Spring Truck and Trailer Maintenance Tips

Winter is almost over and spring is on the way.  This is the time to say thanks to our hard-working vehicles for their great performance this winter by giving it a maintenance overhaul.  A spring checkup can help uncover winter damage but there may be some components that are more difficult to check without requiring a skilled technician to determine the problem.

  1. Batteries, Plugs & Wires: After a winter full of cold-morning starts, you must check your battery, plugs and wires. All of these components give the spark to your vehicle and they work extra hard when it’s cold. Winter wear and tear can compromise their performance up to 60 percent. Test and replace weak or old batteries, plugs and wires, especially those more than three years old. It will certainly be cheaper than a tow and replacement down the road.
  2. Tire Pressure: Cold weather can reduce tire pressure, so make sure all tires (including spares) are properly inflated and balanced. Improper tire pressure leads to premature wear and a decrease in fuel mileage.
  3. Belts and hoses: Inspect and replace worn or cracked belts, as well as hoses that are blistered, brittle or too soft. Belts and hoses older than five years, even if they look intact, might need to be replaced.
  4. Brakes: After a season of snow and ice it is advisable to inspect the brake system, including lines, hoses, parking brake and brake fluid for proper level. These are one of the most used (and abused) components.
  5. Suspension & Wheel Alignment: Deep potholes aren’t friendly to shocks and struts. An inspection to determine wear or leaks can alleviate bigger issues down the road. Also having your wheels aligned properly after a season of tough conditions can help keep you on the road in a safe direction.
  6. Fluid Levels: There are lots of things to check but don’t skip over any of them: engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze/coolant and even windshield washer fluid. Dirty fluids and low fluids may affect the performance of your vehicle and can lead to breakdowns if not properly checked and filled.  
  7. Engine Air filter: Replacing a dirty air filter allows clean, unrestricted air flow into the engine and helps ensure proper performance and longer life.
  8. Windshield Wipers: Spring showers and summer storms are upon us and properly functioning wiper blades increase visibility in these conditions.
  9. Check shocks and struts: These are vital to a smooth ride and could affect other parts in your vehicle.
  10. Check Headlamps, Tail Lamps, Turn Signals and Hazard Lights: Check that each are in working order and alignment to ensure safe driving, especially at nighttime or in rainy or foggy conditions.