DIY Auto Maintenance and Servicing Tips

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Simple But Important Maintenance Tips for a Commercial Truck Owner

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A heavy-duty or commercial truck usually suffers more wear and tear than any passenger vehicle, as such trucks are often used to carry heavy loads and may be driven in more stop-and-go traffic during the day if they're used for deliveries. They may also face more snowy roads, wet roads, poorly maintained roads and other hazards when on the highway. While commercial trucks are meant to be strong and durable and to withstand all this wear and tear, they will eventually break down and need repair; note a few simple but very important maintenance tips for such trucks, so you can avoid unnecessary breakdowns and keep your commercial truck running as long as possible.


Many commercial and heavy-duty trucks work with hydraulic brakes, as this air pressure in the braking system can help stop the heavy weight of a big rig more readily than the simple pads you find in a lightweight passenger car. Air pressure leakage is one common reason for these hydraulic brakes to fail sooner rather than later; the brake lines should be checked often to ensure there are no splits or cracks that would cause this lower air pressure when you apply them.

Oil passing from the engine to the air compressor can also interfere with the operation of the brakes; regularly check the oil lines for signs of leaks and especially if you notice low oil pressure and low air pressure in the hydraulic brake lines. Signs of an oil leak can include stains on the ground under the lines and any oil residue along the hoses between the engine and the braking system.


Remember that many parts of a commercial truck work with electrical power and are not powered by the engine; a low battery can then cause the fuel pump, coolant pump, engine fan, and other such parts to slow down and malfunction. Having an undersized battery is not unusual for many commercial truck owners, and especially after you add plug-in devices that drain the battery; this might include an external GPS system, charger for a smart phone, satellite radio system, upgraded alarm, and the like. While you may think that the battery in your truck is properly sized and powered, you'll want an upgrade if you've added any of these external items.

Also, note the battery's cold cranking amps or CCA; without sufficient CCA, you're draining that battery unnecessarily every time you start your truck during colder weather. You may need to upgrade to something more powerful, not just for voltage but also the CCA, so the battery always has power enough to support the truck's electrical systems.