Preserve Your Truck’s Value With Regular Maintenance

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

Are you looking for tips on how to take care of your Chevy Silverado, your Ford F150, your GMC Sierra, or your Dodge Ram pickup truck?

If so, we know that it can be difficult to know the specific truck maintenance tips you should keep up with if you want to extend the life of your vehicle.

It can be even more of a challenge to understand when to perform routine maintenance on your pickup truck.

Don’t worry–this post has got you covered.

From understanding the signs that it’s time to change your spark plugs to learning how often to change your tires, we’re here to help you to master the maintenance procedures you need to keep your pickup truck in great shape. Plus, we’ll offer information on how you can sell your truck for instant cash.

We’ll also tell you what you can do when your car is beyond saving.

Take Oil Changes Seriously

One of the most basic truck maintenance tips out there?

Make sure that you always take the time to have your truck’s oil changed.

You might think that this is common knowledge, but it’s actually one of the main reasons why pickup trucks and other kinds of cars end up giving out far before their expected expiration date.

There’s also a lot of confusion about when exactly is the best time to change the oil in your pickup truck.

You’ve likely heard the old “every 3,000 miles” rule.

However, the truth is that it’s not as hard and fast as you think.

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that it’s how you drive your car, not only your mileage, that influences your need for an oil change. For example, if you have a tendency to drive for less than ten miles per trip, or if you wear down your engine faster by starting your car before the oil has a chance to heat up?

Then you’ll need to get your oil changed about twice every year.

If you’re still unsure, the best thing to do is to check your pickup truck’s manual. Depending on the make and model, you may be able to change it between every 5,000-7,000 miles.

But why are oil changes essential to truck maintenance in the first place?

Mainly because they work to keep your car’s engine lubricated so that it won’t wear down too quickly. They can also help to keep your engine cool and prevent excessive friction from parts rubbing together.

Oil changes can even help you to improve the mileage of an old pickup and ensures that dirty oil doesn’t build up in the engine, forcing your pickup to work harder and break down more quickly.

Monitor Your Tires

If you’re looking to extend the life of your old pickup trucks, then you need to know that the tires you’re driving on might play more of a role in your car’s longevity than you initially thought. It may also affect how you can easily get cash for your truck.

In general, it’s recommended that you change out your tires or rotate them around the same time that you change your oil.

First of all, doing so can increase your fuel efficiency. If one part of your tire is more worn down than the others, you’ll deal with an uneven, bumpy ride–one that makes your pickup truck burn through more gas than usual in order to keep going.

Tire care is also an important part of your overall pickup truck maintenance because they help you to maintain control of your car–especially if you’re at risk for hydroplaning.

Additionally, old and worn-down tires are one of the leading causes of car crashes.

So, if you take the safety of your own passengers and that of other drivers on the road seriously (and we know you do) always take the time to rotate and check the pressure in your tires.

How do you know if there’s a problem with your tires?

First of all, you can perform a basic visual inspection. Keep your eye out for uneven tread and cracks within the tire. Use a tire gauge to accurately monitor your tires’ pressure levels.

Also, listen for squeaks and squeals coming from your tires when you hit the brakes or turn around a corner.

In general, it’s recommended that you change your tires at least once every six years.

Be aware that, if you use high-performance tires on your pickup truck, you may need to replace them more often than other models.

Keep your Filters Clean

Next up on our list of the most crucial truck maintenance tips?

Make sure you’ve taken the time to clean and replace both the oil and air filters in your old pickup truck.

The air filter is especially important because it works to trap the dirt and other debris that can get up inside of your car’s engine, causing it to function less efficiently.

This is especially important in the winter when salt placed on the roads can quickly get inside the engine and cause it to wear down.

Plus, a clean air filter helps to make sure that enough air is getting through to the engine, which can prolong the life of the spark plugs in your ignition.

Studies show that switching out the air filter in your car can increase your mileage by an astounding 14%.

It’s also one of the most affordable forms of truck maintenance that you can perform–and it only takes a few minutes!

Focus on Cleanliness

We know that spending your weekend cleaning out your old pickup truck might not be your idea of a good time, but it’s one of the most important maintenance procedures out there.

