What are some basic maintenance tips for your trucks this summer?
- Check your air conditioning system
- Change engine oil and filters routinely
- Take a look at your other fluid levels
As summer arrives, and temperatures rise in the Philippines, Japanese surplus trucks and other vehicles need to have maintenance done on them to prevent any mishaps brought by the heat.
Routine maintenance is important to keep your truck in top condition and will allow you to find problems early on before they become bigger and much more expensive. If you still haven’t prepared your trucks, now is the time. Here are 3 basic maintenance tips for your truck this summer.
Check Your Air Conditioning System
Start your summer truck maintenance right by keeping your AC cool! Check the levels of the antifreeze in your truck. If the level of antifreeze is below normal, the cooling system might not work efficiently or may even fail during hot weather conditions.
Inspect the fan shrouds, fan clutch, the radiator mounts as well. If dirty, a high-pressure washing of the radiator cooling fins, turbo inter-cooler, and air-conditioning condenser will clear out the dirt and debris that keep the airconditioning unit from working at its best.
Given the shortage of good drivers today, businesses cannot afford to lose drivers because of a malfunctioning air conditioning system. Take care of your drivers or they might leave you for someone who does.
Change Engine Oil and Filters Routinely
Oil and filter change are one of the most important parts of a good truck maintenance routine. Oil can easily be contaminated with debris, dust, and dirt from the environment over time. Clean oil, with appropriate grade & specifications, protects and lubricates the truck’s engine allows the truck to do its job properly.
Always consult your owner’s manual to know how often you should get an oil change. It is recommended for trucks from 2008 onwards to have an oil change every six months or 3,000 – 5,000 miles for light duty trucks, and 10,000 – 20,000 miles for medium/heavy duty trucks, whichever comes first (depending on manufacturer specifics and oil grades used). Trucks from 2007 and older are recommended to have an oil change every 5,000 – 10,000 miles or every six months, again, whichever comes first.
It is also recommended to change your oil more frequently if you tow or carry heavy loads, drive in dusty environments, frequently drive off-road, drive at low speeds for long periods of time, or use ethanol-based fuels more than 50% of the time.
In addition to clean oil, your trucks also need clean air. Make sure to clean/replace the air filter element on a regular basis to remove any dust and debris to ensure your trucks are functioning at its best.
Take a Look at Your Other Fluid levels
Aside from engine oil and anti-freeze, you should also regularly check these fluids that are all vital for operation: power steering fluid, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and engine coolant.
The engine coolant will keep the other fluids in your truck’s engine at their optimal temperature in order to improve performance and reduce problems associated with extreme temperature conditions, especially in places like the Philippines. Ideally, your truck’s engine should be kept at optimal operating temperature (195 – 220 degrees fahrenheit)
Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that is responsible for moving the different parts of the steering system of your truck. Brake fluid is also a hydraulic fluid and performs similar functions to your truck’s braking system.
Over time, these hydraulic fluids can absorb moisture & contaminants from the air, causing the systems that they are in to not perform properly. This is the reason why these fluids should be replaced on a regular basis, to extend the life of the truck’s more expensive components.
Even though it might not seem like a big deal, changing your windshield washer fluid is an important part of maintaining your truck. Smears and dust can easily build up on your windshield which makes it difficult to look ahead. Changing your windshield washer fluid routinely is not only a safe practice, it also protects the windshield itself because a clean windshield is less prone to damage.
Performing basic truck maintenance regularly is almost like an annual physical check-up for your truck. By analyzing your truck for anything it may have before going on the road, you can catch any mechanical or safety issues early on.
The saying “You get out what you put in” holds true for truck maintenance as well. If you put in the time to take care of your truck, you can enjoy many more years out of it.