Your truck is a finely engineered machine, so it needs top-notch care both inside and out. Prepping for winter truck care begins well before temperatures drop and the first snowflakes fall. From oil and coolant to waxing and dash covers for trucks, you need the right tools to keep your road machine healthy and pristine. Before you go shopping, take a look at some essentials that help your truck withstand the cold.
The Basics: Oil, Coolant and Transmission Fluid
Vehicle winterization is a yearly ritual for many drivers. You know the drill: checking your brakes, replacing worn wiper blades and tires, swapping out filters, ensuring that climate controls work and so forth. Your truck’s oil, antifreeze and transmission fluid are critical to its winter performance, so pay attention to these when winterizing your vehicle:
- Make sure your antifreeze is at optimal levels and get a coolant flush every two years.
- Oil should be changed before winter starts, especially if you plan to store your truck.
- Transmission fluid can thicken or leak, so have the system checked.
Keeping your truck warm avoids cold-related vehicle problems, so store it in a warm area like a garage. It’s also wise to invest in custom truck covers made for indoor storage. Several fabrics and liner options are available on the market, so you can easily find a cover for your truck.
Protecting Your Truck’s Exterior
Winter weather can affect your truck’s internal systems, but it can also wreak havoc on its exterior. Road treatments are the most common culprits. Most communities lay either salt or coal ash on their roads to combat slick conditions. Unfortunately, those substances can cause rust, corrosion, brittleness and flaking of automobile finishes and exposed metal.
Fortunately, you can fight back against these hazards by following proper exterior maintenance practices. Wash your truck frequently, and use good quality soap. It’s also a good idea to wash it after you’ve driven over chemical road treatments. In extremely cold temperatures, use a touchless automatic wash to remove salt and grime. Don’t forget to apply a high-quality wax before winter starts. This will help protect your truck’s finish.
Paint Chips and Other Woes
Road treatments are only one possible cause of damage to your truck’s exterior. Winter roads may be littered with gravel and small rocks. Your tires can easily kick them up, resulting in paint chips where they hit your truck’s finish. Keep factory-colored touch-up paint on hand for small chips – those smaller than the tip of a pen. For larger chips, take your truck to a professional repair shop.
Arm Your Truck for Winter
Winterizing your truck begins with basic maintenance, but there’s so much more than that. Helping it withstand cold, precipitation and road hazards requires a little planning. Besides basics like oil, transmission fluid and coolant, the right cleaning and protective substances can make a difference. Using pick up truck cab covers also help protect your truck during short-term or long-term winter stories. By taking these smart steps, you can keep your vehicle looking and running great during cold weather.