How Often Should You Get Your Truck Serviced?
For drivers and fleet owners, this is the eternal question, and it has different answers depending on who you ask. At Nextran Truck Centers, we are your Mack Trucks service center, your Volvo service center and much more. No matter the OEM, we are here to provide you with the highest-quality parts and exceptional service whenever you walk through our doors or drive up to one of our service bays. And that includes offering you the best advice when it comes to servicing your truck—even if it means you don’t have to come in to see us quite as often.
Different Sources Will Give You Different Answers
In reality, you can find a huge range of answers to the question, how often should I get my semi truck serviced? If you ask an OEM, they may tell you to get your oil changed every 5,000 miles, especially if it is constantly in use. They might also tell you that a more thorough inspection should be done around 10,000 miles. On the other hand, you’ll find technicians who say the checkpoint should be closer to 20,000 miles.
Whether you decide to listen to conventional wisdom that has never steered you wrong or you never miss a manufacturer-advised maintenance check in your life, there are some key things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of every mile.
5 Ways to MInimize Maintenance Issues When You Go in for Service
- Change oil regularly.
This is often the main reason people take a truck in for service. Engine deterioration occurs constantly, and oil is your main defense against it. The last thing a driver or truck owner wants is to incur the cost of a premature total engine failure that could have been prevented by regular oil changes. While the suggested frequency varies based on make, model and usage, most OEMs recommend getting your oil changed every 5,000 miles or so.
- Understand the effects of extended idling.
If your routes involve shorter trips or a lot of city driving, which can result in extended periods of idling, be aware that your truck’s engine may deteriorate faster. Other than simply minimizing time spent on these routes, there are some things you can do to increase the lifespan of your engine. Ask your Mack Trucks service center, Volvo service center or other maintenance provider about installing a pre-luber system, which is designed to pump oil to critical engine parts before it is cranked. You could also look into a turbo timer, which monitors engine heat and won’t allow the machine to shut down until the engine is sufficiently cool.
- Optimize your tire pressure.
It may seem like a small thing, but ensuring that each tire is inflated to its proper level increases both safety and fuel efficiency. Overinflated tires increase the likelihood of premature tread wear and blowouts. Underinflated tires can be a small but significant drag on fuel efficiency (which translates to a drag on your bottom line). You’ll typically find the proper pressure for your tires in your truck’s owner’s manual or around the rim of the tire.
- Conduct regular engine tests.
Have your maintenance provider conduct regular compression tests to get an idea of how long your truck’s engine will last. At the same time, your technician should be keeping an eye on oil and boost pressure as well as coolant levels and exhaust temperature. Check that all rubber parts under the hood are functioning properly, and—as always—be on the lookout for smoking or a decrease in power that may be a symptom of poor engine health.
- Stockpile parts that are subject to wear and tear (especially brakes).
If you know which of your truck parts tend to wear out more than others, you can save time by stocking up on those parts and regularly monitoring them. It’s important to keep in mind that any given OEM may stop making parts for older models after a certain period of time. That’s why having a stockpile can be a good idea if you know what you’re likely to run out of ahead of time. Note: buy parts with lifetime warranties to give yourself added peace of mind. Many parts you may not think are under warranty may actually be covered for life, from brake pads and oil seals to starters and alternators. Check with a trusted dealer or maintenance provider to see what you could safely stock up on.
Remember: We Are Your Mack Trucks Service Center, Your Volvo Service Center & More
At Nextran Truck Centers, we’ve been helping our customers move forward for more than 25 years. In addition to being a Mack Trucks service center and Volvo service center, we partner with other OEMs, such as Ford and Isuzu, and have 18 locations along major highways throughout Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Whether it’s sales, parts or service, we offer fleet managers the resources they need to be successful. Contact us, and let us know how we can help you.