Monthly Archives: November 2016

  • Are You Ready For Winter? (West Coast)

    Getting your truck ready for winter is something that often gets forgotten on the west coast. We know there is a lot that has to be done to get ready for the cold temperatures that you will see (sarcasm), but there are still somethings that need to be covered.

    Tires

    Now, you may not need to change over to snow tires for your daily commute, but a good set of all season tires in good shape is always a good idea. Make sure they have good tread. With the rains, oils will come to the surface of the asphalt, and it can feel like driving on ice. Be ready.

    This is also a good time to rotate them and to check the balance and alignment.  If you are in an area that has large temperature change through the season, don’t forget to check the air pressure in your tires regularly. It will change with the changing temperatures, and to keep your fuel mileage at its best, keep your tires filled to the specification that is listed on your door tag (not on the tire).

    Electrical System

    Temperature changes tend to wreak havoc on electrical systems. It is smart to have your battery and electrical systems checked out as winter arrives. Most parts stores will perform tests for free. Take advantage of the service before it gets to cold out.

    Antifreeze in the radiator is essential

    Coolants have changed a lot over the years. It’s not just antifreeze anymore. Antirust and corrosion inhibitors are as important as the antifreeze aspect of modern antifreezes. These additives wear out with time, and need to be checked regularly. Check your owner’s manual for the mileage at which it should be flushed and changed.

    Oil being poured into truck

    Fluids

    We cannot say this one enough! Change your oil every 3 months or at the recommended mileage. The longer it's in the engine, the dirtier it gets. Fresh oil lubricates and cools the engine better.  Make sure to replace the filter at the same time. There is no better thing you can do for your engine.

    This is a great time to check the transmission fluid. It should be changed at around 45,000 mile intervals, but make sure to check your owner’s manual. This is one of the most over looked maintenance items there is. . Differentials, transfer case, brake fluid (should be changed every 2 years) and washer fluid should all be checked at this time as well.

    Living on the West Coast does make getting ready for winter a little easier, but don’t let some of the simple things slip by. If you are taking trips to the mountains, make sure you are ready, don’t forget the items that are important to keep in your truck. Tow rope, kitty litter, shovel, blanket and some emergency food.  That should keep you ready and safe for any upcoming weather. Take great care of your truck, and it will take great care of you.

  • Are You Ready For a Midwest Winter?

    Getting ready for winter in the Midwest can be both fun and aggravating at the same time. Saturday morning…  Let’s grab the truck and go play in the snow!  Monday morning… Sigh, another commute in the snow. Either way, your truck has to be ready for whatever Mother Nature (and you) throws at it.

    Snow chains

    Get the Right Accessories

    Winches, tow ropes, shovels gloves and boots - all unbelievably fun, unless you have to use them. Let’s try and keep you dry and warm this winter.

    Don’t go out in the snow with tires that can’t handle the job! Just don’t do it. It will not work out well for you, or the person who is nice enough to stop and pull you to safety.  A good, aggressive, self-cleaning tread pattern is perfect for playing in the snow, so if you don’t have off road tires in good condition, just stay at home.

    Now is the time to pre-fit your chains. Check them, any broken links? Are the tensioners in good shape? Are they the right size for your new tires? Sounds simple, but when you need them, you need them to be right.

    When was the last time you checked your winch? Don’t forget to check the cable, electrical connections, switches and all the things in your accessory bag. You never know when you’re going to need it. How is your block heater, still have the cord? Check it now.

    Now is the time to go through your truck box. Shovel, tow rope (maybe 2), tarp, an extra gallon of washer fluid and kitty litter are all a must. You should also make sure you have a blanket and some emergency food in the cab (cereal that the kids dropped between the seats does not count).

    Prepare Your Truck

    Ok, so much for the fun stuff. Let’s talk about the truck itself.

    Start at the front. Do you use a radiator cover? Time to get it out, and back on the truck.

    Check the antifreeze. It’s called antifreeze for a reason, make sure its protecting down to the temperature you expect to be in.

    Oil… Duh. Change it, and use the recommended winter weight, this makes it easier on the engine when it’s cold.

    Transmission fluid should be checked at this point. Check the color, is it brownish? Might be time for a change. While you are under the truck, check all of your u-joints, they tend to snap at the worst possible times.

    Check your differentials for play, and top off the fluid if needed.

    Check the brakes; they come in handy in snowy conditions.

    Now, a good cleaning, and a final inspection will show that you forgot to change out the wipers. Don’t feel bad, everyone does. Believe it or not, wiper manufactures say you should change out your wipers every 6 months. Do not get caught with old, streaky wipers. Top off the washer fluid, and you should be good to go.

    Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your truck this winter!

  • Are You Ready For Winter? (East Coast)

    Getting your truck ready for winter is wicked important if you live on the East Coast. Failure to plan ahead will leave you stranded, walking in the cold and ice – and no one wants that.

    Truck with snow plowWhat sort of steps should you take to get your truck ready for winter?

    Antifreeze

    Your coolant does not need to be changed every year, but it should have the level and the temperature range checked. If the mixture is not right, adjust it accordingly. The old standby of 50/50 water and antifreeze is not always accurate these days, so check your owner’s manual.  Make sure to not mix types of coolant. Easy way to keep it straight is to not mix colors. Other fluids should be checked at this time as well. Differentials, transfer case, brake fluid (should be changed every 2 years) and washer fluid… Always washer fluid!

    Change your oil every 3 months or at the recommended mileage. Heat breaks down oil, and it can become gummy or watery. When this happens, it can’t lubricate properly. The longer it's in the engine, the dirtier it gets. Replacing old oil with new fixes all these problems. The fresh oil lubricates and cools the engine better. When you flush the old oil out, you flush out the dirt and grit.  Make sure to replace the filter at the same time. There is no better thing you can do for your engine.

    Tune Up and Filters

    Younger trucks don’t need a tune up as often as older trucks, but this is the time to check. Check your mileage and compare it to the recommended schedule. While you are still under the hood, check all your filters. Air, fuel, breather and your PCV valve (if equipped). Change if needed.

    Electrical System

    Electrical systems can freeze if they are in bad shape once the frost settles in. It is smart to have your battery and electrical systems checked out as winter arrives, most parts stores will perform tests for free. Take advantage of the service before it gets too cold out.

    Tires

    Check and rotate your tires. The air pressure in your tires will change with the changing temperatures, and to keep your fuel mileage at its best, keep your tires filled to the specification that is listed on your door tag (not on the tire). Rotating them regularly will help get the most miles out of them. While your tires are off, have your brakes checked. This is also the right time to have your alignment checked and corrected if needed. This will show if you need any front suspension work, and may save your tires as well. Now is also the time to check your snow chains, try them on and don’t forget about the tensioners.

    Lastly, don’t forget the items that are important to keep in your truck: tow rope, kitty litter, shovel, blanket and some emergency food.  That should keep you ready and safe for the upcoming weather. Good luck, hope you make through another East Coast winter!

3 Item(s)