needs attention, it is a good once over to do to see anything detrimental.
- Change or top off fluids – do you even remember your last oil change? If no, change it! If anything is low, top it off and get your rig ready to rock.
- Check wires for frays or any damage. You don’t want any electrical problems on your journey.
- Check for loose or damaged hoses, belts and clamps, and replace them as necessary. If you have a loose belt, swap it out. They are inexpensive and easier to change at home than on a trail.
- Check battery cables and test your battery make sure it isn’t too old and that connections are secure.
- Grease everything – if it has a grease point, grease it.
- Check suspension - Make sure your shocks do not have leaks or dents. Also check the mounts and bushings.
- Check axles – make sure you have enough fluid and that your seals are good!
- Wheels and tires – if you haven’t rotated your tires in a while or had an alignment it would be a good thing to go do. Make sure to check your spare! (and your plug kit)
- Inspect your brake drums; especially if you were in deep mud, sand or water. Check pads and rotors to make sure they have enough life left. If you have lifted your rig 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. 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.
- Check all your recovery gear, make sure it is all there and functioning properly.
Take it for a small test drive over some harder terrain, make sure it performs properly.
You can save this list and print it out to check it off!