Are you ready for the winter with your truck? Checking your truck's maintenance is essential to protect the operation of your truck, your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Winter is rapidly coming, in many places across the Nation - it’s already here!
Any vehicle, particularly a fleet of trucks on the road for several hours each day, suffers from severe winter weather and freezing temperatures. Use this maintenance checklist to get your vehicle ready for your next trip out on the harsh winter roads.
Examine the tires and tire pressure
Remember to monitor the tire pressure on your vehicle both before and throughout the winter. Tire tread life, fuel efficiency, and safety may be affected by the gradual loss of tire pressure caused by cold conditions.
Additionally, if your tires are losing tread, this might make maintaining traction on slick roads more difficult. Running with winter tires that are in excellent condition can help minimize breakdowns and accidents, so ensure your tires are inflated.
The engine block heater's plug
If you drive in the winter, you've undoubtedly heard that your truck's engine block heater may need to be plugged in for it to start. When it's 0° or below during the winter, and you start the engine, the oil in the engine block thickens and starts to get gloppy. Therefore you'll need an engine block warmer. Without one, you risk your engine working harder, using more fuel, and emitting more pollution due to the difficulty the oil will have moving through.
You should plug in the block heater if it is chilly at night or early morning hours. It's a good idea to turn it on when the temperature hits 5°F. Avoiding cold soaks may help keep the engine's block warm, making it more straightforward for the engine to start.
Verify your side, back, and front lights
Check to ensure that all of your exterior lights are operational. It might be difficult to see where you're going in snowstorms, hazy weather, or icy roads without strong lights guiding the way. Additionally, it makes your truck harder for others on the road to see, which is incredibly important on winter roads when other vehicles need more time and distance to stop.
Examine your battery
Cold engines need significantly more battery power to start. In cold temperatures, batteries lose power fast and might be particularly difficult to recharge.
Check the battery's expiry date during your maintenance checklist to ensure it can maintain a decent charge and clean any previous connections often over the winter.
Always keep your fuel tank half full or more
There are a few reasons why we advise keeping your fuel tank half full. When it becomes cold, condensation accumulated in the tank might cause the fuel lines to freeze. Additionally, maintaining a half-full tank helps keep your vehicle running for warmth in the event you get stuck during the winter due to problems, traffic, or vehicle collisions.
Switch to new wipers
It would help if you changed your windshield wipers at least once a year, and the beginning of winter is an excellent time to do it. When driving in the rain or snow, your wiper blades keep your windshield, and your line of vision, clear. With a damaged or worn-out wiper blade, the extreme circumstances of freezing rain, snow, and ice buildup might put you in danger. Check your wipers to make sure they are in good condition.
Verify the fluid levels
Engine oil, brake, gearbox, coolant, power steering, and windshield fluid levels should be checked frequently. Before you begin your travel in chilly weather, fill up any empty or low fuel levels, which aids in maintaining decent fuel efficiency.
Invest in winterized fuel
Nothing is more frustrating than having to cope with a decrease in fuel efficiency and your vehicle not starting when it is below zero. Cold weather is tough on diesel fuel. Running your vehicle in subfreezing conditions while using untreated fuel may lead to various problems, including fuel gelling, frozen fuel lines, and clogged filters due to buildup. Seasonally improved fuels may run in freezing temperatures below -30°F. Avoiding these issues will keep you moving while not extending the life of your engine.
Now you know how to take care of your truck during winter. If you can adhere to these maintenance tips, you will likely avoid encountering any significant problems during the winter season.