Your Truck Spring Tune-Up Checklist

With winter coming to an end, we can start preparing for warmer weather. Part of the preparation involves getting your truck ready for the coming spring. Winter, with its harsh weather, can really do a number on your vehicle so as the weather warms up, remember to give your truck some care and attention to ensure it’s in top driving condition. This can involve some general maintenance and repair work. You can also get your truck some custom modifications and upgrades to improve its look and off-road performance.

When it comes to giving your truck a spring tune-up, there are several things that should be on your to-do list:

  1. Under the Hood.

Check the engine oil.

This is a vital lubricant that protects the engine against wear and tear. Check the levels and top it off if it’s running low. If you need an oil change, don’t hesitate to come to any Dixie 4 Wheel Drive auto shop and let our 4×4 specialists handle it.

Check and top up fluids.

–    Wiper fluid. This empties quickly during the winter as it’s constantly needed to clean the windshield. As you prepare for spring, ensure you have enough especially if you love off-roading as it’ll make it easier to get rid of the dust, grime, and debris on the trail.

–    Brake fluid. This is needed to transfer pressure from your foot on the pedal to the brakes themselves. If your brakes lack sufficient fluid, they’ll take more time and effort to stop the truck so ensure you top it off or change it.

Check your truck’s battery.

If you were driving your truck through the winter, you no doubt put a lot of strain on it so the battery could use a new lease of life. Check the battery terminals for any corrosion and go for a battery inspection if you suspect it’s running low.

Change the air filters.

The air filters work to prevent debris from reaching the engine’s combustion chambers. Inspect yours and change them out if they’re well past their sell-by date. While you’re at it, change the cabin filters too to ensure that your air-conditioning works properly in anticipation of the warmer weather ahead.

  1. Do some outside maintenance.

Once you’ve looked under the hood, you can proceed to do some outside maintenance on your truck.

Check the windshield wipers.

The constant ice and snow experienced during winter mean your wipers are in almost constant use. Don’t wait for this to become a problem. Check to see if they’re worn out and replace them if necessary.

Inspect, rotate and align your tires.

Driving on ice, snow and bad roads can leave its mark on your truck’s tires. As part of the spring checkup, make sure they’re aligned and rotated. Rotating the tires ensures they wear out evenly while alignment ensures that they don’t drag or pull to one side.

Also, remember to inspect your tire treads as thin or worn out ones can spell disaster when spring rains arrive. Your treads need to be deep enough to provide sufficient traction to prevent hydroplaning on wet roads. Don’t forget to switch your winter tires for spring, summer or all-season tires.

Check your truck’s brakes.

Brakes are one of those things you can’t afford to ignore. Unfortunately, the road salt used in winter can corrode metal and your brake pads require a clean, well-lubricated metal frame to work properly. So add brake pad inspection to your truck’s spring tune-up checklist.

Inspect truck accessories.

Your truck might have several accessories depending on the type of custom truck build you have. These include a tonneau cover, a truck bed liner, upgraded off-road lighting, etc. Go over each accessory and make certain it’s in good shape for the coming spring months.

  1. Give your truck a final thorough spring cleaning.

Finally, remember to pay attention to the rest of your truck to get it looking and working like new.

Here are some cleaning and maintenance jobs you don’t want to overlook:

Clean the undercarriage.

Your truck’s undercarriage has probably taken a beating during the winter and has been exposed to salt, sand and other debris, depending on where you live. Don’t forget to give it some attention by hosing off the underside area. You can do this at home or get it done at a car wash that offers undercarriage cleaning. Either way, ensure it’s done to get rid of the accumulated dirt and grime that might cause corrosion.

Wash and wax the exterior.

The same dirt and grime that’s on your undercarriage probably splashed on your truck’s exterior. Left alone, it can cause significant damage to your paint job. Cleaning your truck’s exterior is mandatory if you want your rig to keep looking good. To do this, use liquid or powder cleaners specifically designed for vehicle exteriors and avoid harsh abrasives that might ruin your paint job. Afterward, rinse and dry your truck then rub on a protective wax layer.

Clean out the cabin.

As you clean the exterior remember that your truck’s cabin also needs care. The carpets, seat covers, and mats all need to be cleaned to leave the cabin fresh and clean. To really get out all the dust and dirt accumulated over the winter months, take your truck to be shop vacuumed. Make sure they remove the mats and seat covers to really get the dirt underneath and leave the cabin gleaming.

Whether you use your truck as a daily driver or you only use it as a trail-runner during the weekends, it still needs a lot of care and attention as the seasons change. If you’re up to it, getting your truck ready can be tackled as a DIY project. Alternatively, if you’re pressed for time or simply don’t have the heart for it, you can bring it to one of the specialized full-service Dixie 4 Wheel Drive shops and we’ll be glad to carry out the necessary repairs, maintenance and cleaning so both you and your vehicle can enjoy the spring season.

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