Do you own a Peterbilt truck? Then you need to be mindful about keeping it in perfect condition. To help you with that, we will be sharing 4 tips on how to prevent common Peterbilt truck breakdown issues.
1. Take a look at the tires
Both underinflated (more prone to blowouts) and overinflated (bad handling) tires reduce fuel efficiency and shorten tire life. The recommended pressure for your individual tires is listed in your owner's handbook. This information is shown on a plaque on the driver's side doorjamb of trucks built after 2003. Keep in mind that truck tires lose roughly 1 psi of pressure per month. Every 10 degrees that the air temperature fluctuates over the year, an extra 1 psi of pressure is required.
Major red flags include cracked and worn treads as well as bald patches. The minimum tread depth for a steer tire is 4/32 of an inch, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Further, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), if the tread depth is less than 2/32 of an inch, the vehicle should be pulled out of operation while the tires are being replaced.
2. Monitor your electric system
A malfunctioning electrical system reduces efficiency and may damage other components of your Peterbilt, necessitating expensive repairs. In addition to leaving you stranded in the dark, defective batteries may harm essential engine components. Maintaining corrosion-free and tightly connected battery cables and electrical connections can help you avoid shorts, broken lights, and potentially significant system failures.
3. Maintain adequate engine coolant and oil levels
Slacking off on keeping the oil and coolant systems properly maintained is the fastest way to blow your Peterbilt truck's engine. To keep track of when these fluids were inspected and serviced, keep your truck's maintenance papers close to hand. Then, follow the maintenance intervals suggested by the manufacturer. There are a few other things to remember:
Work with a diesel mechanic when it comes to major oil change intervals (every 10,000 miles), particularly after you’ve logged 300,000 miles on your Peterbilt. Professionals can provide you with an examination of any oil burning, viscosity breakdown, or running outside of the ideal manufacturer’s conditions that may be occurring in your specific engine.
Follow Peterbilt service specifications and consult a diesel technician for significant intervals. Keep track of the kind of coolant that your engine needs (for example, Extended Life Coolant or conventional coolant). A visual check is also not too difficult to do. Obtain a sample of the coolant, then check it for particles, coloration, and clarity. Test strips that cost little or nothing may show the amounts of additives and antifreeze.
4. Understand when to upgrade
Even a secondhand Peterbilt that has been well-maintained will ultimately break down. An owner-operator will then need to decide between replacement or upgrading and preventative maintenance.
Adhere to these tips and you will be able to prevent common Peterbilt truck maintenance issues that you will have to face. It can help you to keep peace of mind as you drive as well.