Like any other type of car, large cars need to be maintained. Whether you use them for personal use or for business, you’ll get better, more reliable, and longer service life from these vehicles if you do all the essential maintenance services required for this type of car. This article gives you some tips on maintaining large vehicles.
Detailing Large Vehicles
You should always keep your fleet of vehicles clean. In addition to the regular car wash, your truck or SUV may occasionally need detailing services. In fact, you should have car detailing on your list of essential maintenance services for your trailer, SUV, or truck if you’re planning on selling it.
There are major differences between car detailing and car washing. Although your regular car wash company may also double up as car detailers, you should know the exact type of service you should expect from auto detailing. Detailing goes deeper than just the typical car wash services that you get on a regular basis.
Detailing large vehicles like trucks is not different from detailing regular cars. However, there are a few key differences, mainly due to the differences in size.
There are four different types of auto detailing you should know about. They include a waterless mobile wash, complete interior detailing, full exterior detailing, and full car detailing. Your auto dealer will offer different packages for each of these services.
Full car detailing combines all the different types of detailing to give you the whole package – mobile wash, interior wash, and exterior wash. You may also get extra add-ons like engine cleaning, trim repair, glass chip repair, and bumper repair. In addition to full car restoration, your fleet of large vehicles can also get car restoration services. After full detailing, the trucks get paint correction services and window tinting before finally applying a paint sealant. When done well, full car restoration will make your fleet of Toyota trucks look as good as brand new.
As you would expect, a time will come when you need to replace specific parts of your truck, trailer, or SUV. Should you ignore signs that a specific part is wearing out, you not only limit the performance of your vehicle but also risk the safety and lives of the people who use it.
Some of the most replaced parts of trucks and similar large vehicles include tires, clutch, and brake pads. These are vital car parts that should be replaced as soon as you see signs of damage or wear out. One of the reasons why these parts are replaced regularly is because trucks are mostly used off-road or on rough terrain. In addition, if you use these vehicles on steep landscapes, it means the brakes and tires are used more often than on flat roads. Although these vehicles are built for such rough terrain, there is a limit on the amount of work truck parts can take. The more the mileage, the closer you are to replacing these parts.
Although regular essential maintenance services will ensure you don’t replace these parts as frequently as you’d imagine, some parts will still need regular replacement because of normal wear and tear. Make sure that you regularly check and clean all parts of the vehicle. Any form of dirt or grime build-up can lead to premature wear and tear. In addition, avoid overloading your trucks. Extra weight puts strains on car parts like tires, suspension, and engines. Furthermore, should you need tow truck services when stuck, you may have to offload some luggage.
Besides your brake pads, tires, and clutch, your SUV may also need to replace your car battery, headlight components, exterior lights, and spark plugs. You should also resist the temptation of making modifications to your car. Modifications will make your SUV or truck less reliable and also shorten its lifespan.
Rust-proof Your Vehicle
Although modern cars are built to be rust-resistant, you don’t want to leave chances for metal corrosion. If you see any spots of rust on your truck, don’t wait for them to spread. You can get that specific part covered with touch paint before getting it spared by professionals. Have your chassis rust-proofed by filling the cavities with a waxy substance.
Repairing Large Vehicles
The more you use your large vehicles, the more you’ll need repair services. In fact, repairs for large vehicles that are frequently in use are almost unavoidable. These repairs, coupled with the essential maintenance services that you do regularly, will ensure that you get the best out of your vehicles.
Repairs are done to restore your truck, trailer, or SUV to its proper functional state. Common problems that need immediate attention include faulty brakes, engine overheating, wheel bearing problems, and starter failure. Some of these problems are serious issues for your car that should never be overlooked.
Starter problems may start due to changes in weather. You should always be prepared to repair your start during winter or extreme cold seasons, just in case your truck starts having starter issues. In fact, you should have the starter reviewed before using your truck in cold temperatures. Look for a certified mechanic to confirm the starter meets minimum performance requirements.
Big trucks and trailers have bigger loads compared to standard cars, which means more pressure on the brakes. You should repair failed brakes as soon as possible – for the safety of all users and everyone sharing the road with you.
The wheel bearings make it possible for your vehicle to turn and brake smoothly. Therefore, problems with wheel bearings mean that you can’t turn and brake smoothly. Signs of problems include squealing, growling, or chirping noises from your wheel wells. In addition, if the car feels too “loose” when steering, this is a sign you need wheel bearing replacement.
