The hot Aussie summer and holiday season is here! You can look forward to long days, swimming, barmy nights and barbecues with friends. Of course, with a 4WD you’ll get to see a whole lot more of our white sandy beaches and iconic bushland, but before you ‘hit the dirt’, there are some things you need to know about your 4WD and the summer season.
#1 Check and Clean your Recovery Gear
Don’t be one of those 4WD enthusiasts who go off road and get stuck somewhere and then realise their recovery gear is inadequate. Check your recovery gear and invest in quality equipment if you need to add to what you have. Ensure your tarp, ropes, winches, shovels, axe and torches are all in good condition. You’ll need safety glasses, heavy duty gloves, a couple of lighters and plenty of spare batteries, matches and fire-starters. Also check that your flares and fire extinguishers are within their use-by date. You can never be too sure when your recovery gear might come in handy so it’s best to be well prepared.
#2 Wash your Underbody Well
The underbody of your 4WD is where vital components responsible for the vehicle’s steering, suspension, braking and other functions are housed. Sand, mud and dirt can trap moisture in the underbody which can speed up the oxidisation process, promoting rust and shortening the lifespan of your vehicle. Always give your 4WD a good underbody wash after driving in these areas to ensure salt, sand and debris are removed. Your vehicle will repay you by providing a good driving experience the next time you want to go off-road.
#3 Check your Differentials
Water crossings are common when driving off-road. When doing water crossings, it’s important to check the differentials for any water contamination after exiting the water, before driving further. Differential breathers will help keep unwanted water out but it’s not guaranteed. If you’re unlucky enough to have water present in your gear oil, the differential oil should be drained and replaced, as driving your vehicle for any distance with water mixed with the gear oil can cause damage.
#4 Adapt Tyres to the Terrain
Tyres are one of the most important components of a 4WD. As you go off-road, a good understanding of tyre pressure is crucial as it affects your safety, traction, track preservation, risk of punctures and wear and tear on your tyres. Different terrains will require you to adapt your tyre pressure to suit so the vehicle will drive comfortably and get you where you want to go. You may need to check your tyres more often in summer as hot surfaces can also impact tyre pressure.
#5 Drive to the Conditions
If you drive faster than conditions allow, you’re far more likely to flip and roll due to your higher centre of gravity. A 4WD doesn’t always help you brake better or give you more stability when turning and braking, so slow down when you’re turning and brake sooner. And instead of bouncing over a rock or ledge, try first gear in low range and idle over them. This will minimise wheel spin and ensure you and your 4WD will get where you need to be.
#6 Monitor Temperatures
Engaging 4WD and driving in extreme heat can add additional load on the drive train. This in turn can increase all the vehicle’s fluid temperatures. Make sure you keep a close eye on the temperatures. Obviously, the less work you make your 4WD do, the cooler it will be.
With longer daylight hours and warmer days, you’ve got a lot of 4WDing to look forward to. At Bus 4×4 Group, we want you to enjoy your 4WD experience to the fullest so make sure you take on these extra precautions and tips for 4WDing in summer – they’ll go a long way in ensuring you will.
Bus 4×4 Group specialise in building comfortable, safe, cost-effective and reliable 4×4 conversion kits to suit Toyota HiAce and Toyota Coaster for our clients in mining, tourism and remote terrains as well as private users.
Visit for more information or talk to one of our specialists today at 1300 287 494.