Fuel for Thought


By Greg Huggins
Posted Jun 7th 2022 5:53AM

Maintenance. Upkeep. Repair. Fix. Whatever you call it, you need to be doing it. Regularly scheduled maintenance will not prevent all breakdowns from occurring, but it can and will lessen the frequency and severity of issues while you are on the road. Knowledge is the first place to start with any decent maintenance schedule. I know that too many drivers nowadays will not like this next part but here goes - read your truck owner’s manual. This one manual has so much information to help keep your equipment running in top shape. Sure, you can probably gloss over the parts of the manual about how to connect your seatbelt, you could probably even skip past the section opening the hood, but pay attention to the maintenance schedule. 

Newer trucks do not have the maintenance requirements as the older trucks. Newer trucks have longer mileage intervals for oil changes. Depending on how you use your truck, you could be wasting money on too frequent PM services. 

Lubrication is key to longevity of moving parts, check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended intervals for chassis lube. It could be more often than you think.

Filters are another area to pay attention to. Long interval PM services are great for oil changes, but fuel filters may need more frequent service. While your oil should be staying in the engine and recirculating through the filter(s), fuel is constantly getting replaced and you may not always get the same quality as before. Check fuel filters often and carry spare filter(s), just in case the need arises.

Newer trucks using DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) have a filter on the tank that should be replaced at regular intervals. This filter is located on or near the DEF tank and filters the fluid before it goes into the system. Should you fill the DEF tank with a bad batch of fluid, make sure to check or change this filter as well.

Tools. Even the most basic tools can get a lot accomplished roadside. Always carry the basics at minimum. Learn to use them properly and they will be invaluable down the road. 

Your owner’s manual will not only give you maintenance intervals but also tell you the proper fluids to use for your truck. It is a good idea to carry at least a small amount of the fluids your truck needs, in case they are not available when you might need them. 

Read your owner’s manual, follow a scheduled maintenance program and suffer fewer issues on the road. If you bought your truck used and it did not have the owner’s manual with it, you can probably find it online.

See you down the road,