Preparing Your Rig for Winter

November 20, 2019 11:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It is now November, which means it’s time to winterize your diesel in Wytheville, VA. Winterizing is essential to reduce your costs and prevent a host of winter driving terrors. You want your truck winter-ready and running well. Here are six tips to ensure your success:

  • Assemble your emergency kit: The bottom line is that more things can go wrong in winter. There is snow, ice and cold, and that makes any breakdowns or bad road conditions much worse. For those reasons, you want a complete emergency kit in your truck before you leave. Include extra blankets, first aid supplies, a flashlight with extra batteries, extra winter clothes (especially gloves) and extra coolant and fuel filters. Do not fail to forget traction devices like tire chains as well.
  • Test the battery: Cold weather is tough on batteries, and you do not want to start the winter driving season with a weak one. If your battery runs on the typical 48- to 72-month life cycle, then it is best to replace it this month. For newer batteries that do not require replacement, check connections and cables. Consider performing a load test as well, and replace damaged wires.
  • Check the fuel filter: The fuel filter prevents debris from entering your engine and damaging it. As you likely do not wish to test your emergency kit, it is a good idea to check the fuel filter condition before you start winter work. In addition to the filter, you also want to test the water separator, as water is a common contaminant in diesel fuel and can lead to engine failure. You need to find the water separator near the filter and turn the drain valve to empty the water. In winter months, leaving that full leads to condensation that can also contaminate your engine.
  • Inspect the cooling system: While this sounds counterintuitive, it is still possible for your engine to overheat in winter. Check for worn, damaged or cracked parts, as those will only expand as the temperatures drop. Inspect the radiator and see if any hoses have bulges. You may also wish to order a coolant test.
  • Use fuel additives: Diesel fuel has elements that crystalize in cold temperatures. This causes fuel to gel and develop the consistency of slush. Additives reduce this effect and helps the engine burn the fuel more efficiently. If you do not address this issue, you risk possible engine failure.
  • Keep the engine warm: It takes longer for diesel engines to warm up, so it is often easier to leave your engine running. If this is impossible, like during overnight stops, install a block heater that will keep the engine warm even when it is not on. Just be sure to purchase a block heater with a three-pronged plug, as that can be used at most truck stops across the nation.

If repairs and maintenance are on your list for diesel truck winter care in Wytheville, VA, Complete Truck Service Inc. is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment before starting your winter runs.

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