When driving a semi truck cross-country and trying to meet all your delivery deadlines, you should carry some extra items with you. That way, if you have issues in the middle of nowhere and are fifty miles from the closest town, you can just take care of the problem yourself.
We suggest you carry the following: extra oil, coolant, washer fluid, and DEF fluid, a fuel filter, and a fuel filter wrench. But take note that when changing your fuel filters, you must install the new fuel filters full of diesel fuel.
In addition, as a professional driver you need to keep a lookout for engine overheating, oil leaks, and coolant leaks, and keep up with general preventive maintenance. Keeping your engine maintained will help you make that delivery on time and help prevent breakdowns. The last thing you want is a premature engine failure that requires an engine overhaul. This is a major expense and a time-consuming repair that will ultimately delay your delivery. Preventive maintenance and taking note of engine performance changes should be a top priority, to keep you on the road!
Make some time in your busy schedule and perform these basic tasks, as they will ultimately save you time and money and keep you out of the repair shop. But keep in mind that if you use Wyoming Diesel Service for your preventive maintenance needs, we will perform a free 59-point inspection to make sure your vehicle is ready for the miles ahead! Find out the best used and brand new deals at Kenworth truck auctions.
1. Keep Your Truck & Engine Clean
Whether you are driving across town or across the country, dust, road grime, and soot can make your truck rather messy. Keeping your truck clean allows you or your service technician to notice any issues before they become major problems. For example, on a clean vehicle you can spot new oil leaks, broken hoses, coolant leaks, etc. In addition, dirty engine components such as radiators and intercoolers are going to affect your engine. So, take preventive measures to keep things clean.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Fluids
If not for engine oil, your truck would not be able to roll on, furiously notching up miles, and would die a natural death. Engine oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine. But it becomes acidic and contaminated over time and needs to be changed regularly. Lack of oil changes will minimize performance and engine life.
You should also keep an eye on engine coolant as it’s just as important as engine oil. Keeping your coolant topped off and balanced with proper chemicals will help prevent engine overheating, coolant freezing, and engine-damaging electrolysis in your cylinder liners. Yes, improper coolant maintenance can lead to holes in your cylinder liners and allow coolant to dump into your cylinders!
Lastly, we need to include window washer fluid. It’s pretty easy to get a dirty windshield when you are zipping past someone on a wet or snowy road, and in the summer those bugs can muck up your windshield pretty quickly. Dirty windshields are dangerous and can be remedied with some windshield wiper fluid in your reservoir.
3. Change Filters Regularly
Just as your truck needs to be clean, your fluids need to be clean, too, and all your filters are an integral part of preventive maintenance.
- Fuel filters need to be replaced every now and then to ensure good, clean fuel flow to your engine. Dirty fuel filters don’t bypass and will restrict or stop fuel flow to your engine. With reduced fuel flow you will notice reduced engine performance, and with completely clogged filters, you will have an engine that won’t start or run.
- Oil filters ensure your oil is clean by removing particles that can cause engine wear and damage. Every time you change your engine oil, you need to change your oil filters.
- A clean air filter ensures your engine is breathing clean air. Air filters need to be changed from time to time, and the frequency depends on the environment you are operating in. A dirty, clogged air filter will restrict airflow and degrade engine performance.
- Diesel particulate filters (DPF) are important to maintain as well. You can read more about them under “Your Exhaust System.”
4. Change Your Oil Regularly
To keep your motor running smoothly, replace your oil consistently. It’s tough coming up with a hard and fast rule on engine oil change intervals. It depends on so many factors, such as engine idle time, number of engine cold starts, engine workloads, and the list goes on. If you need help coming up with an engine oil change interval, please refer to your specific engine manufacturer guidelines. Additionally, our staff would be happy to discuss all these factors and help you come up with the ideal oil change interval for your specific diesel engine.
Finally, you need to utilize the proper oil for your vehicle. In case you don’t know which type to utilize, refer your engine manual or have a diesel engine repair professional change your oil for you.