Owning a four-wheel drive car (4WD) has many advantages over owning a mere two-wheel drive vehicle. The obvious advantage is that it can take you to places that few other vehicles are able to access, but that doesn’t mean your 4WD doesn’t need just as much care and maintenance as a normal car. Don’t let that rugged, unforgiving attitude fool you.

Here are some considerations you should keep in mind when you feel the need to take your car off-road.

Be gentle whenever you can

Yes, compared to other motor vehicles, a 4x4car seems like an unstoppable force of mechanical power, but just because it lets you conquer the outback, it still needs to be driven with proficiency and skill. Depending on the make and model of your 4WD, brute power will only get you so far, and overworking the car will only cut down on its life expectancy. You should also keep an ear out for any noises that weren’t there during the previous trip, and always stay aware of the car’s temperatures.

Look after the tyres

Your 4WD’s tyres are especially important to monitor, as they will have to handle rough terrain and normal road equally well. Always check for tyre wear, and make sure that your tyre pressures are correct for the environment you find yourself in. For example, the pressure for rough terrain will be different to that required for on road driving.

It’s not invincible

Like we said before, it might feel like your 4WD can take on anything, but there are certain environments that just aren’t good for it. For example, getting it full of mud can wreak havoc on its parts, as can salt water. Both these substances promote the formation of rust, which is something that is bad for all 4×4 cars. Also keep in mind to never overburden the engine too much, especially if you’re driving a manual transmission. Another thing to remember, is that overloading your 4WD is just as bad for it as it would be for any other vehicle, so be sure to familiarise yourself with what your 4WD can and cannot handle.

It needs service with a smile

Like any piece of specialised machinery, your 4WD needs the right kind of servicing and maintenance. If you’re unsure whether your mechanic knows that a 4WD serviceinvolves much more than just an oil change, your best bet would be to go to someone who knows what they’re doing.

Get in touch with the team of professionals at Midas for more information about maintaining the performance of your 4WD.

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