You rely on your winch as a failsafe; your last-ditch effort to get unstuck when all else fails. So why is it the most ignored and ill-maintained mechanical element of your 4x4?
Always at the ready at the front of your 4x4, a winch is constantly exposed to the elements. Sun, rain, snow, mud, dirt, and sand can degrade a winch cable or a synthetic line and affect the winch's gears and other moving parts. Even if your winch is only used once a year it should still be inspected, tested, and serviced regularly to ensure that it's ready to perform as needed.