An additional problem of concern for large vehicles is engine overheating. Make sure you don’t miss essential maintenance services to avoid getting to this stage, because engine repair can be expensive. These are also not minor repairs and you can’t compare them to repairing other parts of the vehicle or doing golf cart maintenance. Problems that can lead to an overheating engine include fuel leaks and even a blown gasket. An overheating engine is not only a problem for the vehicle, but also for the driver.
Insurance for Big Vehicles
Auto insurance is a legal requirement that you should not avoid. Good insurance may save you from spending lots of money in the long run.
The cost of insurance will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. In addition, the cost of parts will also determine the cost of insurance. If your truck depends on domestic manufacturing and parts, you’ll spend less on insurance compared to vehicles that depend on imported parts.
You can get affordable auto insurance services from various providers in the country. Search for auto insurance companies and check out their rates. You may need additional insurance. For example, if you use your truck to tow other vehicles or trailers, you may need separate insurance for that.
Getting insurance means that your car and its parts are covered in case of an accident. Furthermore, in case you cause damage to other cars on the road, your comprehensive insurance should cover the cost of repairs. This will relieve you of expensive repair and replacement costs. Although there is no direct link with essential maintenance services, this means that you don’t spend as much money on replacement repairs compared to someone without insurance.
Getting Services for Large Tires
Tire management is one of the essential maintenance services you should never ignore for your large vehicles. Whether you’re running on UTV tires or any other type of wheel and tires designed for large vehicles, these components need thorough maintenance services.
You should always ensure that the tires are properly inflated. Uninflated tires can cause excessive heating and lead to various tire-related ERS events. Remember that changes in temperature can cause changes in tire pressure.
In addition to the tire pressure, you should also check tread depth. The tread depth should be correct and deep enough. You should also be able to determine the appropriate tire type and wheels for specific use cases. For example, SXS wheels are some of the best to use for off-road terrain. Ensure you do regular inspections of the tires to detect any damage early enough. Tire assessments before each trip should be mandatory.
While inspecting your tires, don’t forget the spare. Keeping the spare tire inflated and in good condition is just as important as maintaining the tires you currently use. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you desperately need to use the spare tire only to find out that it’s flat. The only solution in such a situation would be to call a tow truck, which would cost you more.
When it comes to oil changes, one of the most important things to consider or remember is the interval. Regular oil change is one of the essential maintenance services that are vital for the proper functioning or operation of your vehicle.
The average interval for heavy-duty vehicles is 13,000-16,000 miles. Light-duty vehicles can have their oil changed at intervals of 3,000-5,000 miles. These intervals are subject to driving habits, engine conditions, oil quality, and driving conditions.
The engine oil helps lubricate various parts of the engine and prevents your engine from literally grinding to a halt. Heat and various types of contaminants degrade the quality of oil over time, and that’s why you need to change the oil at specific intervals. The type of oil you should use is indicated in your truck’s manual. The manual indicates the recommended viscosity of the oil. A second viscosity for different weather conditions may also be recommended.
The oil filter also needs to be changed regularly. This replacement can be part of the scheduled maintenance of your SUV. As you change your oil, the filter becomes clogged over time and needs to be changed.
Maintain the Batteries
When you don’t use your truck or SUV for a long time, the battery may degrade and go flat. You can use a trickle charger to keep your battery topped up if you leave the vehicle unused for an extended period of time.
Stick to the Service Schedule
Having a schedule for service is the easiest way of ensuring that you don’t forget to maintain your car. It is not only important to have a schedule, you should stick to it. Each appointment or trip to the service dealer will ensure the vehicle gets essential maintenance services for specific parts.
Regular service will ensure the truck is always in top condition. Scheduled maintenance of the engine, for example, will ensure your vehicle’s torque does not degenerate. Like engine oil changes, service should be done at specific intervals. The intervals could be based on the time period or distance covered. For example, you can have the car serviced twice a year or after every 15,000 miles. The car’s handbook should guide you on the best practice or recommendations for scheduling the service. Luckily, many modern SUVs and trucks, and modern vehicles in general, have warning lights on the dashboard to remind you when maintenance is needed.
Keep the Vehicle Covered
You may have a large garage for your SUV but find it convenient to park it outside. Although many cars are corrosion-resistant, proper storage goes a long way in ensuring the car and its parts are well taken care of. Furthermore, parking in your garage or covered area ensures that your truck or SUV is clean and safe. It also reduces the risk of vandalism and accidental damage.
There are several essential maintenance services for your large vehicles that you should never underestimate. Engine maintenance and repairs, for example, is something you should never take lightly. The same applies to other key components or parts of your vehicle, such as the brakes, clutch, tires, and wheel bearings. Good maintenance of these parts will make your vehicle more durable.