Your Essential Guide to Maintaining a Truck

Whether you’re a new truck owner, are looking to buy your first one soon or have been driving a truck for years, you need to know how to look after it. They might be big and powerful, but they still require a lot of care and attention. Here’s an essential guide to maintaining your truck.

Know How to Look After the Engine

The engine is the most vital component of any vehicle, but it’s especially important if you have a diesel engine truck. They take a lot of looking after, and if something goes wrong with it, it can be quite difficult to fix. That’s why you should constantly be checking your engine and making sure it’s in good shape all year round.

You should clean or replace your engine’s fuel and air filters. The other key process to carry out is an oil change. This is essential for diesel engines.

Take Care to Clean the Truck

It might seem like an obvious and unnecessary piece of advice, but it can save you a lot of time and help you spot problems. Making sure that the truck is always in a good and clean condition means you’ll keep the truck looking good and be able to take pride in it. But there are other things it provides too.

When a truck is clean, it becomes much easier to see if there are any faults with the exteriors of the truck’s body. If it’s covered in mud and dirt though, it can be very difficult to spot problems. The problems you should be looking out for when cleaning the truck are scratches, dents and paint damage.

Get to Know Your Truck

To properly maintain your truck, you first need to get to know the truck. You should make sure that you understand how to drive the truck and what it needs from you as a driver. This might seem slightly ridiculous, but every vehicle is different, so you should make sure you tailor your driving to the requirements of the vehicle.

This is something you learn over time though, so you don’t need to worry about it too much. Just make sure you’re being intuitive when you’re driving and being receptive to the truck. It will respond to different actions differently, and it’s up to you to learn all of its tics and quirks so you can look after it properly.

Inspect Your Truck Before and After Each Journey

Not enough truck drivers do this, put checking your truck from top to bottom, before and after every journey, is the best way to pick up on problems with your truck. By doing these checks before and after the journey, you make it easy to tell when and why any new problems occurred.

Yes, it does take a lot of time and effort, but if it helps you keep your truck in the best shape possible, it’s definitely worth it. You should start off by checking each of the tyres, and then inspect the exterior of the truck. Finally, you might want to check the condition of the engine and the exhaust.

Know When Your Truck is Past its Best

There comes a point in every truck owner’s life when they have to accept that their truck has seen better days and that maybe it’s time to scrap it. After a certain point, you will notice that making upgrades and repairs to your truck is more expensive than simply getting rid of it and buying a new one.

When you come to this realisation, you should start to think about the possibility of buying a new one, as it’s the only sensible option out there. You can find used Auto Trader trucks at quite low prices, so buying a new truck doesn’t have to cost you a great deal of money. But you should always check the truck thoroughly and test drive it before you buy.

Rotate Your Tyres

Trucks are heavy vehicles; that won’t be news to any of you. That means that your tyres will take the bulk of this weight and get worn down over time. Tyres on trucks don’t wear down evenly though, certainly tyres located in certain areas will wear down faster than other tyres in other locations.
To make sure your tyres wear down at an even rate, you should rotate them regularly. This can seem like a lot of hard work, but it needs to be done. It can actually be quite dangerous if you have some tyres that are worn down and others that aren’t. It’s also true that it’ll cost you more money as the worn tyres will have to be replaced more regularly.

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Test Suspension and Shocks

All trucks have their shock absorbers and suspension systems damaged over time; that’s why you need to test them regularly and make sure they’re in good condition. Firstly, you should carry out a carry out a test by sight. You should look at it and decide if you think the truck appears level from all angles – make sure the truck is on a flat surface when you do this though.

You can also look for visual evidence of damage to the shock absorbers. If there is any liquid coming from the shock absorbers, it shows that there is a problem. You’ll have to take your truck to a professional to properly test your truck’s suspension and shock absorbers though. This is the only way to get the problem properly diagnosed and fixed.

Looking after a truck requires a lot of care and attention. There’s a lot more work involved than maintaining an ordinary car or smaller vehicle. This is because the sheer size and power of the vehicles make them more unwieldy and hard to look after. But if you know what to do and what to look for, it’s perfectly possible!

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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