Maximizing the Life of Your Diesel Pick-up

by on August 3, 2015 0 Comments

 

Maximizing the Life of Your Diesel Pick-up REVISEDAll maintenance program should begin by following OEM recommended procedures and intervals (period). Yet that alone may not be enough to keep maintenance costs predictable and in check, as well as maximize the life of your truck.

Starting with a detailed inspection checklist that meets your truck’s manufacturer and regulatory standards, diesel pick-up owners will benefit from a customized inspection and maintenance program that takes into consideration parts that are more likely to wear out faster in higher mileage commercial operations and those that typically need more frequent attention, such as filters.

A few considerations when developing your customized maintenance program include:

  • Winters can not only be hard on you, but they can be hard on your truck as well. Cold temperatures can produce wax— commonly called “gelling” in diesel fuel. Fuel filtration is important for diesel engines, because filters specifically designed for diesels must be used and replaced at recommended intervals.
  • Draining fuel/water separators are essential because water can damage injection systems if not removed by a properly serviced fuel/water separator.
  • Did you know that work can also be stressful for your truck? In commercial applications, operating conditions for diesel pickups can put added stress on engines and other systems not experienced in personal use pickups. For example, some fleets report that tires and brakes are of special concern due to the weight of the vehicles, which are often loaded with tools and supplies.
  • Additionally, harsher vibration caused by off-highway use—at a construction site, for example– means gaskets on diesel engines used in commercial applications should be checked more frequently to avoid leaks, and that all mounting bolts should be inspected regularly.

Pay a Little Now vs. More Later

Regular oil and oil filter changes are essential for maintaining diesel pickup truck engine performance. Using high quality engine oils is critical. Fleets note that premium oils are often worth the higher upfront cost in terms of engine protection, especially with extended drain intervals. OEM recommended products for diesel engines with the latest emissions control technologies promote stable viscosities and soot dispersion between oil drains.

Investing in high quality gear lubricants and greases for transmissions, suspensions, steering and drivetrain components also is a practice that pays long term dividends in fewer repairs and breakdowns, and lower costs over the life of the vehicle.

On newer vehicles, telematics systems make it possible to base maintenance on more accurate data, and by using algorithms that account for operating conditions, loads, climate and other factor, can even replace mileage-based practices.

Regardless of how preventive maintenance for diesel pickups is managed, fleets quantify the success of their practices by the amount of time a unit is available, as well as other measures such as driver satisfaction.

While diesel engines are known for their durability, reliability and lower cost of operation, the real benefit is seen in the long service life that comes with a correctly planned and executed maintenance.

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