Pickup Truck Maintenance Tips: 6 Steps to Keep Your Truck Healthy for a Long Time
Vehicle maintenance is necessary if you want to keep your vehicle, say a truck, in perfect condition. Most people are aware of the fact that regular visits to the mechanic’s shop is the best way to achieve this, but under the pressure of many daily obligations, most of us forget to perform these checks, leading to a variety of problems with vehicles, usually resulting in high costs. Needless to say, if problem pops up in the middle of driving high speed on the highway, this can be fatal. A pickup truck is no different.
These are some simple truck maintenance tips/steps for those who want to avoid ending up in this situation; they are going to help you pay closer attention to the most important parts of your truck.
Regular oil change
One of the necessary elements that make an engine run smoothly is the oil. Forgetting to change the oil regularly can lead to a series of malfunctions. The possible damage that can be done to a motor is so high that, in some cases, the engines become completely useless. All this can create a significant impact on your budget, so it is crucial to make regular oil changes every once in a while.
In order to understand when you should change your oil, it is best to consult the truck’s manual, to see which type of oil you need and after how many miles you should make the change. Usually, it comes down to changing your oil every 7 or 8 thousand miles or every six months. Remember it is crucial to pick the right viscosity-index oil for your machine, as not all types of oils are going to keep your engine running smoothly.
If you are overwhelmed with a variety of obligations every day, just put your smartphone to good use and set a reminder every 6 months. Doing this will allow you to never miss an oil change, ensuring a longer life for your truck.
Tire and wheel maintenance
The majority of truck owners don’t pay enough attention to the state of their tires. Unfortunately, only when a tire goes flat do people start thinking about what they could have done to prevent that from happening. There are several ways in which tires and wheels keep your vehicle healthy, and these are some of the things that you could do to prevent any problems caused by poorly maintained tires and wheels.
- Pressure – Keeping your tires appropriately inflated is essential if you are looking to prolong their lifetime. Many people run their tires underinflated, which causes bad fuel economy, higher pressure on the suspension system as well as reduced safety of the vehicle’s passengers. Luckily, keeping track of tire pressure is very easy nowadays. TPMS systems make pressure monitoring very easy. For example, FOBO Tire Plus is a great pressure measuring kit. The small pressure caps, containing sensors are placed on car’s tire valves, where they collect the pressure data and send it to your smartphone. Checking pressure is easy, as all you have to do is enter the app and see the provided info. Simply set up reminders and check your tire pressure every couple of days; it will keep you much safer while also lowering the chance of your vehicle getting damaged.
- Wear and tear – All tires get worn out over a certain period of time, but there are certain ways in which you can reduce the wear and tear. One of the best ways is to rotate tires every couple of months. Even if your truck is all wheel drive, there is often more pressure on the front tires due to the weight of the engine. Regular tire rotation will offer a smoother ride while prolonging the life of tires. Additionally, your vehicle’s suspension is going to be under less stress, as the tires are always going to be evenly worn out. Remember to keep your start smooth, as aggressive acceleration negatively affects the tires wear and tear and will reduce their durability greatly.
- Wheel alignment – Alignment plays an important role in the wear and tear of tires. The best way to check alignment is to let go of the steering wheel while you are driving. If the vehicle starts going either left or right, you should immediately get the wheels aligned, as it increases tire wear and tear, causes higher gas mileage and most importantly, greatly reduces control over the vehicle, negatively affecting the overall safety of the truck.
- Tire balance – Balancing tires is important because it directly affects the tire wear and tear. Every time you are rotating your tires, it is a great idea to have them balanced as well, in order to avoid tire damage. Unbalanced tires not only make the ride uncomfortable, but they also cause a lot of uneven wear.
These are some of the best and easiest ways of reducing the amount of wear and tear your tires see on a daily basis, while also maintaining high safety levels for you as a driver and any other passengers in the truck.
Check the fluid levels
Checking fluids from time to time is necessary, as they are crucial for your engine. Performing this task is fairly easy, as all you have to do is raise the engine’s dipstick and see what the oil levels are. If the oil smells funny or has changed color, it is time to change it. One important thing that you should keep in your mind is that you should always check the oil only when the engine is cool. It will keep you safer while also providing you with correct data about oil level.
The second fluid that you should consider checking regularly is the engine coolant. It is clearly indicated what the levels of this fluid should be, so if it is lower than needed, add more fluid to keep the engine running at optimal temperatures. Additionally, you should only add coolant when the engine is cool. Make sure to go through your truck’s manual and find information about the best types of coolant for your engine.
Many people forget about this liquid. They become aware that they are missing it only when they need it the most. Always make sure that you have more of this fluid in your truck, as some weather and terrain conditions require you to use it regularly; it will come in handy.
Regularly check air filters
Engines rely on clean air to function properly. Over a certain period of time, air filters, which are responsible for the engine’s air intake, become congested with various chemicals, dirt, and debris. This makes it crucial to change your air filter every 15 to 30 thousand miles. It all depends on the type of the road you are driving on. If you are an off-road driver, make sure to change air filters at around 15 thousand miles, as they directly affect the engine lifespan, as well its fuel economy. More air and higher air quality ensure lower gas expenditure.
Visit professionals from time to time
Do not be irresponsible, but take the time to visit professionals who are going to take a detailed look at your utility truck. There are many other parts that you should pay attention to if you want your truck to remain safe for driving. Parts such as spark plugs or brake pads can cause a lot of problems for other car parts and having them checked regularly is a great way of keeping the vehicle in great shape for a longer period.
On the other hand, sticking to usual maintenance schedule is not always a good option. Car manufacturers usually write manuals with the presumption that you are going to drive a vehicle on hard surfaces such as roads. However, going off-road is necessary in some cases, which requires different maintenance intervals. This is where a visit to an experienced professional can come in handy. He or she is going to be capable of creating a new maintenance schedule based on the driving conditions you are using the vehicle in. Harsher conditions are going to require more frequent checkups of a variety of parts in your truck.
Consulting professionals is necessary if you are looking for ways to keep your truck in great condition. Find someone who is reliable and has a lot of experience. It will help you understand which steps you should continually follow.
Yes, all of us are aware of the fact that the owner’s manual contains a lot of important data about our vehicles. However, not everyone invests some time to read about all the important details related to their vehicles. The first step to understanding your vehicle and its requirements is to take a look at the owner’s manual.
On the other hand, there are plenty of online forums and websites where you can find communities people who own the same type of truck. Connecting with these people and reading what they have shared in the past is the perfect way to find an answer you might have. So stay active and read as much as you can about your truck, it is one of the best ways to know what you are doing to help the truck remain in perfect condition.
All of these tips are very easy to follow. All it takes is a little bit of dedication and determination. Afterward, maintenance becomes a healthy habit that you are going to practice regularly.
I hope you have enjoyed reading it. 🙂
Please comment below to let me know your thoughts, and I am eager to hear from you. 🙂