Before and during winter, it’s important to ensure your truck is ready to face the freezing weather conditions. To ensure vital inspections are done to your vehicle’s cooling system and to fix any condition that could damage your truck later on, consider booking a truck repair servicefrom a well-established service center.
Visual inspection for coolant leaks
Any fluid leak under the vehicle should be properly inspected by a professional truck repair service provider before it can become a major problem. The leaking of engine coolantis a common occurrence and thus, it’s important to conduct a visual inspection of the under hood coolanthoses for signs of leaks especially during winter. The coolantcan bebright green, orange,pink, or yellow in color, making it easy for you to see and identify it.
Maintain coolant at the proper fill level
Make sure to keep your radiator filled with coolant at the proper fill level, just like you’ll have to with all other vehicle fluids. Before removing the cap of the radiator or coolant overflow reservoir tank, you’ll need to wait for the truck to cool down. If the coolant level seems too low, make sure to fill the radiator up immediately.
You’ll also have to be wary if the coolant is dark, corroded or has a burnt sweet smell. If it is, have it checked by a well-experienced commercial truck maintenanceas soon as possiblein an attempt to avoid any internal damage from progressing within the cooling system..
Keep coolant and water at an appropriate ratio for adequate freeze protection
The engine could break down when driving your truck during winter. By having the right water-to-coolant mixture especially during freezing months, you can minimize the chances of water freezing inside the engine block. Many coolant products may already have water in the mix. During wintertime, however, you should have the coolant tested to ensure it will protect the engineof your truck under freezing temperatures.
If you’re in the North or have trucking routes in that region, the usual recommended mix of coolant to water is 60:40 ratio, which can provide freeze protection from 10 to – 60 degrees. When you’re solely trucking during winterin the South such as Oklahoma, you can make use of a leaner mixture such as 50:50 ratio.
Here are more tips on ensuring proper coolant-water ratio:
In any case, make sure the coolant part of the mixture doesn’t go beyond 60% as it could thicken the fluid, resulting in reduced performance of the cooling system.
Use an optical refractometer or a hydrometer when checking coolant-water ratio for simplicity, speed and accuracy.
Ensure having the appropriate type of coolant for your truck
Although the various types are often differentiated by color, it’s generally not a reliable guide because some manufacturers use several colors for the same types of coolants. When in doubt, search for commercial truck service near meto get the correct recommendations for your truck.
Moreover, avoid mixing different types of coolants in your truck. There will be times, however, that you might need to top off a coolant while on the road and there’s no supply of the type of coolant you need for your engine. Make sure to inform your truck service provider of incidents of on-road top-offs to alert the technicians of a potential coolant mix.
While experienced technicians say that it won’t be the end of the world when you inadvertently combine two different kinds of coolants, it could result in your cooling system being unable to operate to its maximum efficiency.
Experienced commercial truck maintenancespecialists and coolant manufacturers also suggest that if the truck’s cooling system has more than 15% of a different type of coolant, it’s recommended to flush the system and refill it with the approved coolant foryour engine.
Take note that coolant mixing can also happen when there are leaks in the system. A professional truck service provider can ensure the right coolant is in the system especially after repairing a leak.
Inspect radiator-related components
These include the seals, hoses and belts, among other components in the truck’s cooling system especially those made of rubber or plastic. These components can dry up during the hot months, and when winter comes, the weaknesses on these parts can be quickly exposed. Make sure to include these parts in your winter cooling system check and replace them immediately when necessary.
In addition, some components in the cooling system can become loose and inefficient, such as the fan shroud(s), which can adversely affect the fan blades when not attended to immediately.
Even the radiator cap and the hose clamps should be inspected. The radiatorcap actually helps maintain pressure in the engine and when it is inefficient, it could make your cooling system seem like there’s a more expensive problem withthe truck.
On another note, the hose clamps and their metal fittings in the coolant system could become loose as they contract duringlow outside temperatures, canresult in leaking. Make sure that these metal fittings are not too tight.
Schedule for truck winterization and cooling system inspection
According to engine makers, coolant-related issues comprise around 40% of major engine failures these days. More specifically, these issues result from poor maintenance of the cooling system.
As winter comes, you should make your truck ready for driving under freezing conditions. To ensure proper winterization of trucks, make sure to search for commercial truck service near meto be conducted by a well-established service center with considerable experience. The technicians can ensure that all cooling system components are inspected and your radiator isflushed or refilled with suitable coolant containing the appropriate coolant/water ratio to endure the coldest months.
For your commercial truck service requirements, get in touch with us today! Truck-N-Trailer is the premier service & repair facility in Oklahoma City for truck and vehicle owners who want the best rates, the fastest turnaround time and highly rated one-on-one personal service. We are a family-owned and family-operated shop dedicated to maintaining your commercial delivery truck . We cater to owner operators as well as national fleets. Getting you back on the road fast, affordable and with the job done right is our specialty.