Data shows that out of all the cars on the road, light trucks continue to be the most popular vehicle by sale. Light-duty trucks can be great for hauling, but all of that weight can also have an impact on different parts of the vehicle, from tires and brakes to the engine. Fortunately, routine maintenance you can help preserve the life of your truck. Below, find four tips to help your truck stay on the road for as long as possible.
- Change the engine oil and filter regularly – If you’re using your truck to haul things frequently, like a boat or work equipment, it can put a strain on your truck’s powerful engine. While changing the engine oil and filter is important maintenance for every type of vehicle, it’s especially important for trucks because of the added stress it sustains from bearing extra weight – from the auto body itself, as well as your vehicle load. Information on how often to change these items can be found in your truck’s manual. While in the shop, have them check the other fluid levels as well and top any off that are running low.
- Inspect the brakes frequently – Brakes can wear out quickly on a truck, as the extra weight of heavy loads can strain them, so it’s always a good to ask for your brakes to be inspected when you’re getting other routine maintenance done, like an oil change. Generally, a truck’s brake pads will last around 50,000 miles – but it could be sooner, depending on usage. Keep an eye out for signs that your truck’s brakes are wearing down: your truck’s indicator lights if you have a newer model, the thickness of the brake pads, or physical cues when you brake: vibrations, squeaking, or the scent of burnt rubber.
- Rotate tires routinely – Rotating your truck’s tires regularly can help make sure they wear out at the same rate. Typically, tires should be rotated every 5,000-7,000 miles on a truck, though if you’re frequently hauling heavy loads in your truck or driving many miles, you might need a rotation sooner. Be sure to have the tires inspected during other regular maintenance.
- Prevent paint corrosion and rust – One thing that can spell the end for any vehicle is corrosion and rust – and trucks may be especially susceptible if you take them off road or through muddy, gravelly conditions. If you do go through mud or get debris on your car, be sure to take it through a car wash or wash it yourself promptly to prevent damage to your car’s finish. Additionally, any scratches to the paintjob should be promptly repaired to prevent rust from beginning to form.