While trucks are built to haul year-round, they aren’t necessarily equipped to handle harsh winter weather. Engines naturally produce a lot of heat, and thus they ride optimally when the temperature is warmer. Today’s commercial trucks aren’t what they were in the 90’s or early 2000’s – there’s a lot more that can go wrong, which means that drivers now have to pay more attention than ever. By following these 3 things, you can assure that your truck won’t suffer any catastrophic damages this winter.
- Diesel Exhaust Fluid
Newer trucks are starting to use the DEF system more than the previous filter regeneration system, also called DPF. When you add another fluid, that’s one more thing that can freeze and cause troubles. DEF can freeze at 12 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s vital to keep a constant check on the fluid during the winter and let it thaw out if frozen.
- Starting System
The number one problem you will run into in cold weather is a truck not starting. While the battery itself doesn’t get affected much, the alternator, starter, and heating systems do. Inspect your block or pan heaters to ensure they are working properly, and replace your alternator if it hasn’t been changed in a while.
It’s extremely important to keep key mental (or physical) notes regarding the functionality of your brakes, especially at the onset of winter. Verify the usage of the ABS and listen for any problems when applying the parking or air brakes. Finally, make sure the brake fluid is optimal and all components of the brake (drums, pads, etc…) are functioning properly. Any issue you can find at the start of winter has to be corrected, as it will only get worse as it gets colder.