The truck maintenance tips you’ve been waiting for.
Trucks are becoming increasingly well known as family haulers meaning that they have to survive the wear and tear of a family in addition to the conditions of the road. No matter if you buy your truck new or used there are a few simple tips you can follow to help get your truck to 200,000 miles.
Change the oil on time, every time.
It’s easy enough to put off changing the oil because it requires carving out time during the day between work, play, carpool duties, extracurricular activities, homework and attempting to avoid being sold a new air filter you don’t need or the bug remover windshield washer package.
TRUCK SAVING TIP: Follow the advice laid out in your truck’s owner’s manual to determine how often your vehicle needs its oil changed. When you get your oil changed, instead of trying to remember to check the sticker they put on your windshield, set a calendar reminder in your phone to check your mileage one month before the sticker says you’ll most likely need an oil change. Then, you’ll have time to plan a block of time to devote to getting service in the coming weeks.
Get the truck washed when it needs it.
We all know people that go months and possibly years without washing their vehicle. Don’t be the mom with “wash me” on her back windshield in the carpool line.
TRUCK SAVING TIP: Washing the truck isn’t all about making it look pretty. Getting the kids to help hose down your vehicle every few weeks can help them learn responsible automobile maintenance and help you detect dents, rust and chips before they evolve into major repairs. If your HOA doesn’t allow driveway washing, head to the car wash (which can also double as cheap family-friendly entertainment) and be sure to pull over after the car has dried to do a quick inspection.
Hit the speed bumps lightly.
When you hit speed bumps at a higher rate of speed than what is recommended, it can knock your truck out of alignment. This can cause tire wear in unusual and unsafe patterns, hastening the quickness with which you need to spend money to replace your tires. It can also be a safety hazard, making the tires less safe in slick surface driving situations. A continuously uneven ride can even make other parts of your truck wear faster than they should, lessening its resale value.
TRUCK SAVING TIP: Don’t hit a speed bump at more than 15 mph. A good measure is if your kids groan, grunt, say “wee!” or “do it again, mommy!” when you hit it, you were probably going faster than recommended.
Check your seals, hoses and fluid levels in the spring and fall.
It’s easy to rely on your dealership or service center to check all these things for you but to make yourself a more informed customer, which can save you time and money in the long run, keep tabs on what is going on under the hood.
TRUCK SAVING TIP: Schedule your time to check on the same day as when you change the furnace filter at home. Use your kids to help you write a checklist of things you need to check and to keep tabs on what you have already checked. Also, use this time to show your children where things are and explain to them what is under the hood of a car. Even something as simple as knowing which part is the engine, where the windshield washer fluid goes and what belts do can spark a lifelong interest in responsible vehicle ownership and operation.