Have you ever had a truck break down on the side of the road and leave you stranded? Did you cuss the truck and blame it for being a piece of junk? It wasn’t the truck’s fault; it was yours because you didn’t take care of it. A truck is a machine, and machines need maintenance and care to keep running well. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. For those who depend on their vehicle day-in and day-out to deliver results, a bit of care and maintenance goes a long way. While each make and model will have its own special needs, including consulting the owner's manual, following these simple tips will keep your truck running like it's fresh off the lot for years to come. There’s no big secret to a long life for your truck; just follow these maintenance tips to keep your truck running smoothly. There is no such thing as a truck that will run forever without some time, attention, and love. If you value your money and your truck, do the little things and take care of it so it can take care of you.
Stop Jamming on the Gas
No doubt you have yourself a jacked-up, big-time, noisemaking truck. A truck designed to turn all the cowgirls’ heads and get yourself some attention. You keep the tires clean and that truck roars like a lion; we get it. Stop jumping all over the gas pedal, though. Every time you floor it, you’re putting unnecessary wear on the entirety of the truck. The pistons, seals, crankshaft, transmission, and all the other guys on the team are running extra laps so you can have some fun. That’s fine once in a while, but just settle down a bit, hoss. If you want that purdy truck to last a long time, be tender with her.
Change the Oil
This one's easy, but no doubt one of the most important things you can do to ensure a long life for your truck. Oddly enough, though, for some people, this is a difficult thing to do, even though there are thousands of quick lube joints everywhere. For older, higher-mileage trucks, always change your oil filter when you change your oil. Be sure to pick up the best oil for your needs. There are dozens of varieties of oil and a wide range of high-mileage options tailored to increasing the life of older engines, so be sure to consult your owner's manual to ensure you pick the right viscosity index for your truck. Then doublecheck before you buy—having to visit the same auto shop twice in one day for a single item is both embarrassing and a waste of time.
Tune-Ups Work Wonders
You don’t have to be an ace mechanic to perform routine maintenance on your truck. Take care of the basics like topping off the fluids, keeping air in the tires, and washing the truck. Find yourself a trustworthy mechanic to handle the rest; he knows what to do. Take your beast by the shop every couple of years to change the plugs and wires, flush the fluids, and give everything a good once-over. Every shop offers a basic tune-up package, and they will find things that are going bad and fix them for you. Don’t jump and think that you must fix everything they mention, because they will tell you lots of things. Take care of any problems that will keep your truck in the garage and off the road. Having regular tune-ups will prevent anything catastrophic from happening in the first place.
Stop Driving Like a Jerk
This tip is along the same lines of the gas pedal tip. The truck is a machine like any other, and the more it gets used and abused, the faster it will have problems. Remember what you’re driving, a truck. Trucks are made for work, for hauling, for towing, for getting the job done. It’s not a high-performance sports car that can do a quarter mile in heartbeat. You bought a workhorse, not a thoroughbred, so stop driving it like one. Drive like an old lady if that helps you slow down. Driving aggressively puts strain on the engine and wastes fuel.
Rotate the Tires
Changing your oil is a good time to check up on other types of routine maintenance too. Rotating your tires each time you change your oil helps ensure an even wear—because tires wear unevenly according to the drivetrain of your truck. Tire rotation is very important. People often remember to change the oil at the prescribed interval, but it’s recommend that you rotate your tires every time you have your oil changed so that your tires are wearing evenly. While it depends on how you use your truck, the front tires will typically see the most wear. Rotating them can not only extend the life of the tires themselves, it makes for a smoother ride and reduces the burden on the suspension that can come from uneven wear. If there are any alignment issues, you should be able to spot them when the tires are rotated.
Listen to the Truck and Check the Fluids
Any truck will tell you when something is wrong. Day after day, you know what it sounds like, and you get used to the sounds of a well-running machine. When something starts to slip, wear, or break, you will know it because you’ll hear it. Don’t ignore those sounds and don’t forget about it if it goes away. The sound may have stopped momentarily, but the problem didn’t go away. Truck noises aren’t wine; they don’t get better with age. Every time you stop for gas, check the levels in the engine. Check the oil, the power steering fluid, the coolant, and washer fluids when you stop for gas. Those are vital fluids for the truck and need upkeep.
Following these maintenance tips will keep your truck running smoothly. But when it’s time for a boost to that Cummins Revmax transmission, check out NextGen Diesel’s lineup of parts.