4×4 Maintenance Basics
How to keep your car and 4×4 in good running condition
We invest a great deal of money into our vehicles, and apart from a house, a car might be the most expensive item that we will buy. Keeping your vehicle running smoothly can save you money in repairs and maintenance, and will be safer for you and your family.
For the basics, here are several things you can do to keep your car in good running condition.
- Perform Systematic Daily and Monthly Maintenance: Maintain your car or 4×4 on a day to day basis. Clean your car or 4×4 on a regular basis, observe anything out of the ordinary and get it fixed. Please note that if you wait on a small problem, it may become a big malfunction later. It could also result in chaining of problems if you ignore too many small problems. Do a monthly auto maintenance which involves checking fluids (engine oil, brake fluid, radiator fluid or coolant, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid, hydraulic clutch fluid, windshield washer fluid), check hoses (radiator hoses or other hoses) and check belts (fan, water pump, alternator, air conditioner, power steering pump and smog pump belts). Also check your engine for leaks
- Regularly Schedule Maintenance: Follow your 4×4’s maintenance schedule. If you are in a country with bad fuel and you drive in sandy conditions than do maintenance in half the advised time. Maintenance includes changing of fluids (transmission, power steering, coolant, brake etc.), changing of air, fuel and oil filters, inspection and replacement of belts and hoses, rotation of tires, thorough cleaning of parts not normally seen and checked by you and a more detailed inspection for parts about to malfunction. A good mechanic will look for parts that are bent or broken, and check for any possible cracks, obvious wear and signs of lack of lubrication
- Get familiar with your vehicle: Links to detailed information on your make and model can be followed on our website are at our RHD vehicles page or LHD vehicles page. Your car’s manual is a good place to get familiar with your vehicle and learn as to how it should be fixed. If your car or 4×4 did not come with a manual, you can probably find it from
- Since vehicles imported in from Thailand don’t carry warranty, find a good mechanic before you need it. The recommendation from your friends, peers and family is best. Finding one before you are forced into finding a mechanic, can save you a bundle later on. Our recommendation is to find an independent mechanic with good credentials and word-of-mouth references. Many dealership repair centers and franchise car repair places have bad reputation for charging too much for services and worse for forcing unneeded services or charging you for unnecessary repairs. Don’t be discouraged if an independent mechanic is too busy to service you right away, he may be busy for a reason
- Accelerate smoothly from a stop, and conversely, brake smoothly as well. Punching the accelerator too hard wastes gas and puts stress on the engine. Braking too hard can cause the life of your brake pads to decrease significantly, frequently by a factor of 2 x or more
- Keep your exterior and interior clean. Vacuum the interior and clean the cloth or leather seats and the carpets on a regular basis. Doing this regularly will keep the dirt and grime from getting “ground in”. Wash your car regularly, and clay and wax your car, 2 to 3 times a year to keep your paint protected. Read our related articles on auto detailing and car’s interior cleaning
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