Who else wants to know what should be included in your 4WD Minor Service

Car venturing off-road on an unpaved path

A 4WD minor service is generally quicker than a major service. Although the types of services generally varies depending on the vehicle’s make and model, it typically takes around 90 minutes to 2 hours to finish. In this article, we will walk you through the most common services that are considered as part of a minor service.

Replacement Of Engine Oil And Oil Filter

Most car manufacturers recommend that you replace your oil filter every oil change. Others suggest that you change your oil filter after two consecutive oil change. Ideally, you should change your oil every 5,000 kms to 10,000 kms, or every 3 to 6 months, whichever comes first. It’s best to check your manual for the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

Car engine oil: Essential lubricant for smooth operation

Check & Top-up of All Fluids

There are different types of fluids that play an important role to make your 4WD work properly. A minor service often includes checking that these fluids are still sufficient, and filling them up as needed. Below are five important vehicle fluids that are often checked and topped up during a minor service:

  • Coolant – regulates the vehicle’s temperature which is usually located in a clear overflow plastic container near the radiator. Your 4WD’s coolant must not be below the minimum line.
  • Transmission Fluid – lubricates, cools, and cleanses the inner part of the transmission while maintaining the necessary pressure inside. Transmission fluid is required for the transmission to function properly. Usually, a dipstick is used to check if your vehicle has enough transmission fluid, and fill it when needed.
  • Power Steering – a hydraulic fluid where the power steering of the vehicle gets its power. It’s located in a small tank near the firewall at the base of the windshield.
  • Windscreen Washer Fluid – used for cleaning the windshield with the windshield wiper. Ideally, your windscreen washer fluid should always be kept full.
  • Engine Oil – used in internal combustion engine that powers the vehicle. You can use a dipstick to check if your vehicle is low on. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual on how much oil you should maintain.
Technician changing a flat tire on a car

Check & Top-up of Tyre Pressure & Spare

Check your tyre pressure, including the spare, regularly to ensure optimum performance of your 4WD. Typically, it’s recommended that you check your tyre pressure before going for a log drive, once every 2 to 4 months, or as often as needed. Use an accurate tyre pressure gauge to check the tyre pressure, and adjust the pressure as needed according to the recommended pressure indicated in the user manual. The recommended tyre pressure for driving on sand is typically between 10 psi to 16 psi.

Check & Cleaning of Air Filters & Cabin Air Filter

Air filters, including cabin air filter, should be cleaned every 1 to 3 months. Replacement of air filters should be done every 2 to 3 years, or after 25,000 km to 50,000 km, depending on driving conditions.

Check Fuel Filter & Fuel Lines

The fuel filter removes substances that prevent your car from running smoothly. A clogged filter reduces the vehicle’s performance while increasing your fuel consumption. A failing fuel line can cause strong fuel odor, engine misfires, and decreasing power. Most manufacturers usually recommend fuel filters and lines should be replaced every 2 years or after 35,000 km to 40,000km, but this varies depending on the make and model.

Car brake pad: Essential for safe stopping

Check Brakes & Clutch Systems

The brake and clutch systems are important to your vehicle’s safety, so they need to be maintained regularly, at least every 10,000 km to 15,000 km, or once to twice a year. This ensures that the power of brakes and clutch systems are in best condition, the fluid level are sufficient, the pressure is just right, and all components works properly. A failing clutch system will cause difficulty in changing gears. A failing brake system produces grinding noises, burning smell, too hard or too soft brake pedal, and vehicle pulling to one side when braking.

Clear Service Warning Lights

A service warning light acts as a reminder when your vehicle is due for a maintenance check. You can clear and reset the service warning lights every time you had your maintenance done. A minor service will do this for you too.

Adjust Handbrake Where Applicable

A handbrake, also called parking brake or emergency brake,  is a safety feature that keeps the vehicle stationary. It also performs an emergency brake when necessary. Handbrakes need to be adjusted when they become too stiff or too loose, which is usually done during a 4WD minor service.

Car mechanic troubleshooting a car problem inside the vehicle with the aid of tools in a professional repair shop.

Check Steering & Suspension

Steering and suspension works to keep your wheels firmly intact with the ground and it prevents the vehicle from veering to one side of the road. A failing steering and suspension can result to an unusual shaking of the vehicle or a sudden change of direction. It’s recommended that you have them checked and maintained regularly, generally every 10,000 kms.

Lube All Doors

Rust can occur on car door hinges and latches. You need to ensure that they are regularly lubed using a white lithium grease, motor oil, or silicone spray. This is also included with a minor service.

Check Automotive Battery & Charging

Your 4WD’s battery need to be regular checked to ensure that your vehicle is powered efficiently. Fully charged automotive batteries are normally at 12.6 volts and up. Checking of the batteries, including its charging abilities, is typically included is a minor service.

Car mechanic inspecting the engine of a vehicle in a workshop

Check All Electrics

Checking all your vehicle’s electrics is important to make sure that everything is secured and works properly. Some of the most common issues with the electrical system include bad starter, damaged alternator, loose wires, short circuits, low battery charge, and missing or blown fuse. A minor service often includes checking of all electrics to make sure your vehicle is safe and efficient.

Safety Check & Full Report

A safety check and full report covers the major safety issues and components of the vehicle which are usually subject to legal compliance. This includes interior and exterior assessments of components such as tyres, steering, suspension, exhaust, vehicle battery, brakes, clutch, engine, and fluid levels. You will receive a full report on your vehicle’s condition after the safety check.

If you need further advice, or for a certified technician to assess your 4×4 minor service, call us on (07) 3269 3158 or reach out to us. We are located 113 Connaught Street Sandgate QLD 4017. Feel free to visit us at any time.