In Northern Virginia, you’ll find a lot of off-roading enthusiasts. Our automotive shop team at Casey’s Automotive in Sterling, VA, is well-known to be some off-roading fools. The thing is, while these vehicles are designed for a day spent heavily trekking through the mud, our Jeeps and trucks can also sustain damage.
Sometimes it can be due to nature, other times it can be improper use. No matter what the cause, it’s essential to keep your eyes and ears open to your ride so you can get ahead of the damage. Let’s jump into the most common problems you might face after a day of off-roading.
Typically, on the vehicles we use for off-roading, we have some of the strongest and toughest purpose-built tires. But, tires are not impervious to punctures from sharp rocks or other pointy and even blunt objects. Given the fact that those are the sorts of things usually found on an off-road track, it is very possible to have one damage your tire(s).
A vehicle that has a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) will announce a leak or a loss of tire pressure. However, if you don’t have the computer warning system, it would be prudent to check the tires for physical damage as well as use a tire gauge to check the pressure.
The funny thing about off-roading enthusiasts is that we tend to expect and accept body damage. After all, it’s hard to go barreling through rock covered paths, over hills, and through woods, without sustaining some scratches and scrapes. Even still, consider having those dings and dents touched up. When the metal is left exposed, the vehicle is susceptible to rust build-up.
In the Northern Virginia area, our automobiles sustain a lot of bumps and potholes that already cause our wheels to misalign. Now think about those bumps when you’re enjoying a day of off-roading. With the myriad stones, sticks, craters, logs, and such that our 4×4 vehicle traverses, it isn’t difficult to knock the wheels out of alignment.
The best sign of a wheel misalignment is when your vehicle pulls to one side while driving, causing you to have to over adjust your steering wheel. You’ll also want to look and listen for wheel wobble or vibration.
Damage To The Undercarriage
A lot of off-roaders have skid plates installed to prevent damage to the underside of their ride. However, this is not true of every vehicle, so many will sustain undercarriage damage. Sometimes, even those with skid plates too will be damaged.
After having spent the day off-road, take some time to examine the undercarriage. You’ll especially want to listen for anything that may have come loose, causing a rattling sound. Make sure to check it after each trip for punctures or dents. You can also have it checked by the custom build professionals at Casey’s Automotive in Sterling, VA.
Transmissions are especially susceptible to abuse when off-roading. When making a lot of shifts at high RPMs, a transmission falls victim to a lot of wear and tear. There are a few things you should look out for while off-roading and after you leave the trail. If you notice any of the following, you must bring your Jeep or truck into a Sterling automotive shop you can trust.
- Warning lights on the dashboard
- Slipping gears
- Rough clunks and other noises
- A delay in transmission shifts
- Oily leaks under the vehicle
- A burning smell or a sweet scent.
At Casey’s Automotive, in Sterling, VA, we specialize in custom builds and upgrades. After you have hit the trails, contact us to ensure your Jeep or truck is ready for the next trail ride.