To a seasoned off-roader, the choice of auto service center is one of the utmost importance: taking good care of their rig ensures they can continue enjoying the sport they love. And while some people think that any ol’ mechanic will do, most know that taking time to investigate and select just the right one is worth the effort. While many local mechanics in Fort Collins might be able to perform basic maintenance, if you have a custom truck and are serious about hitting the trails, look for a shop that specializes in off-road and 4×4 work.
It’s kind of like shopping for a doctor: you want one that you get along with, one who speaks your language, and one who has experience with your physical conditions and lifestyle. A good mechanic should be easy to communicate with, understanding of your unique needs, and knowledgeable of 4-wheel parts and their uses. If you are hesitant about going to a special 4×4 mechanic, here are 5 reasons why it’s time to make the switch!
They know the lingo.
Off-roaders have their own jargon and it’s pretty easy to tell who’s on the inside and who’s not just by the words they use. It is so much better when your mechanic can speak fluent 4-wheel and doesn’t bat an eye when you say you were sucking sand as the tail gunner this past weekend, or you wish your meats had more wheel travel. Not only does it make explanations flow easier, but it’s nearly crucial when talking calculations of approach angles and crawl ratios.
They’ve got the hookup with parts.
Customizing a trail truck takes a certain amount of planning, scouting, and finesse. Finding the right parts can be a long and arduous process; thousands of high-end and specialized bits and pieces from dozens of small companies all over the world each boast a unique set of specs and advantages. It’s incredibly helpful to find an auto service center that is familiar with all the options and has a good rapport with many companies, both large national brands and smaller custom ones. A good 4-wheel parts mechanic can offer advice and suggestions on components that will fit your vehicle and enhance your performance off the highway, while taking into consideration your skill level and your usual trail routes.
They know the area trails.
One of the best parts of an off-road shop is that you can almost guarantee that everyone working there is part of the outdoor driving lifestyle. It’s a tightly knit group of enthusiasts, usually made up a variety of interests, experience, and styles. Out of this kind of environment typically come lots of opinions and recommendations for trails — everyone has the one they really love, one they hated, one they got stuck on, etc…Spend some time talking to the shop staff about the local trails and you’ll be sure to hear about one or two you’d like to try (or avoid at all costs!). Especially if you are new to an area, the best place to discover exciting off-road playgrounds is your local 4×4 mechanic in Fort Collins.
They’re comfortable with your truck components.
The last thing you want to do is take your expensive customized vehicle to a mechanic that has no experience with its elaborate or unique 4-wheel parts and end up with a ridiculously long wait time or worse…incorrectly performed maintenance. If you’ve beefed up your air intake, fuel injection, transmission, or even have a high lift, it’s worth going to a shop that is accustomed to such alterations. Specialized off-road shops are sure to be familiar and comfortable with all types of components, kits, and aftermarket parts and can service them appropriately, and may even be able to suggest something better.
They understand your needs.
Every 4-wheeler has a unique set of needs, based upon a combination of factors. First, the rig: make, model, age, mileage, fluids, maintenance record, and custom parts. Then, the driver: body size, experience level, skill set, preferred terrain, and traveling companions. Finally, the location: elevation, climate, obstacles, transit time, and potential trail conditions. A good 4×4 mechanic will be able to enmesh all these factors to paint a detailed picture of you and anticipate both your needs and any potential issues for years to come.
If you’re still stuck at a big impersonal auto service center, consider making the switch to a local off-road mechanic shop. They’ll be able to give you and your vehicle the service you need to keep enjoying all those trail adventures well into the future. Your rig deserves to have a team that is knowledgeable, savvy, and experienced in all aspects of the off-road life.