If you're planning to take your 4WD off-roading through a desert, you should schedule some maintenance before you start your journey. Wondering what you should get serviced? While a basic tune up can work, these are the things you should have the tech look at in particular:
1. Cooling System
Your cooling system is going to go through a lot in the desert, and to ensure it's up to the task, have a 4WD expert look it over. Your gauges should be functioning correctly, your radiator and fan clutch should be doing their jobs, and all your fluids should be topped off. If you see any fluid under your vehicle in the days or weeks leading up to your desert drive, check it for sweetness. If it's sweet, it's probably coolant, and that needs to be addressed so your engine doesn't overheat.
2. Air Filters
The soft sand of the desert is everywhere, especially when it's dry and dusty. As a result, your vehicle may end up filtering a lot of sand. So that nothing gets clogged, you want to ensure your air filter is clean, new and ready to tackle sand.
Make sure your battery is nice and strong. The heat of the desert can take an extra toll on your battery, and if it stops working in a remote location, you may have a hard time finding someone to help. Replace your battery if it's knackered, and remember to bring lots of water and survival gear just in case anything goes wrong.
4. Tyre Pressure
In addition to checking your tyres for roadworthiness, your 4WD drive mechanic should also show you how to measure and lower the pressure of your tyres. When driving across sand, it can be helpful to have lower tyre pressure than normal. It spreads out the weight of the vehicle and prevents the tyres from digging into the sand too much. Ask the 4WD repair person which battery-powered pump they recommend. So that you can easily re-inflate your tyres after deflating them, you need a pump, and a hand pump may not be strong enough. Also, buy an extra full-size tyre in case of a flat.
Finally, have the 4WD drive repair shop check all the levels of oil in your vehicle. You need ample oil so that your engine is lubricated and ready to plow through sandy areas. If you have any leaks that you cannot afford to address, make sure to stock up on whatever oils you need so that you can refill on the road.