Don’t Stall: Get Your Diesel Engine Ready for Winter

You might be the kings of the highways and rulers of the lanes, but when winter strikes, you and your truck will be sitting in a garage if you don’t prepare properly. 

That’s right, the big rigs of the roadways can be stopped by the coldest and lowest of temperatures. 

So before you go hauling another big load this season, check out these tips below to make sure you’ve covered all of the necessary bases for winterizing your heavy-duty diesel.

Vow to Drive Safely This Winter

1. Be cautious when the weather becomes bad, such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, or wind. This can limit your ability to slow down and stop, as well as traction for turning and remaining in your lane on the road. 

2. Always bring extra food and water supplies with you during trips. You never know when you’ll need to make an emergency stop to let the weather calm down. Also, bring extra clothing and blankets to keep warm.

3. Sun protection is a must. Snow and sun do not mix well and can cause deceptive winter glares to occur while you’re driving. Use sun sleeves, window covers, and sunglasses to help reduce the occurrence of a glare.

4. During long periods of cold weather and limited sunlight, be aware that seasonal affective disorder can occur. Monitor your mood, as mood swings are a sign of SAD occurring.

Keep Your Truck Working all Winter Long

1. Diesel fuel contains paraffin wax, which can cause the fuel to gel in low temperatures. If this occurs, you will experience engine failure. Check the grade of your fuel—fuel with a higher cetane number will make it easier for your vehicle to start in cold weather. 

2. Another thing to remember is to always top off your fuel tank at the end of the day. This will help reduce the amount of condensation that collects due to the wintry air.

3. Check and make sure your cooling system is running well. Although it’s already cold outside, your engine still needs to cool. Be sure to get your engine properly inspected to discover if there are any problems with the cooling system, heater, radiator, hoses, and belts.

4. Cold, wintry conditions drain batteries! Now is the time to check the age of your battery and replace it if it’s close to the end of its lifespan, which is typically about 48 to 72 months.

5. Take a look at the overall health of your tires. Are there any odd patterns apparent on the tread of your tires? This means your tires aren’t wearing evenly, which can cause poor alignment, worn bearings, and other failures. Also, during the cold months, tires tend to lose pressure. This can decrease your fuel economy so be sure to keep them pumped full.

6. Is there any sign of snow melting around the wheel hub region? If so, this might be an indication that the wheel bearings are over-heating.

7. Keep your wiper fluid full and purchase new windshield wipers to make sure you have maximum visibility during rain, sleet, or snow.  

8. Don’t let your brakes freeze up this season either, so be sure to check on your air dryer. If it’s not functioning properly, your brakes could fail.

Think you might not be able to remember or keep track of everything on your winterization checklist before winter really strikes? No worries, visit our friends at RigMinders! Their free mobile app can remind you of important information, such as winterizing your rigs, tax deadlines, and so much more. And keep up with all of the news and updates brought to you by TruckLogics; do we know the trucking industry or what?

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