Summertime offers unique challenges for your trucks compared to winter. Whether you’re driving an existing truck or have just upgraded your commercial vehicle with a truck dealer in Oklahoma City, you must ensure that your vehicle is ready for summer driving considering that the temperature on the roads and highways are higher than ever.
Below are some tips on how you can prepare your trucks for summer.
1. Test your air conditioning unit to ensure that you’ll have a comfortable ride throughout the summertime.
2. Inspect for leaks in the hoses and valves by conducting system pressure tests if necessary.
3. Don’t ignore strange noises from the blower motor.
4. Have the unit serviced or repaired if necessary.
Coolant, hoses and cooling system
The cooling system is crucial in preventing your engine from overheating in the summer.
5. Always make sure that your antifreeze is in top condition to handle the heat of the summer.
6. Have all coolant hoses inspected to ensure they’re in top shape. If you had just bought a used vehicle from a commercial truck dealer wherein you have no idea of the condition or age of the hoses, it’s better to have the hoses replaced altogether. It’s also best to flush the old coolant and fill in a new batch.
7. Make sure that the radiator is not clogged by internal deposit buildup, corrosion or debris. Also, check for signs of leaking. When the radiator is not working properly, it can compromise the entire cooling system.
Driving on unchecked tires during the summer can cause blow-out, which can further cause damage to many parts of the truck as well as accidents to other motorists and vehicles around you.
8. Ensure that the tires are inflated properly. Bear in mind that the summer heat can increase the air pressure by approximately 1 psi for every 10°F.
9. Inspect the tires for wear, considering that the summer heat can wear them out much quicker.
10. Install new tires at the first sight of extensive wear on the old ones.
11. Regularly check the tire pressure and ensure that they’re at an appropriate level for your load. Tires become more explosive during summer when they don’t have the right pressure.
12. Make sure to drive slowly because excessive speed can increase the temperature on the tires, causing blowouts.
13. Do not overload your truck because excessive weight also contributes to high tire temperatures.
14. Be ready and well-equipped for a blowout especially this summer. This means that you should be able to remain calm when it happens, drive slowly and pull over when it’s safe. At the very least, you must have emergency triangles that you can set up while awaiting repair service. Despite ensuring that the tires are ready for summer driving, you’ll never know when a blow-out can accidentally occur. Heat can inflate the tires and weaken their integrity. Potholes can also cause blowouts.
Many people forget that the summertime can also be as damaging to your batteries than during winter when car starting problems are typical. During summer, the extreme heat can also make batteries fail.
15. Make sure that the electrolyte levels are full and that the battery always accepts a full charge.
16. Don’t forget to clean the wire ends and battery terminals as part of your regular maintenance check on your battery.
Poorly maintained breaks are dangerous. During summer, you’ll have to be extra vigilant when checking the integrity of your breaks.
17. Be more thorough with the regular maintenance checks on your brakes during summer, considering that the changing temperatures can affect every brake component including bushings, pads, hoses and linings.
18. Have a professional and experienced mechanic inspect your brakes before driving under the summer heat.
Windshields are usually overlooked during summer due to good weather. But you shouldn’t!
19. Make sure that windshields are always clean and clear, considering that summertime is also a bug season where insects can smash on the glass and obstruct your views. Other causes of obstructed view on your windshield during summertime also include dust, dirt, bird droppings and many others.
20. Especially for long road trips, make sure to always have an extra windshield washer in your truck.
21. Always have sufficient supply of window washer fluid to ensure you can immediately wash off anything that’s blocking your view on the windshield.
Of course, drivers should also be prepared for the summer, especially when they’ll always be on the highways. The summer heat can cause fatigue and exhaustion even when you’re just sitting and driving. It’s even more tiresome if the driver has to do heavy work such as carrying heavy deliveries and strapping down loads.
22. If you’re buying used vans, a dependable truck dealer in Oklahoma City can provide you with truck/van models that are designed with good airflow to ensure you’re feeling cool even under summer heat.
23. Always have a bottle or jug of potable water to avoid dehydration.
24. Don’t forget to take breaks.
25. Wear light clothing with breathable fabric.
26. Know the signs of dehydration and/or exhaustion such as heavy sweating, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, decreased alertness, nausea and clammy skin.
27. Avoid stress by checking your route on traffic apps to identify and avoid roads with congested traffic.
On top of the regular maintenance checks and rectifications that you’ll have to do on your trucks, we have discussed the additional works needed to ensure your trucks remain reliable during summertime. Just like during wintertime, there are special checks you need to perform on your truck during summer, too.
Truck-N-Trailer is your one-stop commercial truck dealer in Oklahoma City. We also offer a range of truck services. Get in touch with us today at 405-912-5800.