5 Tips to Get Your Truck Ready for the Cold
"It's too late to cut the grass but it's not too late to get your truck ready to face the Great White Enemy - Winter and it's sidekick - Diesel Fuel Gelling"
Let’s face it, if you need to break out a jacket then summer and even fall is over. Similar to people, our trucks also need some adjusting to adapt to the new season.
Autumn is mostly cold, windy and wet… yet this does not affect our trucks much. What it really does is it creates an opportunity window to have our truck ready for the REAL enemy – WINTER!
It might not seem so much to you at the moment, however your truck… and ultimately you will benefit tenfold from a few, solid tips – if you do them in time. Below are 5 tips to get your truck ready for the cold.
We all love to see a truck showing off some chrome and color shine. But there’s more to it than just plain simple looks. Light scratches don’t look good, but heavy scratches penetrate the protective layer. Fast forward to colder weather and we’re looking at water, dirt, ice, sleet, snow and other elements infiltrating into your paint. These scratches left untreated can not only ruin the paint or even worse make room for rust to dig in it’s nasty effects. That’s a big no-no! Left untreated will grow like a slow cancer underneath the surface, wreaking havoc as time and elements go on. Although you may not normally include this in your bucket list of 5 tips to get your truck ready for the cold, this one is as equally important to your investment.
Closely inspect your truck for scratches and repair where needed. Remember, light scratches can be fixed with a scratch remover or a quick buff…but deep scratched surfaces need to be fixed. This means cleaned, treated and painted back or at the very least touched up with a quality, matching paint tool.
Wash and Seal
A good wash is always beneficial for your truck. Since it’s not too cold yet, you can still easily clean off whatever mud and other debris, including salts and road grime that you have accumulated in the recent period. Hand drying it during this time of year is the recommended approach. Only you will notice new dings, scratches, and other imperfections that truly need attention before the colder, crap weather flies.
After it’s spotless, it’s recommended to take it to the pros and have them lather on a protective film or wax. This helps protect the truck body during the harsh winter period. If you don’t want to invest that much you can always use CleanBoost® 16 oz. Nano-Sheen™ . This will provide you with the same benefits for a much smaller cost from your account or wallet. Therefore, this one makes our list of 5 tips to get your truck ready for the cold. If you’re curious to learn more about waterless washing, open here.
Check Those Tires!
Depending on your location you need to either check the status of your tires that are mounted or the status of your winter tires that are waiting to be put on when the snow hits. All of these should be verified & inspected for tread wear, tread depths, air pressure and other lumps, bumps and cracking.
If they can still handle some miles, then the next step would be to rotate them. This means swapping the front ones with the rear ones to ensure an even wear! And once again, don’t forget tire pressure… it tends to go down together with colder temperatures. This one is a major tip on the 5 tips to get your truck ready for the cold list.
Also it’s a good time of year to buy yourself some snow chains. You don’t know how important they are until you end up on that chunk of road where you need them due to either a ‘chain-law in effect’ sign or just in case you do slide off of the road and need an extra boost to get back underway.
Have a Look Under the Hood
After checking and fixing the exterior, it’s time to see the interior of your engine bay as well. The engine bay is the most important and a quick inspection can reveal signs of components that need changing, topping off or fixing.
Squeeze the hoses, look for leaks, cracks and loose clamps. Check the drive belts, accessory belts. Anything that has a spongy-feeling, sign of fraying or brittle look to it, needs to be replaced.
After this check, start the engine and listen to it. If it makes weird noises or doesn’t have a normal sound to it, have a qualified mechanic thoroughly inspect the engine to make sure all is in order. This can save you huge headaches and monster expenses while out on the road.
Don’t forget to check your coolant level also. Some experts and automotive organizations such AAA, state that a lot of damage happens to those engines that run on too little coolant. If your level is too low, just add a 50/50 solution of water and the same color coolant to the overflow tank.
Filters and Oils
Although you might have not drove a lot of miles this year, there’s a recommendation of changing the oil twice per year. Once in the Spring before hot temperatures come into play and once in Autumn before the harsh cold winter kicks in and stresses your engine even more.
This way you ensure internal components don’t lack the proper and vital lubrication and prolong your engines life. We recommend using CleanBoost® Diesel Duty™ oil for the cold period as its a premium heavy duty oil that provides extra protection in the cold season and prevents fuel gelling. If you’re running a gasoline engine then fuel gelling is not an issue. However it’s advised to look into using CleanBoost® EMT™ to fortify your oil and metals for these extended, cold periods to protect against any metal to metal contact that could happen during dry, cold starts or plugged filters.
They are not out of the discussion since it’s recommended to change them together with the oil . You don’t want that nasty old oil to mix up with the fresh lubricant you’re adding. Air filters should be changed also since they are inexpensive and provide a significant amount of protection for your truck’s engine and intake – clean air.
Other oil levels that require to be checked are transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluids. Make sure they are above minimum level and look good, refill or change if necessary.
This concludes our small list of 5 tips to get your truck ready for the cold that need to be undertaken during the Fall to reduce the probability of headaches during the winter or diesel fuel gelling. Yes, there are more things that you can do for sure and feel free to do them now before the cold snaps hit this winter.
To be sure that all the effort invested so far pays out big time, it would be good to stock up on CleanBoost® Sno-Cat™ Diesel Fuel Conditioner. It’s easy to calculate how much you need, since 1oz will treat up to 15 gallons of diesel with a bottle of 16oz treating up to 240 gallons. This fuel conditioner should be added to the fuel tank once winter kicks in and carried with you on-board at all times. It helps you avoid diesel gelling by dropping the Pour Point and keeping your diesel liquid.
It also cleans injectors, disperses water, eliminates the need to add kerosene to the mix, reduces emissions and so many more good perks. Time to say goodbye to fuel gelling and enjoy winter properly
About the Author
Automotive enthusiast, passionate about Jeeps, hot-rods, turbos, performance, efficiency, diesels, fuels, high performance oils, additives and anything with an engine.