Like with any other motor vehicle, the longevity of a truck is directly connected with maintenance practices. By performing a regular checkup, you can fix minor issues affecting the truck accessories before they become major problems. Not only will this save you money, but it will increase the safety while on the road.
Ways To Better Maintain Your Truck
Whether you’re using the truck for fun, daily chores, or transportation, keeping it in pristine condition is crucial. Here are five tricks that will help you maintain your vehicle.
Check oil and filter from time to time
Oil serves as a lubricant for your engine. As such, it is crucial for its protection. Unfortunately, oil is affected by dirt and dust particles. Small road debris can also pose a problem reducing the engine’s functionality.
Every truck owner should refer to the manual when it comes to oil. These booklets tell you precisely how often you should change it. Newer models (think 2008 and later) usually need an oil change every 7,000 or 8,000 milesor every six months (whichever comes first). If you have an older truck model, you should change the liquid after driving 5,000 miles or after six months.
But these figures are for people who drive a few times a week. Keep in mind that many people use their trucks for business transporting heavy loads over long distances. So, if you’re often driving off-road, at a low speed while transporting various materials, or if you’re exposed to a dusty, sandy environment, you should make these changes more frequently.
The same goes for the filter. This part can also be affected by small road or engine debris and dust. As these particles accumulate within the filter, the engine’s efficiency drops off sharply. So, like oil, make sure to regularly change the truck filter.
Monitor the levels of other fluids
Power steering fluid, windshield fluid, engine coolant, and brake fluid are other liquids you need to check from time to time.
Engine coolant is very important as it prevents damage to your engine that occurs due to boiling or freezing. The engine works at the most efficient level with an optimal internal temperature.
We use power steering fluid to create a hydraulic connection between the front wheels and the steering wheel. In other words, it allows us to go left and right. Besides the fact it is important for the proper functioning of a tuck, it can also increase the longevity of other parts.
Most people change windshield fluid as a safety measure. Although this particular liquid will not necessarily prolong the life expectancy of a truck, it will help safeguard the windshield. This practice is especially important in areas with lots of rain and snow.
Brake fluid is categorized as a hydraulic fluid, similar to steering fluid. This particular liquid will be affected by the moisture it receives from the air. The moisture will change its molecular structure impairing its efficiency and, thus, the vehicle’s ability to brake properly.
Consider the potential tire issues
You need to change tires according to season. Of course, having winter tires during winter is a necessity as you don’t want to skid on ice.
But a lot of drivers are too lazy to swap them for summer tires when spring comes along. Keep in mind that winter tires are specifically made for cold weather, and driving them when it’s hot will lead to wear and tear.
Additionally, you should rotate tires from time to time. This would reduce the amount of wear as it will shift the weight. Besides increasing their own longevity, it can reduce gas usage and prolong the life expectancy of vehicle suspension systems.
Perform regular inspections
Even if you’re checking all these things yourself, a professional inspection can do you no harm. This is especially true for older vehicles. Besides discovering minor issues that still haven’t escalated, a mechanic can increase the overall safety of your truck.
Although a lot of people see this as an unnecessary expense, just consider how much it would cost to tow your truck from a secluded countryside.
Cleaning the exterior
Even if you don’t know how to change the oil, the tires, or to perform all these small maintenance tricks, you should be more than capable of cleaning the truck’s exterior. This is not only an esthetic process but has a real impact on your budget.
Cleaning the exterior will help with the paint as you will remove all the small particles that can damage it. If you live in a region with lots of snow, keep in mind that the road salt can be disastrous for the truck. The same goes for sand in desert regions.