10 Winter Maintenance Items for your Jeep or Trail Ride
It’s cold out and you wish spring would get here so you can take the top off the Jeep JK Wrangler and head out to the trails. There are plenty of things to do to your off road vehicle during the winter season and plenty of custom gear and upgrades available for your ride. The following is a list of (10) items you should check and service this winter before heading to the trail in the spring.
1) Fluids and Leaks
Check all fluid levels and look for signs of leaks. Get under the Jeep or your favorite ride and check the engine, transmission, transfer case and differentials. Check your axle seals and pinion seals. If you see any visible oil seepage or damp areas, Trace down the leak and have the part serviced. A leaking seal can quickly end a ride when a bearing fails or a moving part seizes up.
2) Wheels and Tires
Check your Jeep wheels or rims and tires. Look for deep cuts, bent rim edges and debris between the rim and tire. Check the inside wheel lips as well. If you find debris stuck that you can’t pull out, the tires will need to be dismounted, cleaned, remounted and balanced. This relatively easy task can prevent you from having a flat tire on the trail.
3) Driveshaft and U Joints
Check your driveshaft for excessive play or leaking seals at the u joints. U joints are fairly inexpensive to replace when they are worn. They become quite expensive when they fail and damage the drive shaft yokes. If the joints are tight and sealed, make sure you put grease in any fittings you find on the drive shaft yoke or u joints. A little maintenance goes a long way in preventing failure of parts.
Check and tighten your suspension mounting points, skid plate bolts, shock bolts and any other low hanging fasteners under the vehicle. Fasteners can come loose over time and low hanging points can be damaged off road. A loose bolt on the trail or street can create a very dangerous situation!
5) Battery and Battery Cables
Check your battery and battery cables for loose connections and corrosion. Winches create drain on the battery, cause heat at the cables and demand higher charging requirements. All of these things contribute to loose clamps and corrosion but can be avoided with a little bit of quick maintenance.
Check your brakes for wear. Dirt, water and mud wear out brakes. The oversize tires we put on our vehicles require more braking. The brakes wear faster than on a street driven vehicle. It’s an easy check and could save you from a dangerous incident off road if your brakes were to fail due to wear and tear. This is also a good time to check the emergency brake and adjust the linkage.
7) Recovery Gear
Check the condition of your recovery gear. Look for abrasions on straps and ropes. If they are worn, replace them. Clean your straps. Lubricate your d-rings. These are items you may need in a hurry during an off road recovery. A damaged, seized or broken item could spell disaster during a recovery.
Check the condition of and inventory the tools you carry. Now is the time to replace the broken screw driver or retrieve the missing wrench you loaned to a fellow trail rider.
9) Spare Parts
Check and inventory the spare parts and fluids you carry. Replace anything missing.
10) New Friends and Places
Attend a 4X4 club meeting, AEV Event or one of our Nuthouse Industries events! You might meet some new friends or find new places to go off road with your newly upgraded JK Wrangler, TJ Wrangler or Ram Truck.
If you have questions or are unsure of how to do any of these items and would rather have our team of professionals perform them, call Nuthouse Industries at 513-899-2342. We would be happy to provide you with a quote for these services.