How to Avoid Overheating Your Truck
Why do trucks overheat? For the most part, a truck overheating should be something that's avoidable with preventative maintenance. However, situations do occur in which a truck does overheat. Here are some of the common causes of overheating and what you can do to avoid it.
The Dangers of Overheating Your Diesel Truck
When a truck begins to overheat, it exceeds the temperatures that its components can handle. This causes a cascade effect; the parts of the engine stop working properly and can become deformed, shredded or otherwise damaged. From the driver's perspective, the vehicle stops working and has to cool down. But from a mechanic's perspective, irreparable damage can be caused to internal parts. Taking care of your diesel will help it last longer and reduce your repair and maintenance bills.
The Leading Causes of Overheating
Not checking your fluids. Both coolant and antifreeze levels need to be frequently checked to keep your engine operating within acceptable parameters. Coolant and antifreeze both work together to make sure that your engine doesn't overheat, but it isn't necessarily something you should do yourself. Instead, coolant and antifreeze will usually be checked when you get your vehicle maintained at a service center. However, you can make sure your oil levels are adequate and you're getting oil changes every 4,000-5,000 miles.
An improperly working thermostat. Your thermostat tells you exactly how hot your vehicle's engine is. If your thermostat doesn't work, you may not notice problems until they're too late. However, there is also another common issue, which is ignoring the thermostat altogether. As a driver of a diesel engine, you need to be conscientious of your gauges and react quickly when things don't appear to be right.
Working the vehicle too hard.
Towing a load that is too heavy for the engine is one of the fastest and most damaging ways to burn it out. There's a reason why there are maximums, and to be entirely safe, you shouldn't even approach these limits.
Brake problems. Though it's a little less common, overheating can be caused by a truck's braking system. This frequently goes unnoticed because you're trying to diagnose the truck's engine while the problem is actually due to your brakes. When brakes are stuck or otherwise not working, they can overheat, and this can cause the other components of the truck to overheat. Mechanics will look at all these factors to identify the source of the issue.
Overheating your truck doesn't just mean that you're going to need to stop and recover. It can cause serious damage to your vehicle that will take a while to repair, and it could even require that your entire engine needs to be replaced or rebuilt. Has your truck been overheating? Stop by and see us at Bodacious Diesel. We'll make your diesel run like new!