With summer upon us and the temperatures rising to triple digits, it's important to make sure your truck is performing top-notch. Here are some simple tips for helping your truck keep cool during these summer months.
1. CHECK AIR CONDITIONING
No one wants to climb into their already toasty rig, fire it up, and come to find out that the AC is not working. There are a few things you can inspect now. First, check your belt that runs the AC compressor. Some vehicles have a separate belt for just the AC compressor and some only have one belt that runs all the accessories. If there is any signs of cracks or damage, then the belt needs to be replaced. This will eliminate a broken belt, which will cause you problems for sure.
The next thing to check is your fan that cools the engine. Some vehicles have electric fans. Typically, with electric fans there are two fans. One fan is connected to the vehicle's AC, so when you turn on the AC this fan should turn on and off as the compressor turns on and off. This fan helps pull air across the condenser that is mounted in front of the radiator. If this fan is not working, then your AC will not get as cold when the vehicle is sitting in traffic.
Next, check the temperature of the air coming out of the vents. If it does not seem as cold as usual or has not been cold for a while, then you probably need the system recharged. This also means that you have a leak in the system somewhere and you will need to find a shop that performs AC services to find the leak and get it repaired and charged. There are some recharge kits you can get at your local auto parts store that will help, but if you have a leak it won't last.
2. INSPECT TIRE TREAD
Take a good, close look at your tires. Check the tread depth and identify any parts that show signs of uneven wear. Also check the tire pressure and make sure that they are filled at the proper PSI. When the tire becomes hot, it has an increased risk of blowing out. Blow outs can be dangerous and cause damage to your vehicle. Also check the side walls of your tires for any splits and cracks that could create a problem or blow out.
3. RADIATOR FLUSH
It is recommended to flush your radiator every two years. This helps the cooling system run at the correct operating temperature. Most engines today have aluminum in the cooling system. The antifreeze in your coolant has additives that protect this aluminum from corrosion. Some coolants if not serviced and maintained will start to gel up and will definitely cause a major problem, and eventually leave you stranded on the side of the road.
4. CHECK YOUR COOLANT HOSES
While you're flushing your cooling system, check your radiator hoses. These hoses carry the coolant from your radiator to your engine and if there are any cracks or splits, then you should get the hoses replaced immediately. These hoses tend to expand when the system gets hot. If they are cracked, then they can burst which will cause all of your coolant to leak out and then you're dead without any water.
Time to start inspecting your truck, so it can work its best and get through the dog days of summer.