For just about every 4WD vehicle make and model the 40,000km Service is a comprehensive preventative maintenance service that safe-guards your vehicle's future mechanical life.
It is the only service where literally everything is inspected, everything adjusted that needs adjusting and all the oils and filters changed and fluids flushed.
Both hubs and wheel bearings are stripped, cleaned and repacked with grease. All major transmission components are checked for wear, backlash, noise and feel, and all those tell tale sounds and driving characteristics spell out their story to an experienced 4WD mechanic.
So what's the big deal?
As a 4WD vehicle is not a 2WD - it has twice as many gearboxes and twice as many Diffs to carry or tow loads substantially more than any car could do without seriously stressing it. The preventative measures taken by performing a 40,000km Service so often wards off major repairs on vehicles and prevents major break-downs entirely.
You'd be surprised just how much damage a little water can do while quietly sitting unnoticed in your wheel or Diff bearings, and you don't even need to be a tough-truck owner to suffer this damage. Many experienced 4WD drivers will tell you they learnt that lesson after going through too many avoidable bearing replacements.
Many 4WD owners wrongly believe only deep water is a problem, but a single bogged wheel where the hub is below the water line is a typical situation to see a ruined bearing within weeks, not to mention water intake into the diff because the breathers don't stop the water from entering.
If your wheel bearings weren't repacked in the last 40,000km and you drive offroad, I'd be expecting to see some signs of water entry
Then why is the Service missed?
Unaware first time owners of 4WDs
They simply don't realise the Service is important until too late, treating their 4WD like their family sedan by expecting to Service it in a similar manner.
Your routine inspection can be as simple as going through a 5 minute check-list to ensure your future trips will always be smooth and uninterrupted.
Ownership of vehicles changes every 40- 80,000kms:
The previous owner "leaves the 40,000km Service to the new owner" and it never gets done because the new owner assumes that it was done. The unfortunate fact is - it is extremely rare to find a used 4WD for sale that has received a complete major service.
4WD owners that rarely go-off road don't do it:
They often assume that their vehicle doesn't need it anyway or they'll get it done before their next big trip - maybe next year!
Preventative maintenance on your vehicle is obviously a lot more involved than just taking the 4WD and getting it serviced. It also involves you taking on a routine of checking it for tell tale signs of issues or future trouble, especially after a day of offroad driving.