Trucks: Top 6 Maintenance Tips for New Owners
In 2017, 2.8 million pickup trucks were sold in the US, which accounted for 16.4% of all auto sales in the country.
Americans love their good old trucks, and perhaps you do too. But maybe you haven’t gotten a chance to own one until now.
In that case, are you stumped on maintenance for trucks? Then here are 6 top tips to help you out if you’re a new owner.
1. Check All the Fluids
You truck consists of not only parts, but also multiple fluids that work together to keep it running smoothly. When they’re out of sight, they may easily be out of mind.
For the most part, your pickup truck will function perfectly since the fluid levels are alright. However, as time goes by, they’ll become depleted, which can cause you real issues. This can leave you stranded and even with an operable vehicle if you let it get bad enough.
Make sure you regularly check your transmission, coolant, and brake fluids. If they’re running low, don’t just top it up.
Instead, flush out the old fluids before adding new in. This ensures that none of the old fluids contaminate the new ones.
By keeping up with this part of maintenance, it’ll increase the chances of your truck being in better shape when it has higher mileage.
In general, you’ll need to change your transmission fluid (and filter) every 25,000 miles and your coolant every 2 years.
2. Change Your Oil Regularly
Your truck’s oil is there to help lubricate the parts and reduce friction when they move against one another. As a result, this keeps your engine from overheating.
Like with the other fluids in your truck, over time, the quality and amount of oil decreases. This means it won’t be able to do its job as effectively, which can cause parts to break down and your engine to overheat.
To prevent this from happening, you should aim to change your truck’s oil every 2,000-3,000 miles. It’s an easy enough task, so you can even learn to replace it by yourself.
When changing your oil, you’ll want to also change the filter at the same time for maximum efficiency.
3. Check Your Tires
With a regular car, tires won’t wear out as quickly since their load isn’t as heavy. But with a pickup truck, not only is the vehicle itself heavier, but the loads it carries are much bigger as well.
What this means for you is the air pressure may change more often and your tires might wear out quicker than they do with a regular car. Because of this, you should be vigilant about checking them.
The first thing you should do is look at the treads. Are they wearing down evenly? How worn are they exactly?
If they’re not wearing evenly, then you’ll want to rotate your tires. You should do this every 2,000 miles or so. And if the treads are barely visible, then you’ll want to swap them out for new ones.
Next, check the pressure; the owner’s manual will tell you exactly how much that should be. To save yourself some trouble, inflate them to just a little over the recommended pressure.
4. Inspect Your Shocks and Suspension Components
As we’ve said in an earlier section, trucks differ from regular cars in that they carry much bigger loads. This means the shocks and the suspension components will go through significantly more wear and tear.
These are the parts that keep your ride as smooth as possible, so over time, you might find that going through some bumpier roads might feel rougher than usual. This might indicate that your shocks and suspension components are worn out.
Not only does this affect the quality of your drives, but it also impacts your safety on the road. It’ll make your truck harder to control, plus it’ll put it out of alignment.
5. Make Sure the Electrical System Is Working
If any part of your truck’s electrical system malfunctions, this can cause some serious issues. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on it.
In addition to checking the obvious things like light bulbs, you should also inspect the fuses. Before you go for a ride, you might want to check that each light and function works in your truck before setting off.
If you notice any fuses are blown, you can replace them yourself if you’re DIY-savvy enough. Otherwise, a professional can quickly replace them for you.
6. Prepare for the Appropriate Seasons
As the seasons change, the needs for your truck will as well. For example, in the summer, you’ll need to ensure the fan and air conditioner are in working order so nothing overheats. And in the winter, you’ll need to use fuel additives and check the heater’s working.
It’s best if you don’t wait until the actual season itself to start your preparations. For instance, you can start winterizing your truck in the fall or getting your AC repaired in the spring. The spring is also a good time for you to make other repairs that may have occurred in a particularly harsh winter.
Be a Pro on Maintenance for Trucks
By following all the above tips on maintenance for trucks, you’ll be a pro in no time.
While it does take a little bit of effort and money to keep your vehicle in good shape, it’ll be well worth it when your truck runs smoothly for years to come. So look after your truck and make sure there are as little problems as possible by performing regular maintenance on it.
Are you just reading about maintenance for trucks but haven’t actually bought one yet? Then check out our inventory of trucks now!
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