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Important Tips for Maintaining a Heavy-Duty Truck

A heavy-duty truck that is hauling a heavy load every time it's on the road will need some special maintenance and care, simply because of pulling that extra weight and the extra demands on the engine and other such parts. Obviously you want to follow the basics when you need to maintain such a truck, including regular oil changes and belt and hose replacement, but note a few other tips you might be overlooking, which will help to keep your heavy-duty truck in tiptop shape.

Change out the glow plugs

Your heavy-duty truck probably runs with a diesel engine, as these are stronger than a standard petrol engine and are meant for towing heavier loads. Note that diesel engines don't work with spark plugs, as they use heat and not a spark to start. Glow plugs are usually installed in diesel engines; these produce a tiny glow that emits just enough heat to start your truck's engine. If the glow plugs are worn out and not working as they should, your truck's engine will need to work harder to start. Note the expected lifespan of the glow plugs in your truck according to your owner's manual and be sure they're changed as often as needed.

Add engine cleaner

Diesel fuel contains high amounts of sulphur and carbon, both of which are typically left behind in the engine as the fuel burns away. The truck's oil filter will clean out some of this residue, but your engine can still have remaining pollutants that make it run harder and hotter than it should, increasing its wear and tear. You may not think of adding engine cleaner to the gas tank of your family sedan very often, but it's important you do this regularly with a diesel engine in a heavy-duty truck to clean out that residue and keep the engine running cleanly and efficiently.

Check engine gaskets and bolts

Because a diesel engine usually works harder than a standard petrol engine, the gaskets that are over the cylinders in the engine may tend to wear out more quickly, and the bolts holding them in place may also tend to get worn and loose very easily. Once a gasket gets loose, your engine will be losing heat and oxygen so that it works harder to run. It's good to check the condition of the gaskets and their bolts as often as you change the oil in the engine and tighten the bolts or just replace these parts when needed.