What's your short list of things to do to make a truck last a long time?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by jbeall, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. jbeall

    jbeall Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hi All,

    We recently picked up a 2003 Yukon XL. As I write this it has 56,340 miles on it. This is going to be our family vehicle for a *long* time--or at least, that is our goal!

    We want to do everything we can to take good care of the truck, in all aspects--so that means the engine, drivetrain, frame, etc.

    Can anybody give us a list of the things we need to do in order to make sure we're taking good care of our truck, so that it will take good care of us? Here are the things I've thought of already:

    -Use good quality oil and oil filter (I'm thinking Amsoil)
    -Check for rust spots regularly and address anything that you find (i.e., touchup any rock chips to protect the bare metal from exposure)
    -Keeps tires balanced and aligned
    -Follow all the manufacturer recommendations on fluid changes (transmission, brake, coolant)

    Anybody got some more tips for me? What else should we be doing? And, have I made any errors in the four points I listed above?

  2. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Congrats on the Yukon.

    I think the best way to get the most from a vehicle is to drive it easy.
    When I was younger I drove like a knucklehead. (You know...that guy you saw in the rear view mirror weaving in and out of traffic....the one you moved over for to avoid being hit)

    Older now, I've mended my foolish ways. I've slowed it down using a lighter step on the accellerator. I anticipate stoplights and use a soft touch on the brakes. I don't dive into corners at the highest possible speed and surprise my vehicles last longer. The brakes, and tires go further, the needle on the fuel gauge bends more slowly and I don't hear the officer say "sign at the bottom and press hard you're making 3 copies!"

    As far as maintenance goes my single most important tip is to keep the vehicle garaged. The sun plays havoc on the paint, tires and interior. Out here in the Mojave Desert the sun will burn the paint off and critters crawl inside the engine compartment to make lunch out of your wiring so if you can....park it inside.
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Maintanence is very important. Use quality name brand lubricants, and I use Napa Gold (Wix) filters. Do you do your own service work?
  4. adampaul1964

    adampaul1964 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Gotta agree with unplugged, the single most important thing to making a vehicle last is don't run it hard, I had a '97 Surburban that I sold with 200,000 miles on it and the guy I sold it to has 225,000 on it now with no issues since he's had it, and that truck never saw more than 3,000 rpms whilst I owned it. Congrats and good luck with your purchase it should provide you with many miles of solid service!
  5. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Well I would say keeping it clean is just as important as parts that you put into it, make sure you wash and wax it regularly. If you don't wax it and let the clear coat come off, then that's when you will start to get some rust.
  6. bill190

    bill190 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Other people say I drive like an old lady...

    I am patient. If I get where I am going 2 minutes later or arrive following that slower moving vehicle, that is ok.

    I don't speed up and pass someone so I get to a red light and wait.

    I drive with the flow of traffic, not a speeder.

    Gentle starts, gentle stops.

    And when I get younger types in my truck who suggest we go up to the mountains and see what the 4x4 will do on some muddy hills, I say let's not and say we did! (Or if you want to pay the repair bills, then it would be fine with me...)

    And I notice that I have few mechanical problems with my vehicles as compared with my younger impatient friends or those who take their trucks to the mountains to use the 4x4 to extremes.

    I also have very low insurance rates!

    Basically I use my truck for work, not play....
  7. jbeall

    jbeall Rockstar 100 Posts

    In the past I have not, but I will be doing the oil changes now because I want to use Amsoil and I don't know of any shops that offer Amsoil. That and the fact that I want to be more personally responsible for my vehicle.

    For anything more serious than changing the fluids, cleaning, touching up nicks, and so forth, I will still be taking it to the shop. I'm not confident enough to be tearing the engine or transmission apart. I'd love to be able to do that kind of stuff, but I have a long way to go before I'm there, and this isn't the vehicle that I want to experiment on.

    Now, I've also got a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville with 130,000 miles on it--that vehicle I'd be ok with doing some experimentation on :)

  8. 2ToNe04

    2ToNe04 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i just run easy on it, and not think im a nascar driver.

    and some synthetic oil :) and just change the oil and maintenance stuff on time.
  9. jbeall

    jbeall Rockstar 100 Posts

    What kind of wax, and how often?

    What kid of "waxing" will work? Specifically, I'm wondering if I the wax you can get sprayed on at those automatic car washes is any good? I work two jobs--between that and my family, I'm stretched pretty thin, so it would be nice to be able to skip the lengthy, multi-step waxing procedure, and just run it through the car wash regularly. But if that won't work... well, no choice, I suppose.
  10. jbeall

    jbeall Rockstar 100 Posts

    The back of my manual (page 7-10) says that I can order a service manual for $120, and it's got a number to call to order, or I can go to helminc.com to order.

    I expect I'll get a service manual just so I have it and can refer to it, but can anybody recommend somewhere that I can get it for less than $120? Or is that what I should expect to pay for a service manual?

    The service manual for my motorcycle was only $25 :) But that's a much simpler vehicle than this Yukon XL.


Share This Page

Newest Gallery Photos