Truck Care Advice For All Owners

Trucks may look hardy compared to other vehicles but they still need TLC. In fact, even more so. The cost of repairing a failing truck is much more than a city car and since trucks are usually a source of employment for many, they can't afford to be neglected.

Truck detailing

Detailing is the most basic care that can be offered to a truck and should never be overlooked. It should be done as often as possible since these vehicles ply highways and accumulate a lot of dirt which can clog vital systems and hamper performance. And since detailing doesn't require expensive cleaning equipment, it can be performed by anyone.

Clean corners like where the dash meets the windshield, trim and moldings using a hard, flat stick wrapped in a rag. Apply cleaner and scrape away dirt and stains.

Use leather polish and conditioner to keep seats clean, shiny and soft. Products meant for leather garments shouldn't be used on seats unless specified by the manufacturer.

Use cotton swabs to get at small areas where paint sticks can't. Concentrate on dash vents and similar grooves.

A soft bristle toothbrush dipped in cleaning agent should be able to scrape stubborn grime.
Fabric seats are best cleaned whole because if you spot clean, you'll end up with a clean patch that will highlight the dirt of the surrounding area.

Fixing scratches

Paint will scratch no matter how carefully you drive a truck. Minute scratches can be left as is but more noticeable ones should be treated before they get worse. Use fine grit sandpaper and sand the scratch to get out bits and pieces. You'll be a left with a larger bare spot but that's okay. Fill the gap with touchup paint which can be bought at any auto supply store.

Applying touchup paint is not a job for first-timers so practice on a piece of scrap metal before taking on the big guns.

Reshining dull paint

Paint dulls over time and there's little that can be done to avoid it. However, it's possible to revive it to a degree. You'll need a polishing compound and a damp sponge applicator to begin. Apply the compound to areas you want revived and wipe off after 30 minutes. Apply car wax and let it set for an hour before polishing in a circular motion.

Detergent and cleaning agents not meant for vehicles should not be used. They're abrasive and can damage paintwork. The same goes for buffers.

Mechanical maintenance

Professional servicing is naturally required but you, as the owner, have to make certain checks. Checking engine oil, brake fluid and air filters will let you know if your truck is in need of professional help. Remember, the longer mechanical maintenance is postponed, the more expensive it'll be when you get around to it.

Tire safety

Tire safety should be of primary importance to all vehicle owners and drivers. Tires are the only connecting components between a vehicle and the road and wear and tear that's not taken care of will cause them to become damaged further.

The main changes to look for are tire pressure which can be checked using a gauge and making sure the tread still has enough depth by using a coin. Place the coin inside a groove with the head facing up. If more than half the head can be seen, the tires are in need of replacement.

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