Depending on where you are, it may be months before the summer season kicks in—but it’s never too early to get your commercial medium duty truck ready for the scorching heat!
When summer arrives, you need to make sure your truck is in optimal running condition. Avoid roadside breakdowns and more expensive medium duty truck repairs by performing the basic checks before hitting the road.
When ignored, hot weather can damage your truck. Here’s what you need to be looking out for:
Tires that are under or over-inflated can be dangerous in the hot summer. When over-inflated, they can explode in the excessive heat; if under-inflated, they generate excess friction and heat, won’t perform well on the road, and can blow out under load as well.
As temperature rises, the tire pressure increases as well. Check your manual or your tire’s sidewall for the correct tire pressure levels. Check for accurate pressure readings with a pressure gauge, or let a truck repair specialist do it for you.
Hot weather is tough on your truck’s battery. The summer heat causes a chemical reaction inside the battery, overcharges it, and eventually reduces its lifespan. Sometimes, the summer can get so hot; the internal battery fluid evaporates, damaging the battery by exposing the battery plates and creating a “dry cell” and reducing the battery’s ability to charge.
Keep your battery clean. Carefully disconnect the cables and wipe the terminals regularly. After that, make sure all the wires and connections are secure.
Oil and Oil Filter
Engine oil keeps parts cool, running clean and smooth by preventing metal to metal contact. Frequent, harsh driving during the summer season can potentially cause the engine to overheat. Most newer model truck owner’s manuals may advise changing the oil and oil filter every 7,500 miles. Oil change technicians typically recommend changing every 3,000 miles or three months with conventional oils, whichever comes first.
The cooling system is comprised of chemical coolant, water pump, hoses, thermostat, and cooling fans. These components make sure that the vehicle runs at an optimal temperature.
In the hot summer, cooling systems are under stress. A problem with any of its parts can make the truck overheat and eventually break down.
The Engine Coolant level under the hood should be checked regularly. Flush the radiator and add new coolant at least every two years as a general rule. Your truck repair mechanic can perform this flush for you when the coolant condition is not up to the task for summer temperatures.
Hoses and Belts
Aside from the radiator and coolant, hoses and belts also keep the truck engine cool. Hoses are connected to the radiator, which carries coolant to and from the engine block. Belts, on the other hand, keep the fan, water pump, power steering pump, and alternator running.
A leaking hose, worn out or snapped belts can cause the radiator to overheat, which may leave you stranded on the side of the road, in the hot weather. That is why you should check the hoses for leaks, cracks, or any loose connections. They must be soft when squeezed; not hard, rigid, and brittle.
It goes without saying that, the better your commercial fleet performs, the more money you make! Get expert medium duty truck repairs and beat the hazards that summer brings to your commercial vehicle. Visit Truck-N-Trailer Service today!