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Maintenance tips every driver should follow

All drivers know they have to follow certain steps to make sure their auto maintenance is on target. Despite the general knowledge many fans of off-roading have regarding vehicle upkeep, things can change when truck or Jeep modifications enter the mix.

Whether you're an auto expert or beginner, there are a few areas of car maintenance you need to focus on no matter where you are driving. Keeping these matters in mind allows you to care for a vehicle and yourself, and it can certainly pay off in the long run. 

Pay attention before off-roading
Sometimes just reaching your off-road driving destination can be half the battle. When you're operating a truck or SUV that's loaded with modifications that make it bigger, stronger and more powerful, you become an immense presence on the roads. While this may be exactly what you want for off-roading, it can cause problems when you're on the pavement driving to reach a destination.

Maybe you have larger or more significant blind spots thanks to a few alterations or are still getting familiar with the more difficult handling of an altered vehicle - regardless of the issue, you can take steps to recognize the concern ahead of time. Take a few shorter drives on quieter roads before heading to the highway. This allows you time to familiarize yourself with any quirks or recognize areas that will need extra attention later on.  

Brakes matter
A vehicle's brakes are designed to create friction that eventually slows down the automobile. However, when you have completed truck mods that ultimately make a machine bigger and stronger, it can wear down the brakes at an increased rate. You don't want to encounter a problem with your brakes when you're in the middle of the wilderness, so it essential you do regular checks of the gear to make sure everything is functioning properly and there are no signals of wear. 

Additionally, if the brake light appears on your dashboard or you notice things like a delayed response or strange noise emanating from the gears, don't hesitate to check it out. It's much easier - and more affordable - to change brake pads than to repair damage that comes from faulty equipment. 

Engine systems need maintenance
You should be providing regular maintenance to the entirety of the engine system. From the oil to the air filter, all areas of the motor should be examined before you head out on intense off-roading experiences. All engine parts will be required to work harder to propel a heavier machine through difficult terrain, and although many models were created with off-road driving in mind, taking steps to extend the life of the motor is a good idea. In particular, keep an eye on the engine coolant. If the motor is working overtime to power your souped-up vehicle, the engine could be feeling the strain, and maintaining the proper coolant can help you avoid overheating. 

Stick to regular tire checks
The tires are one of the most important aspects of an off-road vehicle. While there is a good chance you have upgraded yours after installing a lift kit, you still need to perform regular checks of the wheels. Having the right tire pressure is vital, especially if you plan on dune bashing or rock crawling, as these activities place a lot of demand on the tires. You should also make it a point to survey the general wear on the tire surface and tread. The grooves are just another essential aspect of tires, and inspecting yours to verify they are safe can save time, money and aggravation.