As with winter, truck maintenance is crucial before the season is in full swing. Practicing good habits, like performing pre and post trip inspections become even more important in the summer heat. While the summer sun is great for family vacations, the heat can damage your vehicle if the proper maintenance is not being done.
The most critical factor in tire maintenance is proper inflation. Due to the high temps on the asphalt, your tires will lose air pressure faster than they do in the cooler temps. Make sure you are checking the tires psi during pre and post trip inspections. You can also purchase an air hose that uses the trucks air supply via glad hand connection for instances where you are not at a truck stop. Properly inflated tires help prevent blow outs, reduce down time and keep you and the motoring public safe.
Belts and hoses
A simple visual inspection is all you need to determine the condition of the belts. Check to make sure they are aligned properly, proper tension and check the automatic tensioner if there is one. When you are checking a hose make sure to squeeze it near the ends. If the hose feels spongy, it needs to be replaced. Exposure to the high temps along with the usual contaminants and vibrations can cause these two items additional wear and tear.
As always, it’s important to ensure your coolant levels are maintained to help prevent your truck from overheating. Research has shown that an estimated 40 percent of engine downtime is caused by cooling system problems. During the summer it is a good idea to have an extra gallon of water and/or coolant in case of an emergency.