Pickup trucks are durable vehicles that can take the wear and tear of daily use. This is what makes it a popular multipurpose set of wheels that can be used for both recreation and work. However, as with any machine, it needs constant maintenance in order to keep it running for years to come. No matter how well-made and expensive a car is, it’s only ever as good as how much care it receives from its owner.
With so many things to think about when it comes to pickup truck maintenance, it can get very overwhelming and anyone can easily miss something that could be extremely important. To narrow down the essential things that need to be done, the following are some useful tips to keep in mind to prolong the life of a pickup truck.
Use a bed liner
A truck bed liner is a durable lining usually made out of vinyl or plastic that’s placed in the inner steel bed of a pickup truck. It’s used to protect this part of the vehicle from damage from the elements and effectively secures cargo that’s being transported.
There are two main types of bed liners: spray-in and drop-in. Drop-in types are made out of hard, shaped plastic that’s fastened with screws or slid into the bed of the truck. On the other hand, spray-in liners are liquid sprays that are directly applied to the bed of the truck and quickly harden to perfectly fit the shape of it.
Schedule regular maintenance
It’s important to already take proactive maintenance measures even before any noticeable issues arise. Penciling in regular vehicle maintenance ensures that every part of the pickup truck is in good working order. Tons of money and stress can be saved by just this small amount of effort.
Reckless, aggressive driving can truly take a heavy toll on a pickup truck. It pays to know how to drive smart when on the road. Avoid tailgating, abrupt braking, and forceful speeding as these can have a negative impact on the overall performance of the vehicle in the long term.
Keep it in a garage
Parking a car in the driveway exposes it to the elements which can negatively affect its parts over time. It’s better to park it inside the garage or under a shaded area. If there’s no such location available, throwing on a car cover over the vehicle will suffice. Excessive exposure to humidity, heat, and dampness can damage certain parts of the car, so what’s important is that the car is shielded from the sun, wind, snow, and mud.
Take care of brakes
Brakes are easily one of the most neglected parts of a car, yet it plays an important part in the safety and performance of a vehicle. Always schedule a yearly fluid check and have the brake fluid changed at least once a year.
Have wheels aligned regularly
Maintaining a car’s wheel alignment is important to prevent inefficient gas usage, tire wear, and loss of steering control. Properly aligned wheels can make the most out of tires and the general performance of the car. In order to save time, this can be done at the same time as a regular oil change.
Regulate tire pressure
Always keep tires inflated as low tire pressure can result in an accident and can also cause unnecessary and uneven strain on the tire surface.
Overinflation and underinflation can severely damage tires in the long run, and it can be very dangerous to drive on in inclement weather. There is a different recommended tire pressure for every vehicle, and it can be found in the car’s owner manual or on a sticker somewhere in the door jamb. Keeping a tire gauge in handy also helps when checking if tires are in need of air.
Maintain fluid levels
One of the most important parts of regular pick-up truck maintenance is maintaining proper fluid levels. Motor oil, coolant, radiator fluid, steering fluid, transmission fluid, washer fluid, and brake fluid should always be checked and topped up when necessary.
Study the owner’s manual
Every car has an owner’s manual, and it’s essential to read up on it. The manual has everything any responsible pickup truck owner needs to know to be able to keep their truck in good condition for the long run.
Change the filters
Both fuel filters and air filters should be replaced regularly. Air filters should be replaced every couple of months or whenever it’s noticeably dirty, while fuel filters should be replaced every 10,000 to 15,000 miles (ca. 24,140 km) — but it also depends on the pickup truck model. The vehicle’s owner manual may have a recommended schedule for when both should be replaced.
Pickup trucks are a valuable investment, so it’s important to keep them around for as long as possible which can be done with these easy yet effective maintenance tips.