As colder temperatures approach, take some time to properly prepare your big rig for the change in seasons.
Here are some quick tips to make braving the cold weather easier. Always check the owner’s manual of your truck for manufacturer-specific recommendations.
Always have your truck tuned and serviced when cold weather starts. Cold, damp weather can impact engine performance if your rig needs service. Why? Because oil takes longer to circulate when it’s cold, so the engine takes longer to reach operating temperature.
Check your vehicle hoses and belts for cracking, uneven wear, bulging/swelling, sponginess, etc., and immediately replace anything faulty. Cold temperatures make hoses and belts more brittle, so expecting worn or faulty parts to last through the winter isn’t a smart idea.
Use the proper oil grade for colder weather. Colder temperatures require lower grade oils for correct flow during starting. Consult your owner’s manual for your recommended oil viscosity.
If your rig runs on diesel fuel, adding a winter anti-gel fuel additive can help prevent the paraffin in the diesel from gelling together and solidifying. Again, check your owner’s manual for your specific additive guidelines. Always follow them exactly or you risk damaging the fuel system.
A best practice when cold temperatures hit is to give truck tires an extra-thorough inspection, including measuring tread depth in multiple locations around each tire. Higher tread depth enhances traction and stopping distance in case of ice or slick spots.
If planning to be parked for a while, lift your wiper blades away from the windshield when snow or freezing rain is expected. This will prevent them from freezing to the glass and allow you to use them to help swipe snow or moisture away as the defroster runs.
Follow these tips to make sure your big rig stays happy and healthy throughout the winter season.