People don’t buy trucks with the thought of keeping them a couple of years and trading them in for the latest model. Many purchase their pickup trucks with the intent of owning them for years. They become a friend.
But if you want it to last for years while running well at the same time, you’ll have to perform regular maintenance. It’s the best way to keep a truck running well as it ages.
What advice do we have to share on keeping your truck running well? Here’s what we advise.
Keep your oil changes scheduled
This is one of the easiest yet powerful ways to keep your truck running well. Trucks work hard throughout the day, performing any task you ask it to do. In order to keep running well, it takes fluid to ensure each part performs as it was designed. Today’s trucks are technologically advanced, and can operate well with an oil change about every 7,500 miles or six months, whichever comes first. For older trucks or vehicles with higher mileage, change it more frequently. Be sure to get a new oil filter with your oil change as well. Also ensure that you use the right oil for your situation. Your owner’s manual will point you in the right direction. Or speak with one of our mechanics; we can help you decide the right motor oil for your needs.
Make sure all fluid levels are up
Motor oil isn’t the only thing your truck needs. While this is the one fluid you should monitor and replace regularly, other fluids need occasional work too. Engine coolant helps keep your engine cool and prevents it from overheating. You’ll find the cap identified by a warning label and illustration to ensure you never open it up while the engine is hot. It should also be checked and filled according to manufacturer’s guidelines. It’s also a good idea to fill up your windshield washer fluid reservoir regularly, and even keep a jug of the cleaner somewhere in your car. The more time you spend on dusty, off roads, the more you’ll need to add to help you drive. While there are other fluids – brake fluid, for example – letting one of our mechanics evaluate your systems will ensure the equipment isn’t compromised, preventing you from driving.
Check your tires
What’s the most important part on your vehicle? While there are many you could argue would be at the top of the list, your tires would definitely be one of them. Think about all your tires go through as you drive. Flying down the highway keeps your truck balanced. Now imagine it driving down a dirt road, as it rotates with every dip and bump you hit. That impacts each tire differently. Rotating the tires regularly ensures even wear over time. While manufacturers have guidelines established, we recommend rotating them more especially if you put your truck through a lot of stress. The front tires will see the most wear, so rotating them periodically will help the tread and extend the life of each of your tires.
When having them rotated, it’s also wise to have them balanced as well. This ensures that the weight of each tire is evenly distributed around each axle. Every time you hit a pothole, or head off-road on a mission, it risks throwing your tires out of balance. Getting them balanced means keeping your tires in better condition, and extending the life of each tire.
Don’t forget about alignment
Do you notice your truck pulling to one side or the other? It’s probably time for a wheel alignment, as driving on rough roads can increase the chances of misalignment. When a misalignment occurs, it creates more wear and tear on the tires. It will also cause poor handling on the road, and decrease your gas mileage. If your truck is out of alignment, it can cause uneven distribution of your truck bed. That means every time you haul something it can place undue pressure on the tires. That can lower tire pressure, and increase the pull. It’s a constant circle of damage that can happen to various parts on your vehicle. Alignments are easy to do on a regular basis, and one of the best ways to ensure your truck is running well as it ages.
A lot can happen to your truck over the course of a few days. Instead of waiting for a regularly schedules maintenance visit, or waiting until you notice a problem, be proactive in checking things out. A monthly check walking around your vehicle for a visual check will help you notice small problems that can lead to big issues. Turn on your turn signals; do they work? Check to see if your lights are bright and fully illuminated. Do your brake lights work? This is also a time to ensure you have supplies in your truck. Carry windshield washer fluid for easy fill-up. Put spare fuses and lightbulbs in the glove compartment in case one goes out. Having a few extra parts will ensure you never get stuck for something easy to fix.
Change your air filter
While your vehicle can’t survive without fluids, it also needs clean air circulating through the system to function at its best. Over time, the air filter can accumulate dust, dirt, debris, and other pollutants simply from driving on the road. Change out the air filter regularly at least 15,000 miles or more frequently if you drive a lot. It’ll help your engine last longer, and can make your gas mileage more efficient, meaning you’ll save every time you pull into the pump.
Pull in for an inspection today
Just like you see your dentist and doctor regularly to ensure you’re in top health, so to should you bring your truck in frequently to ensure it’s in good condition as it ages. A mechanic can help pinpoint issues to watch for, make suggestions for repair and maintenance work, and keep your truck running in the best manner possible. All of that will ensure you stay on the road for years, and your truck remains loyal and with low maintenance for as long as you own your truck.