Cold weather brings a wide range of experiences to drivers on the road, especially those driving cross-country routes. That’s why it’s imperative for drivers to prepare for all types of road and weather conditions.
Planning ahead is essential. Now is the time to develop a strategy to prep your truck for extreme weather patterns. Preventative maintenance is important to keep you running in top conditions through the cold. Below are 11 areas to prepare as you winterize your truck:
Check your truck’s battery to confirm there is no corrosion, leakage or damage and inspect for proper voltage. Batteries can lose up to 35 percent of their power in 32 degrees Fahrenheit and as much as 60 percent at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
When temperatures are below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, plug in block heaters or park inside if possible. The diesel won’t be solidly frozen, but it will not be in liquid form. In frigid conditions, drivers have to rely on heating options like block heaters and glow plugs, which not all diesel vehicles have. This is something to consider when spec’ing your next truck or look into aftermarket add-ons.
Make sure all electrical systems are fully operational. For the safety of yourself and other drivers, it is imperative your trucks are visible and all lights are fully operating on your truck and trailer. In addition, make sure your hazard lights are functioning in case a situation arises where you need them.
Inspect and invest in a new fuel filter. Contaminated filters will clog and trap fuel, which can quickly put a vehicle out of service.
Ensure your fuel caps are secure and fit without any looseness. Fuel cap secureness prevents loss of fuel pressure in the tanks and prevents debris from entering fuel tanks.
Fuel Tanks and Diesel Pump Nozzles
Clean your fuel tank caps of all liquids, dirt and dust to help prevent contamination in the bottom of the tanks from clogging your fuel filters or reaching the engine. Clean off diesel pump nozzles before inserting in your fuel tanks.
Check tire pressure before every trip while the tires are cold to confirm proper inflation. Cold weather naturally causes tire pressure to drop, which can increase rolling resistance and negatively impact your fuel efficiency. Check tread depth to ensure you have the proper amount of traction in snowy, rainy and harsh climates. Ensure you have satisfactory and adequate tires that will provide the traction your vehicle needs in different climates.
Make sure your fleet is equipped with chains. Chains should be inspected to make sure they are good to go when needed.
Check vents to ensure water cannot enter and that they are free from debris and clean to prevent contamination.
Check water separators and check gauges daily to ensure you don’t have a water in fuel (WIF) light and drain any water build-up immediately.
Replace wipers to allow for optimal moisture removal from your windshield, as well as clear snow to help with enhancing visibility. Make sure you have winter windshield wiper fluid and top it off as needed.
Having a good maintenance schedule allows you to be proactive and keep your truck on the road. Schedule an appointment with your local MHC dealer today to stay road ready this winter.