The thing to remember about 4 x 4s is that they require a little extra servicing.

As Bob Don, owner of Bob's Off Road Haus, pointed out, four-wheel drive vehicles have gears for both the front wheels and the rear wheels, "and both need to be serviced. Especially the front end. It does the pulling and they just need more upkeep."How often? "At least once a year for the axles and bearing, like a regular car . . . but more if you do a lot of off-highway driving," he said. "Like regular oils, the oils for the front and rear differentials breaks down."

Axles and bearings should be greased and hubs, if applicable, should be oiled. Also, like regular vehicles, 4 x 4s require regular oil and filter changes.

"I know people think that today's four-wheel drive vehicles are supposed to ride and look like semis (trucks), but instead they look and ride like Cadillacs . . . and because of it they require more service and care," he pointed out.

Looking at the available options for 4 x 4s, Don said the look right now among many owners is the "stainless steel and chrome look." This would include such things as driving lights, bumpers, grills, trim and spot lights.

He also suggested that with hunting seasons approaching that 4 x 4 owners take along some just-in-case items, such as a tow strap, jack and a few tools.