The First Things To Do After Buying A Used Diesel Truck
Can’t afford that brand-new, top-of-the-line diesel truck? We know how tempting it can be, and how hard it is to say no. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find something great out there that’s new to you. When you find that perfect vehicle that’s just within your budget, driving it home can feel like you just won the lottery.
But as with any lottery winning, you have to be careful that you don’t get more trouble than you anticipated. It’s no different with a used diesel vehicle – you don’t know if the engine looks good on the inside, if the parts are clean, or if the fluids are topped up. So why take the chance on breaking down before you even get a chance to really enjoy your new ride? Here are the top 4 things to do when you buy a used diesel truck, to make sure you stay on the road and moving fast.
1. Get an oil change. Sure, the seller swears he got it done just last week, and he did point to a messy pile of random papers that may contain a receipt. But anyone can reset an oil change light on the dashboard with a bit of know-how, and you don’t know if the oil is some dollar-store cheap stuff! Nothing beats being absolutely sure, and seeing the quality of work done for yourself. Diesel engines see some very extreme temperatures and pressures, and if the oil inside the engine is old and contaminated – well, that’s a great way to ruin an otherwise perfect engine. Changing the oil is simple and relatively cheap, compared to replacing a whole set of injectors, pipes, sensors, and bearings – or even worse.
2. Replace the fuel filter. If you didn’t read our last blog on why the quality of diesel fuel is important, well, you should know that it really is. Diesel engine tolerances are very precise, so fuel that has contaminants or other low-grade particulates in it can ruin your whole system and set you back thousands of dollars. An easy way to avoid this? Change the fuel filter when you get a used truck. It doesn’t matter if the one already installed is the best brand on earth – you simply have to be sure that it’s brand new and can do its job effectively. It’s a good habit to change these with every second oil change, to keep your engine running smoothly.
3. Replace the air filter. While this one is easier to inspect (and thus easier to tell if it absolutely needs replacing), it’s not something you want to keep putting off replacing. A clean and efficient air filter makes sure that the air going into your turbo charger isn’t dusty, dirty, or full of other particles, which means that the power coming out of that turbo charger is consistent, safe, and strong. Your truck – and your future wallet – will thank you.
4. Replace the transmission fluid and filters. It’s important to do both, and not just one or the other. Many places will flush out the fluid, but not the filters – creating a potential situation where the new fluid can become contaminated again immediately, and ruining all the work they just did. Many people don’t know that diesel engines are different than gasoline ones, because they were built to work, especially towing heavy loads. The transmissions are under constant stress most of the time, and keeping your fluids and filters clean throughout the transmission system can be the difference between going home at the end of the day, and waiting on the roadside for a tow truck. In a used vehicle, you never know what the previous owners did – so it’s always best to get the work done right away, and that way you can be sure it was done properly and recently.
5. Perform an engine coolant flush. Often overlooked, engine coolant has an extremely hard job within the engine, and beyond that, it has a shelf and usage life expectancy. It keeps your hardworking diesel truck cool, and within a certain operating range; contaminated or low quality coolant can (and most likely will) cause catastrophic repair bills. Despite this, most people don’t change it! A bonus to doing a flush is that during the process, you can also do a test for hydrocarbons and other contaminations that indicate other potential problems with the engine, such as (in a worst-case scenario) hydrocarbons from blown head gaskets or water pump failures. There’s plenty to say about this, but we can sum it up like this: you need good fluids and a good thermostat to work hand-in-hand to keep the engine running at the proper operating temperature.
That’s it! These four hints will help you keep your diesel vehicle running smoothly and prevent runaway repair costs from blindsiding you out of nowhere. If you want more helpful ideas on how to execute strong preventative maintenance on your vehicle, simply give Schultz Diesel Sports a call or send a message to find out more. We’re known as diesel experts in Calgary, so you can rest assured that you’ll get the best advice that there is to give!