Cleaning Your 4×4 After an Off-Road Adventure

You probably invested in a 4×4 because it’s tough both on and off the road. You enjoy pushing your truck to the limit and driving it places others only dream of. Taking on the elements in your 4×4 is both challenging and exhilarating.

Protecting your 4x4’s surfaces from UV damage can be easily done with 303 Touchless Sealant.

Timely Cleanup Important

Mudding in your 4×4 is a lot of fun. Afterward, it’s time to think about the cleanup. You want to dislodge all that mud before it hardens. Mud with the consistency of wet concrete is a real problem once it’s caked on the suspension, brakes, axles and more. Mud stuck to your radiator can cause overheating. It’s even possible for dried mud to throw a wheel out of balance at higher speeds.

Clean up is also a chore if you’re taking on towering dunes or heading out on a dusty trail. Sand and dust get into every nook and cranny of your truck.

It’s easy to rationalize reasons for not cleaning your rig. Certainly, driving around town in a mud-splattered 4×4 is a source of pride. It lets everyone know that you’ve been out having the fun they wish they had!


Consider a quick trip through an automatic car wash before the mud dries. Be sure to add the underbody flush option. The use of a do-it-yourself car wash is another possibility. It’s a good way to give extra attention to the mud splattered on your undercarriage.

4x4 cleaning is important in keeping your 4x4 up and running for your next off-road adventure.

At home, use 303 Ultra-Concentrated Car Wash to break the grip that grime has on your truck’s exterior. Use 303 Ultra Plush Microfiber Towels, sponges and bristle brushes to clear away dirt and debris. To avoid scratches, make sure you match the right bristles to the surface you’re cleaning.

Pressure washing dos and don’ts

Pressure washing is an option once you invest in the necessary equipment. Keep the nozzle away from the paint to avoid nicks and other damage. Use a special attachment to get at dirt or mud under your 4×4.

Mud or dirt under the hood is a real challenge. Needless to say, you don’t want to point a pressure washer at the engine bay. Although electronics and wiring are often well-protected, you don’t want to risk electrical shorts and other damage. Wet air filters are also a potential problem. Carefully scrub away dirt and mud by hand.

Some off-roaders get creative. One pushed a sprinkler under his 4×4, letting the oscillating action do some of his dirty work! The simplest solution to a mud-caked 4×4 is to avoid the mud in the first place. But what fun is that?

Check for damage

The underside of your 4×4 endures a lot in difficult terrain. You can wash your 4×4 and look for damage at the same time. Check for tire issues, missing lugs and proper PSI. Look for damage to bushings, mounts and suspension parts. Examine shocks for leaks or big dents. Check for loose wheels, a possible sign of damage to ball joints and other axle components. Inspect brake lines. In deep sand or mud, contaminants can get into the brake drums. Has your 4×4 been in deep water? Clouded transmission fluid is a common sign of contamination.

Apply a Surface Protectant

To protect a variety of exterior surfaces before your next adventure, use 303 Touchless Sealant. The silicon dioxide formula provides superior water beading on paint, wheels and windshields. It lasts up to two times longer than traditional wax. Save more time for off-roading!

Apply a light mist of 303 Touchless Sealant to cool, wet surfaces. Avoid direct sunlight. Immediately rinse each newly treated section. To avoid water spots, immediately dry each area with a 303 Microfiber Towel.

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