How to Properly Maintain Your New Pickup Truck

The pickup trucks of yesteryear were work horses you put to work on the ranch, farm, or construction site. You used the spacious bed to cart everything from heavy-duty cement block, to a bale of hay, to oil rigging equipment. Along the way, the exterior might get dented or scratched, even trade paint with another vehicle. But many pickup owners looked upon these minor imperfections as a badge of honor. It meant their pickup was working as hard as they were. 

Fast forward to today, and the pickup is no longer engineered only for the worksite. It’s driven not just by men, but by soccer moms in the burbs when they day’s activities might not suit the high-end family sedan, such as picking up beds of fresh flowers or bags of potting soil from the big box hardware store. Today’s pickups also sport expensive interiors that boast infotainment systems, computer ports, heated seats, semiautonomous driving capabilities, electronic safety features, and more. 

What this means is, pickup trucks are now as expensive as some top-of-the line cars. This is one of the major reasons it’s so important to keep them well maintained. What’s one of the best ways to protect your pickup’s exterior, for instance, is to invest in a bedliner. In fact, bedliners have come a long way since they were first introduced several decades ago. 

Says the pros at Mil+Spec Liner, makers and installers of spray-on bedliner for trucks, bedliners aren’t only for trucks anymore. More recently, bedliners are now being installed on complete vehicle exteriors, trailers, work vans, and more. Even off-road 4X4 owners are having exterior bedliners installed. That’s how effective they are at maintaining a vehicle’s exterior.      

With that in mind, what are some other ways you can properly maintain your new pickup? According to recent report from Sunscent Auto, pickup trucks are said to be one of the most popular vehicle choices in the U.S. since they offer both versatility and lots of power. Pickups also represent freedom and boast capabilities that other 4X4s and cars don’t. 

But because trucks work as hard as you do, they need to be taken care of and maintained more often. Here’s a few maintenance tips that can keep your new pickup looking new even while you pack on the miles and the cargo.  

Routine Engine Check 

All pickup engines that get a lot of use need routine engine maintenance checks, especially if you suspect it is running hot. Here’s how to go about it:  

Compression Testing: Schedule routine and regular compression tests with your certified mechanic to get a full grasp on the lifespan of your engine. Mechanics will check all the valves and piston rings to make sure they’re operating properly.   

Maintenance Checks: Every three months you need to check on exhaust temperatures, engine coolant, oil level, and boosting pressure. This will keep the truck running cool even under the roughest and toughest conditions. 

Check on Four-Wheel Systems, Air Filters, and Rubber/Plastic Parts: Open the hood and make a check on rubber parts and the four-wheel positioning. Replace air filters at least once per year. That’s how you will tell if all the parts are wearing evenly. It will also give you an idea of how the engine’s fairing. 

Replace Worn Brake Parts: Brakes that fail due to carrying a heavy load can cause a potentially fatal accident. That’s why you should check brake parts every time you change your oil. Replace the bad parts, even if they show minimal wear and tear. The same goes for brake pads, which can fail when carrying heavy loads like gravel and brick pallets. 

Tire Check

Don’t skimp on the quality of tires you purchase for your truck. Reliable tires prevent accidents. They need to be frequently rotated, and the pressure routinely checked. 

Tread Depth and Condition: If you’re experiencing uneven tire wear, it could be because of pressure or suspension issues or both. Front tires wear the most. Rotating them is said to extend the life of the truck’s suspension and prevent uneven tire wear. It’s also important to check tire pressure constantly, especially before a long road trip

Exterior Check

Aging and body corrosion are said to be two of the major reasons pickup trucks are retired sooner than many other vehicles. Chemicals and salt commonly found on construction sites or even in the suburbs contribute greatly to rust. Here’s how to prevent it:

Well-Sealed Paint job: Treat paint chips immediately to avoid rust. Or you can choose to treat the exterior of your truck with the same material that’s used for the bed lining. This virtually eliminates rust buildup. It also keeps a new truck looking new for a long time. 

Regular Washing: It’s good idea to wash your truck at least once a week, especially if you live in an area of the U.S. that experiences four seasons. Washing is said to prevent contaminants from eroding through common metals, primers, paints, and coatings.  

A pickup truck can be a powerful workhorse that can pay for itself. But if you want your new truck to last, you need to properly maintain it.