In the first half of 2018, over 1.4 million trucks were sold in America. There’s no doubt about it; trucks are a fan favorite.
Perhaps you’ve recently purchased a pickup truck and now, you’re wondering how to take good care of your investment. You want to make every dollar count, after all.
In this article, we’ll give you 9 essential truck maintenance tips to extend the lifespan of your vehicle.
1. Get the Oil Changed
Every 6 months (or 7,500 miles), you need to change the oil in your truck. If your vehicle’s an older model, you’ll also need to change the oil filter.
For the more auto-savvy people, you can change the oil yourself. If you decide to go the DIY route, make sure you buy the correct viscosity-index oil for your truck. For everyone else, it’s a cheap and quick trip to the auto shop.
2. Make Sure Your Coolant Is Topped Off
Trucks are pretty powerful, which means the engine can create a lot of heat when you’re driving. To counteract that, there’s coolant in your vehicle, which you need to make sure is never empty. If you try to drive with no coolant, it may necessitate a complete engine replacement.
A good idea is to check the coolant every 2 weeks. That way, if it does run low, you’ll catch it before it’s completely empty and wreaks havoc on your truck.
3. Change the Brake Fluid as Needed
Another important fluid in your truck is the brake fluid. As the name implies, brake fluid is what enables you to safely start and stop your vehicle.
When it’s not changed, it can become contaminated, which can then affect your entire brake system. Should things like the brake lines and calipers become rusted, you may have to spend hundreds of dollars to replace them.
By being proactive and checking your brake fluid, you can keep the whole system running smoothly. This is something you can have the technician check when you bring your truck in for an oil change.
4. Replace the Air Intake Filter Regularly
Just like with an air conditioning unit, your truck’s engine has an air filter that enables it to utilize clean air to function. The older the air filter, the more clogged up it’ll be with dust, dirt, and other pollutants.
You’ll want to replace the air intake filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles; this replacement schedule might be even more frequent if you drive your truck in dusty areas. If barely any light passes through the filter, then you’ll know it’s time to swap it out, even if it’s before 15,000 miles.
Performing this little bit of maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your engine. Plus, it can help it accelerate better and use less fuel in the process.
5. Regularly Schedule Alignments
If the alignment on your truck is off, it can cause a significant amount of unnecessary wear and tear. Not only will it wear out your tires quicker, but it can also make things more dangerous for you on the road since it makes it harder to steer. Plus, you’ll be spending more on gas since it’ll require your truck to do more work to get you places.
Whenever you get your oil changed, have the technician check your alignment as well. Also, if you feel like the steering wheel favors one side, it may be time for a check then as well.
6. Check Your Tire Pressure
As time goes on, your vehicle’s tire pressure will naturally go down. Because of this, you need to check your tires once a month to ensure they’re properly inflated for safe driving.
When you drive on underinflated tires, it can decrease your gas mileage. It can also cause your tires to wear out prematurely, which means you’d have to replace them sooner than expected.
7. Get Your Tires Rotated
The wear and tear on your tires won’t be even because of your driving style and the drivetrain configuration; usually, the front tires get worn out quicker. It can also be affected if your truck’s tires are misaligned.
When you bring your vehicle in for an oil change, have the rotate your tires too. That way, the wear will be more evenly distributed throughout your tires.
8. Fix the Liner
Over time, the bed liner of your truck may have get cracks or start peeling. While most issues may be cosmetic, it’s best to get them repaired anyway so any weathering doesn’t reach the truck bed.
Liner repairs can either patch up or recoat any imperfections in your truck bed liner. Not only will this make your vehicle look brand new again, but it’ll also help it operate for longer.
9. Check All Your Lights
It’s easy to forget about your lights when you’re concerned with all the other things on this list, but they’re just as important. Both the exterior and interior lights help you navigate, plus tell you when something’s wrong.
Whenever you have spare time, put the keys into your truck and do a thorough inspection of all the lights on the inside and outside. If you have a busy schedule, try to do this at least once every few weeks or month. That way, if you have a burnt-out light, you can replace it before you get a ticket with a hefty fine.
Perform Excellent Truck Maintenance for a Longer Lasting Vehicle
By following our truck maintenance tips, you can ensure that your vehicle will last for as long as possible. The key to getting the most out of your truck is preventative care and proactivity when something’s wrong. While you may have to spend more money upfront, it’ll pay for itself in the long run when your truck is still operable, even after years of hard driving.
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