The Ultimate Truck Maintenance Checklist
Are you up-to-date on your truck’s maintenance? Here’s our handy truck maintenance checklist to help keep your truck running perfectly.
A report by WHO indicates that over one million deaths result from road traffic accidents. Failures and defects in the vehicle systems are contributing to these deaths. For example, several accidents occur because of braking system failure.
As a truck driver, you can prevent most of the system damages if you do proper truck maintenance. Apart from helping in saving lives, proper maintenance increases your truck’s lifespan.
Here’s our handy truck maintenance checklist to help keep your truck running perfectly.
Clean the Engine
If the engine isn’t cleaned regularly, dirt, grime, and debris can clog it over time. If this happens, the dirt and grime may damage your truck’s components. This affects your truck’s performance and road life.
Therefore, you should clean your truck’s engine. Cleaning dirt and grease unclogs the delicate parts and prevent the contaminants from causing damages. Again if your engine is clean, you can easily locate and fix leaks.
Once you find and fix engine problems on time, you save a lot on maintenance cost since there will be fewer repairs. The more often you clean the engine, the longer its lifespan
Learn how to listen to your engine and know when all is not well. Check out this truck troubleshooting guide for tips on how to identify and fix engine problems.
Check the Fluids
Fluids must get checked regularly to ensure your truck don’t run out. If the fluid level is low, top it up.
Remember to change the engine coolant before it becomes acidic and damages other parts of the engine. Use the right coolant and make sure your truck has a sufficient amount of it. If the coolant isn’t enough, your engine will overheat.
Always keep the window washer fluid full, especially if you are going on a road trip. You never know the amount of dirt you will encounter on the way.
Change Engine Oil
Regular oil change increases your engine’s fuel efficiency. If the engine oil is below the minimum, add more immediately.
A low reading could indicate your engine is leaking or burning oil. Your engine will get damaged if it overheats.
Secondly, examine the oil for texture and color. The oil should feel slick and smooth on your finger. If it has particles, then the components of your truck engine are wearing down.
Finally, check the oil color. It should be yellow or amber. A dark, or black color signal for an oil change.
Oil is usually changed after every 5,000 to 7,500 miles; however, a heavily used engine will need an oil change before the 5,000 miles elapse. Always make sure you pick the right oil for your truck engine. If not sure, refer to the owner manual or call a professional to change your oil.
Replace Air and Oil Filters
Air filters block dust, debris, and dirt from getting into your engine. Such particles can scratch at or wear parts like the bearings.
Through the air filters, your engine gets clean oxygen for combustion to break fuel into power. You should change the air filters whenever they are clogged with dust.
Oil filters keep engine components working smoothly. The oil filter sifts particles to keep contaminants out of your engine. Dirty oil filters can allow contaminants to reach and damage the engine.
The filters should be changed regularly after about every 20,000 kilometers.
Rotate and Balance the Tires
Tires wear unevenly with the front tires wearing more around the edges and the rear ones in the middle. Generally, the front tires suffer more wear. Thus, in the event of an emergency, it will be difficult to control your vehicle, especially if the road is wet.
Regular tire rotation keeps you safe when you need to brake. It also ensures even wear and saves you from spending a lot of money on new tires. Rotation also reduces the burden on your truck’s suspension that would otherwise shorten your car’s life.
You should also balance your tires when rotating them. When a set of tires is unbalanced, it leads to increased wear on your suspension.
It is also important to do wheel alignment. Constant hitting of potholes and unevenly inflated tires can misalign your truck’s wheel. Misalignment will wear off your tires faster.
Assess Your Lights
Your truck has numerous warning lights to alert you when your vehicle needs attention. Many people ignore lighting when doing truck maintenance.
Confirm if your exterior and interior lights are working fine. Different warning lights represent different levels of severity.
For example, a dim light is an indicator of an electrical problem. If the temperature warning light is on, it is a case of overheating and you shouldn’t drive your car.
Inspect the Wheel-End
Periodic inspection of the wheel-end increases safety and maximizes over-the-road performance. Wheel-ends require proper maintenance to reduce the chance of catastrophic wheel-offs.
Here are some inspections you can do without removing the wheel.
- Look for irregular friction wear on drum brakes. It’s an indicator of a deformed brake shoe.
- Assess the drums and rotors for any signs of overheating lining or dragging breaks.
- Look for lining wear and cracks on drum brakes without dust shields.
- Inspect tappet boots and guide pin boots for crack or tear that could allow moisture inside.
Cleaning the Truck’s Exterior
It’s often the most ignored part in truck maintenance. If you don’t wash the exterior, it deteriorates over time from dirt, salt, sand, and rocks it comes across in the environment.
Wax the exterior periodically to maintain the paint and reduce the chances of rusting.
But before you start scrubbing, make sure you buy the right brushes, sponges, clothes, etc., to avoid damaging the paint.
Read the Manufacturer’s Manual
The manufacturer’s manual contains lists of all the recommended regular maintenance for your truck. A manual will help you determine the reason for a warning light you see on your dashboard.
Again, if you read your manual, you won’t pay someone to do simple truck maintenance services that you can do on your own.
Schedule Complete Truck Inspection
Even if you do the basic maintenance by yourself, your truck still need to periodically undergo complete inspection by a car expert. A certified mechanic can identify defects before they cause serious damages.
Observe Proper Truck Maintenance for Optimal Performance
Follow our truck maintenance checklist to optimize the truck’s performance, promote road safety, reduce repair costs, and extend the lifespan of the truck’s components. Also, don’t forget to get periodic tune-ups from a professional dealer.
Before you go, check out our blog for more maintenance tips and tricks.