The Cost of Owning a 4WD

I love my truck.

Just thought I’d start with that because when you get to the bottom it might not be so clear. Because owning a modified 4WD can be a lot of work and/or money.

I say modified because even owning a 4WD without any intention of taking it offroad is still expensive. Even if you never plan to take it offroad, all of those parts like transfer cases and front diffs and stronger suspension and bigger tyres need maintenance. If you take it off-road though, bumps, rocks, sticks, sand and mud will greatly increase your need for stricter servicing. 


Once you modify it though, things get interesting. I modify and maintain my vehicle so that I can get to areas where there probably won’t be help nearby and safely get back in relative comfort. There are lots of people who do that. I’m not unusual.

That level of modification and trust can cost a fair bit. For instance, my tyres are around $400 each. They’re not overly big (305/70/16 or 33x12in in the old measurements).

So, my 2006 Nissan Patrol is 11 years old. Therefore, everything that’s bolted onto it is also roughly 11 years old. And it’s starting to need maintenance, repair or replacement.

  • Barwork
  • Winch
  • Lockers and compressor
  • UHF
  • Electrical extras

And the list goes on.

At this moment, I need a new tyre (sidewall puncture), my compressor for my lockers has stopped, I need a new auxiliary battery, the rear work light is not working, I don’t quite trust my UHF and my stereo is cactus. Coupled with a want for a new boost/EGT gauge, a new tow controller, to move the battery from under the bonnet to the rear, move the compressor from under the front seat to under the bonnet, move my locker switches, change out my battery management (well actually all of my electrical wiring) add solar… then there’s my house.

There’s a lot to do and it’s hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed.

Then, there’s the wishlist. Don’t lie, everyone has one. New stainless snorkel and airbox, new intercooler and turbo, new radiator, custom entertainment system for the kids, etc etc… anyway, you get it.

Don’t think I don’t love my truck, I do. Just not right now.

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