5 Truck Maintenance Tips
Trucks are truly versatile vehicles. They can be used for road trips, transportation of goods and various work-related activities. However, just like any vehicle, your truck will eventually experience a decline in performance and inevitably break down. To prolong the life of your truck, you need to make sure you’re taking good care of it. While visiting a truck mechanic is a good way of doing this, there are a number of things that you can do to maintain your vehicle.
To help you lengthen the lifespan of your truck, here are five simple maintenance tips.
- Rotate your Tyres
Whether you’re using it for personal and business purposes, your truck will likely take on a lot of mileage in a short period of time. As a direct consequence of this, your tyres will begin to wear down quickly. While this process is normal, you do need to watch out for uneven wear. Generally speaking, your front tyres will tend to wear down along the edges. This is because they are often used for turning. On the other hand, rear tyres tend to stay in the same orientation and therefore will likely wear down in the centre.
If the unevenness gets worse, it could compromise the stability of your truck and therefore the amount of control you have over it. To mitigate this, you should rotate the position of your tyres regularly. Most mechanics recommend rotating your tyres for every 8,000-10,000 km driven.
For four-wheel drives, you should switch your front tyres and then place them in the rear. With the rear tyres, simply move them to the front. When it comes to front-wheel drives, you should switch your rear tyres and move them to the front. The front tyres should be moved to the rear.
- Check Engine Oil & Filter
The engine oil has three main purposes. First, it helps the inner mechanism of the engine (e.g. the pistons) run smoothly. The oil acts as a lubricant, reducing the amount of friction and resistance that’s created by the engine. The second purpose is to reduce risk of the engine breaking down due to wear and tear. Indeed, less friction means a lesser chance of the engine overheating or wearing down prematurely. Lastly, your oil also removes the harmful by-products of combustion from the engine. Your truck’s oil is able to remove such contaminants via an oil filter.
A common sign that you need to change your oil is if it starts to take on a darker color. This usually means it has been contaminated and can no longer keep the engine clean. Even if it doesn’t have a dark color, you should aim to get your oil changed every 5,000-7,000 km driven. As a general rule, you should change your oil filter every time you have a change of oil.
- Keep Track of Other Essential Fluids
Besides your oil, there are other fluids that you need to check up on. In particular, there’s the brake fluid and your engine coolant.
Brake fluid is used to amplify your foot’s force and turn it into pressure. This pressure then stops wheels from turning. Without this fluid, you won’t be able to stop your car on the road. For your own safety, it’s recommended that you regularly inspect the condition of your brake fluid. Signs that you need it changed include unresponsive brake pedals, unusual vibrations and fluid discoloration. Aim to change your brake fluid every 24 months.
Engine coolant helps regulate the temperature of the engine. If your coolant isn’t topped up, when necessary, it could cause the engine to overheat. The coolant reservoir should have markings that tell you if it needs filling up.
- Keep it Clean & Repair Small Blemishes
Cleaning your truck goes beyond just aesthetics. If you think about the things that come in contact with your car seats, you’ll quickly realize how much bacteria they can collect over a short period of time. If you’re not careful, moisture and dirt can begin building up, causing different kinds of mould to form. One of the more dangerous types of black mould. It’s a fungus that can cause headaches, shortness of breath and even skin irritation. To avoid this, you should clean the interior of your truck as often as you can.
In terms of the exterior, it might be tempting to just ignore a small scratch on the surface. However, when dirt and other abrasive contaminants find their way into that scratch, the issue can worsen. If left untreated, the contaminants will eventually eat through the protective clear layer of your truck and begin damaging the paint job and the metal itself. Faded paint and corrosion are likely to follow. With this in mind, you should do your best to clean your exterior and repair small scratches as soon as possible.
- Get it Regularly Inspected by a Truck Mechanic
Lastly, you should regularly visit your mechanic so that they can inspect your truck. When it comes to noticing potential problems, nothing can beat the eye of a professional.
Not only will a mechanic help you solve existing problems, but they can also help you prevent future ones. This is particularly important if you use your truck for business purposes. Preventative maintenance reduces the chances of your truck going out of commission.
Trucks are big and durable vehicles, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need care. To avoid having to pay for expensive repairs, implement the tips that we’ve discussed above. If you have further questions or concerns, be sure to visit your local mechanic.