Trucks are generally very durable and capable of handling abuse more than most vehicles. But they still require regular maintenance if you want them to remain in good condition and perform optionally. It doesn’t matter whether your truck is brand new or you’ve been using it for some time. Routine maintenance is the secret to keeping your precious truck in peak condition.
Another benefit of maintenance is that it allows you to detect problems early on. And, this allows you to deal with them before they escalate into bigger problems. Bigger problems require more money to fix them and you’ll be saving yourself valuable money if you detect problems on time.
Trucks are all the rage now. Some buy trucks for transportation, others for work, while some are just interested in recreation. But regardless of the reason for buying a truck, below are tips that will help you keep your truck performing optionally for years to come.
- Change engine oil and filter periodically
Engine oil is essential to the operation of trucks as it lubricates and protects the engine. Over time, dust, debris, and dirt from both the environment and the engine will find their way into the oil. And when this happens, the oil becomes far less efficient and is due for a change.
The interval between oil changes will depend on the type of truck. Some trucks recommend you change your oil every 5,000 miles while others recommend 7,500 miles. Read the owner’s manual to know the recommended interval between oil changes. Some driving conditions may require you to change your oil faster than the normal interval.
Apart from the oil itself, the oil filter should also be changed occasionally as built-up dirt and debris may find their way into the engine. And the effect of that is reduced efficiency of the oil and consequently, the engine.
- Check other fluid levels
Engine oil isn’t the only fluid your truck uses. Engine coolant, brake fluid, steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid are other fluids your truck uses. Each of these fluids should be checked regularly and replaced when they run low.
Engine coolant is especially important for optimal performance in extreme temperatures while the steering fluid is integral to the performance of your truck’s steering system. Many truck owners don’t give much thought to the windshield washer fluid but you should change it as it gets dirty over time. Your brake oil also absorbs moisture and will need to be changed periodically. The owner manual will tell you when to change these fluids.
- Replace parts that are subject to wear and tear
Trucks undergo a lot of wear and tear and some parts will eventually need to be replaced. Some truck parts such as brake pads and clutch may need to be replaced more regularly than others. These parts lose their functionalities with time and require replacement.
The age of your truck and driving conditions will influence how often you need to change parts of your truck. Harsher driving conditions will naturally require you to change parts more frequently. When buying parts for your truck, choose a reputable dealer and check if some parts come with warranties or not.
- Clean the exterior and rotate the tires
You should wash your truck at least every two weeks if you are not driving on dirt roads or areas where salt is used on highways. The aforementioned conditions will require you to wash your truck more often.
The benefits of washing your truck are a lot more than making it appear shiny. Built-up sand and salt can damage the paint on your truck and require you to do a painting job earlier than you’d want. Most truck owners forget to wash the undercarriage of their trucks. However, the undercarriage is just as important as the exterior.
You should also consider rotating your tires to prolong their lifespan. Also, there will be an even amount of treadwear on all four of your truck’s tires.
- Get your truck inspected
You should have a professional or repair company inspect your truck once in a while. See it as an ‘annual medical’ for your truck. This allows you to detect any mechanical or safety problems early on and fix them before they escalate. And the benefit of this is reduced expenses and improved performance of the truck.
Having your truck inspected can seem to be unnecessary or even inconvenient. But it’s an important maintenance practice you should observe to keep your truck performing optionally for years.