Tech – How to wash your 4wd after a beach trip
I thought I would write a little article about “How to wash your 4wd after a beach run”. My target audience for this article is the “newer” or lesser experienced 4wder, this is the way I would normally wash my 4wd.
No, I’m not talking about spraying the car, washing it with car wash and you’re done, I’m talking about under the car and places you never thought to wash.
The Chassis Rail
Before I start, the first thing I want to mention is, Don’t worry about the look of my chassis rail. It looks like this, as I’ve sprayed the whole underbody (including inside the rail) with a heavy coat of fish oil. I did this a couple years back, and it still hasn’t come off. I dont know if I would do it the same way again, 3 weeks after applying it, the fish oiled chassis was still tacky, collecting dust etc while driving.
After a good days drive along the beach (or a day out in the dusty bush), you would be surprised as to how much sand enters the chassis rail.
I find the best way to get your hose into the chassis rail, is to take the top of the hose off, look for the big holes in the rear wheel well and just push it in. Start with hosing towards the rear, as this will wash anything back and towards the centre of the rail. After that, turn the hose around and wash towards the centre. Generally speaking, you can feed the whole hose inside the rail, almost right up to the front of the car.
Don’t worry, you wont flood the chassis. The Chassis is full of drain holes. Perfect for all the sand and dust to escape.
With that now done, find a hole in the front wheel well, wash forward and then back to centre of the car.
Repeat on the other side of the 4wd, also remember to wash the chassis cross members.
A good tool to have is one of these washers. While it’s not a pressure washer, it still does the job. I like using the wide blade fitting, you will see why shortly.
It perfect to reach those hard to get places
Once you have washed down all those hard to get to places and inside as many rails as you can, its time to wash the whole under body down, including brakes and suspension components.
The one thing about driving in a convoy, all the dust from the limestone or bush tracks will get into your radiator. One way to reduce this, is to space yourself out while driving in convoy .
Lucky for me, my 4wd has good access between the engine radiator and air con condenser. Being really careful not to knock and bend the fins on the radiator, I am able to wash the whole of both radiators at the same time, using that wide blade fitting on my washer.
Washing the radiator from the top only, means that dust is washed down and towards the bottom. If the bottom is not cleaned out, over time, this will build up and start to block the air flow at the bottom part of the radiator.
I hope this was a helpful article for those that didn’t know. We all love our 4wd and we need to look after her the best we can.
Story by Dave F.