Winter temperatures can be hard on your truck no matter where you live. Whether you have mild winters or regularly get snowed in, it’s important to be proactive in preparing your truck for the cold. If you’ve invested in premium upgrades such as new 8×6.5 rims, it’s even more vital not to neglect the basics. A few simple maintenance steps will keep your truck safe and operational. Here’s everything you need to do to prepare your truck for winter.
Check Your Antifreeze Level
A hardworking engine generates a lot of heat, even in winter. Coolant circulates through your engine to keep heat levels low and the machinery safe from damage. Antifreeze is essential in winter to keep the coolant from freezing up and stopping circulation. If this happens, your engine can overheat and break down.
To check your antifreeze level, pop the hood and look for the coolant reservoir. It should be a clear container near the front or side. Adjust the coolant level so that it falls between the optimal lines and add the correct amount of antifreeze.
While you’re under the hood, do a quick inspection of the hoses, tanks and plastic parts in your engine. Cold weather can cause these parts to leak or crack, which can cause a domino effect of damage to your truck. Catch failing parts early to save time and money.
Inspect Your Tires
Proper tires and tire pressure are major safety concerns in winter conditions. Cold air causes air within your tires to contract, lowering tire pressure. Tires with worn-out treads are more prone to slipping on snow and ice. Since trucks tend to be heavier and more lifted than other vehicles, it’s vital to inspect your tires and keep the pressure levels correct throughout the winter months.
For rugged tires that can smooth over difficult terrain, opt for off road tires. These tires have specialized treads that make them great at gripping snowy surfaces.
Top Off Your Battery
If you’ve ever struggled to get your truck started in the freezing cold, you’re not alone. It can be significantly harder to start a truck in winter. This is because the chemical reaction inside your battery slows down in colder temperatures.
Make sure you don’t get stranded by topping off your battery regularly. As a bonus, your battery degrades less quickly over time if you keep it continuously over 50% charged.
Winch for Emergency Recovery
A winter emergency kit is a smart investment for your truck. When putting together your emergency kit of blankets, jumper cables and first aid supplies, don’t forget to purchase a winch or replace the one you already have.
Winches allow the use of slow pressure to get your truck out of difficult spots. In winter, a winch is even more important since you’ll have less traction on the road. Recovering your truck from a ditch or roll is difficult enough without the extra pressure of snow and ice. Make any emergency situation easier by investing in a winch.
Take a day to prepare your vehicle for winter and help prevent cold damage. Your future self and your truck will thank you.