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Preventing Your Pickup From Needing a Truck Doctor

     We get annual checkups with our doctor and take care of our body the best way we can by trying to keep our cholesterol numbers low, right? But do you pay the same attention to your trucks' pipes and engines parts so that they are healthy and running smooth, or do you just change the oil and that's that? Some of us may need to pay more attention to the things that could clog our truck system the same way our veins and arteries could get so much plaque that our hearts don't work efficiently, and may fail us.

The bond that often exists between a man and his truck is one that only truck lovers totally understand. You walk your dog to keep him healthy, but chances are you do it more than just once in awhile. Using, and I mean REALLY using your truck is something you need to do more than just now and then for it to stay "healthy." By that I mean, if all you are doing is driving to and from work, and maybe an occasional trip to the store, you aren't giving it the work out it needs on a regular basis, especially if you have a turbo diesel. Our bodies are not the only machine that needs exercise and a good workout.

Trucks of yesteryear were actual work mules with an engine. They got plenty of exercise hauling, pulling tractors and working in the fields over rough terrain. They were driven for miles and miles giving that engine the exercise it needed. I've used mine to get things unstuck and pushed it to its limits more times than I care to mention. But suddenly when I got a newer one with a turbine engine, I babied it like crazy. I guess I had the concept that I needed to protect it so it would last longer. I found myself treating it with kid gloves. That was a big mistake as I found out from my not-so-happy mechanic who showed me the error of my ways.

Think of your truck engine like a body, the more it sits around and not used properly, the more stagnant and resistant it will become when you attempt to use it more. When the moving parts of an engine are not "exercised" or made to perform in a certain manner, they will, like a body, become resistant to moving and performing. There are times when you are in situations that you want that truck of yours to take a beating, and even though those times won't be on an every-day basis, when you need it to the most, it can't. You will meet resistance when you are counting on performance. It's like Newton's first law of "objects at rest tend to say at rest."

So what can you to ensure you are using your truck and keeping the "arteries" clean and clear? This simply means sometimes those engines have to be driven hard. I call it an "Italian tune-up." Carbon builds up if you don't "blow it out" now and then. I am not talking about reckless driving or breaking speed laws. It is not necessary to put the pedal to the metal at 100 MPH and smoke the tires. I am referring to extended driving beyond that quick work trip or late night trip to the store to get milk for the morning. Your truck engine needs to be driven long enough for the engine and components to thoroughly warm up to avoid the carbon and moisture build up, neither of which you want to occur, especially in the oil and crank case. You can achieve this by simply driving for a good distance of thirty miles or more at least once a week.

Combine extended driving with proper maintenance and you will not have to worry about your trucks' "cholesterol" and can avoid costly repair bills. The added benefit to this is also extending the life of your truck, as you would your own body too. So drive that truck on a nice long ride, crank up the tunes and park way away from the door of your destination. That way, your truck engine and your body engine will both benefit from exercise.
I am a NYS licensed Auto Damage Appraiser, CSE certified, I-Car Certified, and have worked in the automotive industry for decades. I've had the opportunity to teach auto body repair to misled kids in a classroom setting, giving them a chance to have a trade for a viable income. I found this very rewarding. Previously, I was all about the American muscle cars of the 60's. Now, I find pickup trucks and the way they have evolved to be my fascination and focus. I truly enjoy hearing from fellow pickup truck enthusiasts, so stop in to and leave a comment on my website or any of my truck blogs or articles.

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Posted on 2016-11-16, By: *

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