If you drive a pickup truck, chances are that it is working hard for you every day.
That makes it harder than ever to know when the optimum time to sell it will be. Perhaps you simply want to work it until it no longer runs.
Either way, you want to make the most of its capability while still keeping your eye on its potential lifespan. Here’s what you need to remember to do that.
Working Hard Doubles the Miles
Whereas a family SUV might go 100,000 miles without flinching, a working truck is likely to hit 50,000 and have problems. That makes sense since the family SUV is only doing light duties.
The truck is performing tougher duties such as hauling big payloads or towing heavy trailers.
All of that work stresses its engine.
Although the truck was made tougher to handle big jobs, the owner needs to be realistic. To gauge how much stress you’ve put on the truck, ask yourself these questions.
Are you maximizing capability five days a week?
Or, have you stressed the vehicle’s capacity, taking big loads on long trips?
If you are honest with yourself about how hard the vehicle has worked, you’ll have a good idea of how much longer it can be expected to go before big repairs are needed.
Taking Time for Maintenance Makes a Difference
If your truck is ridden hard, driven while heavy laden, and operated during extreme temperatures, you can still extend your truck’s lifespan by keeping up with general maintenance.
The smartest truck owners are strict with themselves about performing the tasks dictated by the owner’s manual. It may be a little costly to keep up with the list, but it will add years and miles to the life of your truck.
You are also less likely to have an accident if you keep up with your truck or car maintenance. That’s because your safety is tied to how well your truck operates. If your truck stalls, you could get hit by traffic.
If you lose control, your truck could cause an accident.
Riding Hard Reduces the Lifespan
Maybe you aren’t hauling frequently, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t stressing the truck. Perhaps it is frequently on bad roads or going off road entirely.
This type of driving will tax the suspension and steering. By extension, once challenged, those systems will begin to tax the transmission.
Hitting bump after bump is sure to jar the engine. The mounts, however tough, may eventually give. If this isn’t noticed in time, the loose mounts will allow the engine to bounce more within the engine cavity.
That’s wear and tear that significantly decreases the engine’s viability over time.
Extreme Heat and Extreme Cold Will Take Their Toll
You may be lucky to live in an area where extreme temperatures are rarely encountered. That’s good news for your truck. For everyone else, however, extreme heat or extreme cold will take its toll.
Extreme heat increases the engine cooling efforts and challenges the very materials that make up the truck’s parts.
Of course, the truck may have a hard job to do in that heat, increasing the way that extreme temperatures impact the engine.
If extreme cold is the problem, this isn’t quite as bad as extreme heat, but it isn’t favorable. The cold can cause parts to seize up. Cold has a tendency to find the weaknesses in an engine and make them worse.
You can take away 10,000 to 20,000 miles for each problem (extreme temps, driving rough, hauling a lot).
However, you can add some of those miles back if the truck is well maintained. Hopefully your truck will last longer as a result.
Common Questions About Truck Maintenance
How Often Should Trucks Be Serviced?
A truck should receive basic service every 15,000 miles, which involves checking light and brake functionality as well as refilling important fluids.
Do Bigger Engines Last Longer?
Torque is produced by larger engines.
This enables the use of a transmission that allows the engine to run at a lower speed for the same vehicle speed. At 65 mph, a four-cylinder engine might spin at 2,500 rpm, whereas an eight-cylinder engine might spin at 1,800 rpm.
This could help your truck live a longer life.