Buying a new truck, or even a used vehicle is a great thing. With the purchasing of the vehicle, comes a greater responsibility of maintaining it to improve the lifespan of it.
You can do so, get a longer life of your vehicle by knowing the best of features, capabilities, and limitations of your car. Do not push the vehicle over the limits especially the used ones.
Many car and truck owners are over the moon while buying the new vehicle and even for a few months takes good care of it as well.
But as the days go by, the preventive maintenance towards the vehicles decreases day by day. Suddenly, one unfortunate day, the truck just breakdowns.
While buying a vehicle, the owner should keep certain things in mind and educate themselves about the vehicle’s preventive maintenance to keep the car running for a long time.
So that every time the vehicle breaks down or even have the slightest bit of problem, they do not have to visit the mechanic or the servicing center.
Learning how to maintain small issues of your vehicle, saves you money and comes in handy at times of ardent need.
The owner does not need to learn every single thing about maintaining their truck or car, but the more one learns about it, the better is the chance of saving money on maintenance and even keep the vehicle running a longer lifetime.
Most of the small issues can be handled by going through the Owner’s manual that comes with the vehicle at the time of purchase.
Common questions like, what kind of fuel the manufacturer recommend on your car model to run on, routine parts and fluid checkups, checking the tire pressures, etc., are included in the owner’s manual guide.
That’s why it is essential to go through the manual very carefully to ensure that every parameter of maintaining your vehicle is met.
5 Basic Tips for Truck Maintenance
01. Change your oil and filters
There is a policy, a standard set by almost all vehicle companies which states that oil changes need to be done every 3000 miles or every three months. Although it is not necessary to change the oil every three months, it should be replaced routinely.
It is common for engine oil to get contaminated with dust and dirt from the car engine and environment. Changing the oil lubricants and oil filters extend your truck’s life and help your car to deliver superb performance.
02. Rotate your tires
This is a widespread practice, and it can be done without taking your truck to the mechanic. Tire rotation means taking off each tire and putting it on another location. This practice ensures that tires wear evenly. It gives a prolong tire life and improves gas mileage.
03. Check the fluid levels
Check the engine coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, check your vehicle power steering fluid with engine oil quality checking. For optimal performance, these fluids are most important.
The role of the engine coolant is to keep the balance of engine fluid. Power steering fluid is responsible for moving your truck steering system. Windshield fluid is required to keep the windshield clean.
Brake fluids are responsible for absorbing moisture from the air. So you see, it is critical for an owner to keep checking the fluid levels and changing it regularly.
04. Check your battery
One cannot stress enough how important it is to have a working truck battery. Do not ignore your low battery sign, and get it checked regularly. You don’t know when & where you need your battery most.
Keep the battery clean, and it is essential to have a clean and working battery at all times to avoid any misfortune.
05. Check Spark Plugs
If you feel like your engine is not working properly, most probably, it is because of a loose spark plug. Check the spark plug regularly and replace them if necessary.
It is a small thing yet one of the essential components of the entire truck engine.
With all the things being said, you should also keep the exterior of your truck also clean. Wash your vehicle every week to remove dirt and dust from its surface.
You should clean the surface regularly to keep the truck shine intact.
Keep a clean windshield and replace the wipers now and then. When you’re driving with a dirty windshield, there is a high risk of getting into accidents, especially during driving at night.
Using damaged wipers can cause scratches on windshield glasses.
Causes of Truck Breakdown
There are hundreds of reasons why a truck breakdown or why it would not start at all. Those reasons may be purely environmental, mechanical, fuel problems, etc. Some common causes of a vehicle breaking down are discussed here:
01. Faulty battery
Almost everyone knows or can figure that defective batteries are one of the common reasons for a truck breakdown, mostly during winters. If you have a faulty battery, or loose connections or dirty, unsafe battery terminals, your car will surely stop working.
Also, if you don’t use your truck every day or for longer journeys, chances are the batteries don’t get enough time to charge, which results in a breakdown or the engine will fail to start.
02. Alternator faults
Alternator faults are one of those faults that you cannot repair at home. How do you know if you have an alternator fault, without going to the mechanic? If you’re facing prolonged battery problems and dim headlights even when your engine is in much use, there must be something wrong with the alternator.
If the warning light on ignition comes on and there is temperature rise rapidly, it is most probably because the belt that drives the alternator and water pump could have broken.
03. Damaged tires and wheels
If you’re carrying a heavy load, more than the weight of your truck was designed to carry, your tires and wheels will be damaged. Always check the weight load limitations that are meant for your vehicle.
Misaligned wheels might wear tires out, so it is imperative to keep a check on the tires and the wheels. This information is generally available on the owner’s manual.
04. Fuel problems
If you fill the wrong fuel in your truck, it can cause serious problems. If your vehicle runs in diesel fuel and you have put petrol instead of diesel, you need to drain out all the fuel with professional help immediately.
When you put gasoline in the diesel tank, and it mixes with diesel it and acts as an anti-lubricant. It reduces the lubrication and damages the metal parts by increasing their friction.
Likewise, if you accidentally put diesel in petrol tanks, then diesel does not evaporate the same way petrol does. The fuel injectors can be ruined by clogging the fuel filter.
05. Clutch Cables
If for any unfortunate reason, a clutch cable breaks/snaps, your truck can face serious issues. You will face trouble shifting gears if there is a problem or fault in the clutch cables.
When you encounter such problems and notice any change in how a clutch feels when you press the pedals like transmission slips, hard clutch pedal, or clutch pedal sinking to the floor, get the clutch cable replaced immediately.
How to deal with truck breakdowns and failure?
The most convenient way to prevent the truck from breaking down is to maintain a routine check-up and preventive maintenance, following the schedule.
There are many reasons why a truck stops working; some of them are fixable at home, while others need the professional mechanic’s attention.
The way you drive is what determines the longevity of your car’s life. Drive responsibly, the more harshly you drive, the sooner your tire wears down.
The habit of taking off quickly and applying brakes suddenly can do damages to your car. Keeping the exterior engine clean, protecting your headlight is more important than you could ever imagine it to be.
Forgetting to turn off the headlamp drains the vehicle’s battery that further leads to extensive damage to the engine.
As important as it is to protect the exterior and engine system, it is essential to take good care of the interior too. Eating food inside a truck, spilling the food and drinks is not safe.
Vacuuming the interior from time to time, cleaning the dashboard, seats and glove compartments helps you increase the life of your vehicle.
To sum it up it is necessary to ensure safe driving; therefore, it is vital to keep up with brakes. With all the above maintenance tips kept in practice, your truck will last longer.
Getting into accidents because of a brake failure, as it is seen in movies, is very rare yet it is not deniable. So change your brakes every two years or whenever your mechanics deem fit.
Also, keep your truck covered to avoid getting dust and dirt on the surface and prevent the truck from exposing to extreme heat or rain. Make sure you tow with caution as well, especially with larger vehicles like this tow behind backhoe, which may be too much to transport for older trucks.
Limit the weight of things you put in your truck’s trunk unnecessarily, and avoid rash driving. While these may not ensure that will truck will run forever but, it will definitely prolong its lifetime.