4-Wheel Drive Preparation Checklist

4-Wheel Drive Preparation Checklist

Your vehicle is your most valuable asset during on and off road trips. Performing checks on your 4WD is an essential safety measure before travelling. You’ll have peace of mind and the confidence that you won’t run into any problems while you’re on the road.

Follow this Essential 4WD Preparation Checklist Before You Drive Away

  1.  General Vehicle Safety – Make sure seat belts, doors, child restraint anchors are functioning correctly. Check placement of fire extinguishers, then first aid kit, reflectors and load binders.
  2.  Fuel – Make sure there is enough fuel for the intended journey.
  3.  Windows – Check windshield, wipers and washers. Check windows and exterior light lenses for cleanliness and visibility.
  4.  Lights – All lights (headlights, stop lights, tail lights, turn signals, hazard lights, clearance and reverse lights) should be operational.
  5.  Filters – Replace filters as necessary. Check for excess dirt and dust. The airbox seal should close and be intact. Check primary and secondary fuel filters.
  6.  Under the Hood – Check fluid levels (brake, power steering, engine oil, clutch and water for washers), belts, starter and auxiliary battery, mount and terminals.
  7.  Under the Body – Check under the vehicle for fluid leaks. Remove any obstructions such as sticks, grass and excessive mud.
  8.  Rear Axles – Check rear axle on left and right-hand sides. Make sure there are no cracks and leaks.
  9.  Tyres and Wheels – Check tyre pressure and examine sidewalls, and treads for damage.
  10.  Brakes – Ensure service, and parking brakes are operational.
  11.  Cargo – All items in the cab should be safe and secured, including overhead consoles and back seats.
  12.  Suspension – Check shocks for damage or leaks. Check springs and spring mounts for damage or cracks and the condition of bushes.
  13.  Internal Accessories – Check any additional gear such as instrument panels, warning lights, gauges, low coolant alarms and rear vision cameras.
  14.  External Accessories – Check bull bar mounts, roof racks, spotlights, sand flag and other mounted accessories.
  15.  Communication Devices – Check the batteries and functionality of all devices such as satellite phone, SPOT tracker, UHF radio and mobile phones. Fully charge all devices and ensure you have a car charger on hand.


If you want total confidence that your vehicle is ready for the off-road journey, opt to have it professionally serviced. Allow 3-4 weeks for your mechanic to service your 4WD and repair anything that isn’t functioning correctly.

Remember, your 4WD is the most important piece of equipment you’ll take on your trip. Ensuring that everything is in tip-top shape is essential!

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