Spring truck tune-up

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by Cableguy, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Cableguy

    Cableguy Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Spring cleaning around the house can also mean the garage, as in "a great time to check on your truck." While some people prefer to bring their truck in for service whenever notified by the dealer, many would rather save some money and do the work themselves.

    Checking Tires For Wear

    You should check your tires at least once a month to determine whether you need to (a) buy new tires, (b) have your wheels balanced, (c) have your wheels aligned, or (d) change your driving habits.

    While looking at your tires, see if you have nails, stones or other debris embedded in the treads, removing them if you do. Before you remove a nail, make sure that your spare tire is inflated and in usable shape.

    Keep a tire gauge in the glove box and, as temperatures fluctuate, check the tire's pressure. Poor pressure can do more than reduce the lifespan of your tire — it can hurt you at the pump, too. To get the best mileage, always have your tires properly inflated. Examining the treads will give you clues about whether they are properly inflated:

    If both edges of your tire's treads are worn, the tire is most likely under-inflated, so add more air and check for leaks.

    "If the center of the tire tread area is worn, the tires are probably over-inflated. Check the pressure with a pressure guage and release some air pressure to reach the manufacturer's specs. Refer to your vehicle owner's manual for the correct tire pressure specification for your particular vehicle. Also, always remember to check the tire pressure readings with the tires cold (not driven more than two or three miles)."

    One-sided wear in your treads usually means poor alignment; that will need a mechanic to correct.

    Replacing The Wiper Blades

    Wiping ice and washer fluid through the past four months has probably put a lot of wear on your wiper blades, so replace them now to get ready for all the steady showers that come with spring. Most blades are really easy to install and snap right into place. Check your owner's manual for the right size blade. Most auto store clerks can access the right size from a product guide.

    Oil Check

    Just because the lube place changes your oil every 3,000 miles doesn't mean it shouldn't be checked with regularity. Finding the dipstick on today's cars is actually pretty simple: When you find it, pull it out, wipe it off, reinsert and remove again. You're looking for a carmel color and a level that meets the manufacturer's suggestion as noted on the dipstick itself.

    If you want to save a few dollars and change the oil yourself, it's really not that hard. Once you locate the truck's oil pan, just loosen the screw to let the old oil out. The oil filter is usually nearby (the owner's manual can tell you exactly) and comes off with a few turns, too. If it's too tight, you can find a filter tool at your local auto store. They also have oil pans to collect the used fluid. Replace the oil pan screw and oil filter (hand tighten only) with a new one before filling with fresh oil. The weight and amount of oil you'll need will be in your manual.

    Replacing The Air Cleaner Filter

    Replacing the air cleaner filter twice a year is recommended, since it's responsible for filtering the air entering the engine. [If you live in an area where trees drop a lot of pollen in the spring, you may want to replace the filter in the summer as well.]

    Once you locate the filter area (check the manual), inspect and toss if it's too dirty.

    Fuel Additives

    There are plenty of additives on the market — some boost octane, others promise enhanced performance. GM likes and recommends using the additives that help keep your engine clean. They are typically labeled as fuel injection cleaners.
  2. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Fresh coolant in both trucks!

    New wires, cap, rotor, plugs both trucks

    Oil changed

    Tires in the next month

  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Today I cleaned all the beer cans under the Suburban fromt the last time we had a WAT at the house, does this count as a spring tuneup?
  4. Cableguy

    Cableguy Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Uhmmmm I'll go with no :rofl:
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    well heck, then I'm just gonna throw'em back under there cause I dont feel like carrying them to the curb for the garbage man.
  6. thejms

    thejms Rockstar

    Anyone have a write up or some tips on flushing my coolant system and possibly cleaning my overlfow tank? It is nasty and stained on the sides. It always makes me think there are chunks in my coolant.
  7. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    You might want to consider letting a shop do this for ya, they have a vacuum that can draw out the old antifreeze and any build up that is in there.

    You can get some flush to run through and then let them clear it out and refill with green coolant and be good to go.

    The tank just pull it out and then use a hose to wash out the gunk if you really want to clean it out try some CLR and a hand mop or dish mop just be sure to flush it very good cause CLR will get sudsy and you dont want that in the rad. :happy:


  8. ppettit2005

    ppettit2005 Rockstar

    You forgot to include changing the fluid in your windsheild wiper fuid resevior. Usually the winter mix (which is made to handle ice, snow, and road spray from other cars/18 wheelers mostly) doesn't take care of dead bugs and tree sap all that well, and being able to see the road ahead of you is definitely important.
  9. NJBLK1500

    NJBLK1500 New Member

    Don't forget to put the summer air in the tires and lubricate the muffler bearings...those can be a real pain. Don't laugh...I have actually had several (female) friends fooled into going to their local shop and asking for summer air!! It's usually followed bya phone call to me, involving ALOT of yelling!?!

    Seriously though...Cableguy....great write up...I think this would be a great sticky...at least for the spring!
  10. bry2500

    bry2500 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I just need to flush the radiator and I think I'll do the tranny too, along with new lube in the diffs.

    did the tires
    did the wipers
    did the oil
    even washed the truck in 30 degree weather at 6am. I know it sounds stupid but it was the only time I could get to it. Just a wash no wax though. That will be next 60 degree day.

    Good Write up CableGuy

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