Don’t let the excitement of tackling through terrains with your UTV here in South Africa ruin the pride that you take in your brand new Overlander 200. A water hose and some soap won’t do the trick; there are much better ways to keep your UTV in tip-top condition for your next sand dune race or wildlife adventure. Don’t be scared of the extra grit that it takes, get your elbow grease going and make your Overlander as irresistible to look at as it is to drive!
- Clean your tires first as they are normally the dirtiest. This will ensure that dirty water and mud particles don’t flick onto the already clean exterior.
- Rinse your tires and scrub dirt off thoroughly. Make use of the assortment of wheel, tire and lug nut brushes available to you.
- As an extra tip, soaking your brushes in warm water for a few minutes before you get started will soften and saturate the bristles for optimal effect.
- Spray degreaser onto tires and leave for a few minutes to break down dirt and grime.
- Rinse, scrub and repeat if necessary. Tires leave the biggest traces of mud and dirt behind so it really needs a good clean to match the rest of your sparkling Overlander.
- If you are having trouble removing stubborn brake dust, rust deposits and tar you can use auto detailing clay to remove the bonded contamination.
- Give the aluminium a good polish and shine. Steer away from cleaners with acidic properties to avoid pitting your aluminium parts.
Get rid of the grease.
- Dirt, grease and grime can wear down the vital parts of your bike, like the bearings, seals, chain and sprockets.
- Use a product like Oil Clean to clean up grease that has leaked or traces of sticky situations that have been left behind.
- A mixture of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar is a good substitute for if you do not have a degreaser. However, when using this, let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes before rinsing.
- Spray the degreaser directly only metal, aluminium, radiator hose and oil lines.
- Let the solvent chill for about two minutes before rinsing away thoroughly.
- Degreaser will also brighten up your aluminium and cleaning engine compartments will tie the sparkling clean picture of your Overlander together perfectly.
- Be careful to not let the degreaser soak into plastic or material as it could damage these parts in the long run.
Treat your plastic like gold.
- Rinse the Overlander down with clean water to get rid of excess dirt and mud before you begin.
- Use lukewarm water, a cloth and any household soap to scrub and clean the exterior; wash the soap off thoroughly once you are done.
- Rinse your cloth regularly to make sure you do not scratch the plastic with grainy sand and dirt. Perhaps use a micro fabric cloth that is soft enough to not scratch your plastic too.
- You can also use coke to clean the exterior, including windows and mirrors! Pour coke over exceptionally greasy parts and leave for a minute or two before scrubbing down with a cloth or brush.
- Pressure washers can be used but they are risky as it can rip plastic components right off or damage areas with bearings and electrical components, so use it with caution!
Extreme engine clean
- Rinse your engine down with clean water as much as possible.
- Use your preferred wheel cleaning detergent to get rid of the brown tint on your engine. Be careful not to let this onto your skin or into your eyes!
- Polish your engine with the wheel cleaner and leave it to soak for 2 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly. Be careful not to let the detergent soak into painted or plastic areas.
- Compressed air is useful to dry areas around the engine, and also to blow water from electrical components. Be careful not to let compressed air spray too close to your bearings as it can push excess dirt into your bearings.
You can always repair your Overlander or buy new parts right here in South Africa if yours has been damaged in any way.