Getting your truck ready for winter in the southwest is tough … depending where you are, and where you are going, you need to be ready for anything and everything. Where else can you go for a drive, leave in 80 degree weather, catch a major rain storm, and finish the day off in a blizzard?
Yep, fun stuff right there.
So, this should be easy … Just buy a new truck every year and stock it with cool stuff. There, problem solved - unless you can’t buy a new truck every year.
Ok, it really is kind of basic at this point. Good tires are always at the top of the list. The issue here is you may have great tires, but can still find yourself in a situation that your tires are not ready for. Pay attention to where you are going, and keep in mind what you are set up for.
Get the Right Accessories
This is not only for you, but for the people that are inevitably not as prepared as you. You may have to help them, if for no other reason than to get them out of the way.
Time for the truck box check list:
- Tow rope. Check to make sure there are no cuts or frays. Replace it if needed.
- Tire chains and tensioners. Check for broken links and cracked tensioners.
- Kitty litter.
- Washer fluid. Maybe two.
- A good jack.
- Basic hand tools.
- These items could make the difference between almost making it home, and being home.
Prepare Your Truck
- Time for the oil change. Use the recommended winter weight, this makes it easier on the engine when it’s cold. I know we cover this a lot, but it really is the best thing you can do for your vehicle. Don’t skimp on it, good oil and good filters are always worth the cost. Synthetic is always nice.
- Transmission fluid should be checked at this point. Check the color, is it brownish? It might be time for a change.
- Check all of your u-joints, they tend to snap at the worst possible times.
- Check the antifreeze. It’s called antifreeze for a reason, make sure its protecting down to the temperature you expect to be in. Remember, it’s also called coolant. Check it.
- Check your differentials for play, and top off the fluid if needed.
- Check the brakes. A simple check can save money and a life. Brakes are the most important system on your truck. If it doesn’t start, no one gets hurt. If it doesn’t stop, well…
- Check your windshield for cracks and chips, swap out those old wipers and top off the washer fluid, and you should be ready to roll.
Have fun, be safe, and be smart. Enjoy your truck this winter!