Summer is near and it’s time to think about transitioning to the different driving conditions. Here in Oklahoma, the extreme summer heat can be as tough on your truck as the harsh winter weather. And if you’re driving plans call for trips to other parts of the country, you may encounter both Extreme heat, and mild temperatures on a single trip.
To ensure your truck is prepared to roll comfortably along, without mishaps or breakdowns, here are some service tips that go beyond the obvious oil and filter changes and lube jobs. These summer truck maintenance tips will help your summer to be as productive as possible.
Over-inflated or under-inflated tires don’t perform well and result in poor fuel consumption and handling of the truck. If over-inflated or under-inflated, tires can literally explode if they get too hot. Excessive speed and a heavy load is all it takes for tires to overheat. A blown tire can easily cause an accident and certainly take you out of commission.
Did you know that high temperatures are actually harder on batteries than cold? Most people tend to forget about the battery since they are more worried about starting problems in the warm weather. Excessive heat can cause a weak battery to fail. Make sure your battery’s electrolyte levels are full and the unit is fully charged. It’s also necessary to make sure the battery terminals and wire ends are clean to have a strong connection.
Your truck will perform the same whether you are comfortable or not, but you won’t enjoy your job much if you’re sweltering. Have your air conditioner checked for leaks, especially Schrader valves and hoses. Repair or replace them as necessary, and recharge the system. If you stay cool, you will drive happy.
Coolant and coolant hoses.
Just because it’s called antifreeze doesn’t mean you don’t also rely on it during the summer months. Check your coolant to make sure it’s in good condition, and inspect all your coolant hoses too. Do you know how old those hoses are? If you purchased your truck new you do, but you probably don’t if the truck was purchased used. So we suggest you replace all your coolant hoses and replace the coolant, they are not expensive. You’ll drive with the peace of mind knowing the system is fresh. That’s worth a lot, especially compared to the cost of a potential breakdown, towing charges or a new engine.
Engine belts are often overlooked. They just keep going round and round, racking up an astounding amount of mileage with all those revolutions. They have to flex as they’re rotating, which leads to a lot of wear, yet they aren’t given much thought. Compare that to tires – you might get as much as 100,000 miles from them, but you always aim to replace them before they fail.
Replacing engine belts is far cheaper than repairing your engine, so it’s smart to inspect all your belts for cracks or other wear indications.
Wherever your travels take you and your truck during your busy season this summer, you’ll travel more confidently and more profitably if you take the time to follow these tips for summer preventative maintenance.