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Auto Repairs and Servicing

Hello, my name is Walter. Over the past few months, I have been working on my car. I never used to think much about my car. I would just jump into it and hit the road. Things were fine at first, but soon I realised that things were starting to go wrong. Strange white smoke started to appear from the exhaust. Sometimes when I changed gear, I could hear a strange noise. Foolishly, I ignored all of this until my car broke down. When I got to the auto repair shop the mechanic repaired my car and then gave it a full service. As he did so, I began my auto servicing education.

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Inspection Areas of a 4WD Suspension Assembly When Planning for an Off-Road Trip

by Margie White

When preparing for a trip to the Australian outback, most campers ensure that they have all the necessities. The items include gas, barbecue grill, enough clean drinking water, first aid bag, warm clothing and a tent, among others. Regrettably, very few people spend adequate time preparing their vehicles or place too much focus on peripheral components. However, it is a grave mistake, especially if you don't make regular off-road drives in your 4WD. Therefore, it is critical to conduct a thorough inspection of your truck's suspension before even thinking about other car parts. This article highlights sections of the suspension system to inspect when preparing for off-road camping. 

Coil Springs -- Unlike leaf springs, coil springs are great at handling compression; therefore, they are the best for off-road driving. Proper handling of compressions ensures comfortable off-road driving; hence, the condition of coil springs determines comfort levels. If the coil springs are in poor condition, then they won't compress adequately; consequently, the springs will rock awkwardly and compromise comfort. Therefore, it is vital to inspect the individual coil springs for signs of wear. Look out for sagging or hairline cracks around the coils. If the coil springs are taut and intact, then you're ready for your off-road trip. However, if the springs are showing any signs of wear, then any additional weight or strain risks breaking the coils; hence, immediate service is mandatory. 

Shock Absorbers -- The shock absorbers are another critical part of the suspension system that must be looked at as part of the pre-trip inspection. It is because the shock absorbers control the coil springs and in essence, ride and handling. The dampening abilities of the shock absorbers come from the hydraulic liquid. When the hydraulic fluid heats up to unprecedented levels, or the seal fails, then the shocks will lose their dampening properties in what is referred to as fading. Therefore, replace the hydraulic fluid in each shock absorber and inspect the seals for signs of wear. Notably, your comfort and safety rely on the integrity of both components. 

Bushes -- Something unique about off-road driving is that 4WD truck parts encounter a lot of movement in all manner of directions. Such movement leads to excessive vibrations on standard vehicles. 4WD trucks, however, have suspension bushes that ensure different parts of the suspension assembly move freely, thereby reducing vibrations between contacting components. Since 4WD truck parts are designed to accommodate such excessive movements, suspension bushes tend to wear fast. Therefore, it is imperative to inspect the bushes a couple of days before an off-road trip to allow timely replacement.

To learn more, contact your local 4x4 service and repairs shop. 

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