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.
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).
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.
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.