Four-wheel drives, or simply 4WD, are popular vehicles for those that love the outdoors. Indeed, 4WD vehicles are the vehicles of choice of those traveling in forests, deserts, trails and other terrain that is not a bitumen road.
If you are planning to hit the road using your 4WD vehicle anytime soon, it is imperative that you do a vehicle inspection to ensure you and your passengers' safety. There are two basic types of inspection that you can do: pre-trip inspection and post-trip inspection.
Pre-trip inspection. This type of inspection should be performed minutes before you hit the road. The purpose of this type of inspection is to ensure that all systems are equipments are functioning properly to ensure that you will not encounter mechanical problems while on the road.
Here are some things you need to do when conducting a pre-trip inspection of your 4WD vehicle:
- Check if windshield wipers, lights, flashers, warning lights, horn, and CB radio are working properly
- Test whether emergency brakes and brake pedal are properly functioning
- Double check the contents of your first aid kit and road toobox
- Make sure that the fire extinguisher is within easy access
- Check if there are adequate seatbelts if they are in proper condition
- Inspect whether the light lenses, glass and mirrors are clean for
- Test whether the steering is aligned
- Check tires for correct inflation, signs of excessive wear and tear, cuts or breaks
- Make sure that your differentials, gear boxes, fuel system, engine, power steering and radiator are not leaking
- Inspect whether the license plate and winch cables are secure
- See to it that that you have adequate levels of engine oil, fuel, coolant, and windshield fluid
- Look for signs of corroded wiring in the battery
- Check for cracks in belts, hoses, and the body of the vehicle.
Post-trip inspection. This type of inspection must be done when the trip has ended, preferably within 24 hours. If you are travelling for several days at a time, make sure that you conduct this type of inspection at the end of each day, preferably before you rest for the night. This is to ensure that your 4WD vehicle can withstand another day of rigorous traveling in rough terrain.
At the end of each day of your trip, inspect your vehicle for structural integrity, security, wear and tear type items. Here are some things you should look for:
- Leaks in the brake, cooling system, engine, and other possible fluid leaks
- Damage to the tires, undercarriage, tubing and wiring
- Cracks in the body or frame of the vehicle
- Damage to headlights, brake lights, and auxiliary lights, engine oil, fuel, coolant, and windshield fluid
To reiterate, these are just some items that you should inspect whenever you use your 4WD vehicle. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Make your own checklist of things to check as you conduct your inspection of your 4WD vehicle.