The summer heat is just as hard on your truck as it is on you. With these scorching Oklahoma temperatures, it is especially important to prepare your truck for the heat to ensure it stays running smoothly all summer. If you haven’t done your summer truck maintenance, now is the time!
Our service department put together five truck maintenance tips to help you drive safe and stay cool this summer.
Summer Truck Maintenance Check List
1. Engine Cooling System
Check antifreeze concentration levels and make sure the antifreeze-to-water ratio is correct. Cooling ratio is as important to keeping the engine from overheating as it is to preventing freezing. If the ratio is off the engine cooling system will not operate properly and may even fail. Checking the condition of the coolant hoses is just as important as the concentration levels. Because coolant hoses break down from the inside, it can be hard to see the wear from the outside however, it is easy to test. Squeeze the hose near the ends and if it feels spongy then it needs to be replaced.
It is a good idea to replace coolant every 100,000 miles or at least every two years. Consult your vehicle’s operation manual for the recommended intervals. All fluids have a usable life span and should be changed as recommended. This includes brake fluid and power steering fluid.
2. Air Conditioner
Don’t get caught in this heat without working A/C. Check for leaks in your valves and hoses. Even the smallest change will help keep drivers cool and comfortable this summer. Generally if a noise is coming from the blower motor, it is time to replace it.
Summer truck battery maintenance tips – Summer heat takes a toll on truck batteries. Because corrosion occurs more in the summer heat, it is important to keep batteries maintained and corrosion free. Corrosion buildup leads to a lower voltage and can eventually cause the battery to stop operating. Examine battery and cables for cracks and other damage.
4. Belts and Hoses
Since exposure to heat, vibration and contamination cause belts and hoses to wear, it is important to maintain the hoses and belts, especially during the hot season. It is simple to inspect and determine the damage. Make sure to check belts for proper tension and alignment and check for cracks, seepage and dirt around the connections as a preventative measure.
Summer Tire Maintenance Tips – Heat causes rubber to break down faster so it is important to check the tread depth and look for uneven wearing (such as cracks or nicks). An alignment may be necessary. Be sure to also monitor the tire pressure and remember improperly inflated tires get too hot and blow out. A blown tire can easily cause an accident and unwanted hassle.
Kirk Booth is the Service Manager of Truck-N-Trailer, a family owned and operated shop dedicated to providing the best medium and light duty delivery and work trucks, vans, and services to fit the individual needs of its customers. He provides excellent service to his customers for over 13 years. Kirk has 25 years in the automotive industry and his technicians (and himself) hold many factory training certifications. They take pride in being a “One Stop Shop.”