First of all, especially if you’re thinking of one day selling the truck, keeping your car’s interiors in good shape will help you to get the best possible price.

Waxing your car’s exterior is also an excellent way to maintain the paint on your truck. Over time, UV rays can cause your color to chip and fade–especially if you keep your car parked outside.

Over time, this can cause your car to rust prematurely, making it fairly impossible to resell for a good price.

Waxing your car actually prevents these UV rays from penetrating and damaging the paint on your car.

Of course, a clean windshield helps to improve your overall levels of visibility, meaning that you’re much less likely to get into an accident.

Like the other truck maintenance tips on this list, keeping your car clean also improves your overall fuel efficiency.

Replace the Battery

You should always make sure that your car’s battery is functioning properly if you want to extend the life of your pickup truck.

Especially if you have a tendency to drive in harsher weather conditions, like sleet and snow, your battery may have a shorter than average lifespan.

Unsure if now is the time to replace the battery as a part of your truck maintenance routine?

First of all, your check engine light may alert you that now is the time.

If it doesn’t come on, you should also look at the overall battery fluid level. This will be located on the casing of the battery and will be transparent for easy reading. If you see that your fluid levels have fallen below the lead plates, it’s time for a test and a probable replacement.

Take a look at the area around the truck’s battery, as well.

Do you notice a buildup of gunk? Does your battery look as though its casing has swollen? Can you spot signs of corrosion?

If so, this means it’s time to give your battery a second look.

Of course, in some cases, it may simply be the right time to replace your battery.

While, as with the other truck maintenance tips on this list, the specific timeline will depend on your make and model, we suggest getting your battery tested at least once every three years.

Switch out Your Spark Plugs

Changing out your spark plugs is another essential entry on this list of the top truck maintenance tips.

But why are they so important, and how often should you have them switched out?

If they are too worn down, your spark plugs can cause your car to put out far more emissions than usual. In extreme cases, they could even lead your car to stall, have trouble starting up, or even lower the overall quality of your driving experience.

Plus, if your spark plugs are dirty or just old, it can lead to a drain on your car’s battery. Over time, this can lead to what’s known as a catalytic converter failure.

Essentially, this is a fancy way of saying that the fuel in your pickup truck will actually get into the exhaust, causing the converter to overheat. Then, your exhaust won’t be able to get out of your engine, which can lead to serious problems.

And if the spark plugs break and become loose in your truck?

You’re looking at a potentially serious costly repair job.

If you notice that your car seems to have a hard time starting, if your fuel consumption has gone through the roof, or if your engine is frequently bucking or misfiring?

These are all signals that it’s time to get new spark plugs for your pickup truck.

There also might be a problem with your pickup truck’s spark plugs if you’ve noticed that your car seems to have trouble accelerating. If the car’s ride has become especially bumpy lately, this could be another sign of a problem.

In some cases, your pickup truck may have come with extended-life spark plugs.

If this is the type of spark plugs you’re driving with, we suggest having them switched out around the 80,000-mile mark for best results.

Get Frequent Inspections

While many of the truck maintenance tips on this list are things that you can do on your own, but sometimes, you need the help of a professional to correctly identify a problem. You’ll especially need their help when you intend to sell your secondhand truck.

In addition to fixing the issues with your car the right way the first time, a mechanic can also help you to identify other problems that you weren’t even aware were there in the first place.

They can monitor the overall levels of fluid in your car, check the vehicle’s spark plugs, and even test your pickup truck’s brake pads to ensure they’re working properly.

Plus, especially if you’re driving an older pickup truck, you may not be able to find the specific repair parts that you need on your own. Using the wrong parts on your car can seriously compromise the integrity of your engine.

In rare cases, it can even put your car at risk of catching on fire or other, more serious issues.

Think of a trip to the mechanic as an annual physical for your car.

Not only will the assistance of a professional mechanic help to extend the life of your pickup truck, it will also help to keep you safe while you’re driving it.

When Truck Maintenance Isn’t Enough

We hope that you’ve found this list of the top truck maintenance tips helpful.

However, we also know that, sometimes, there’s simply nothing more you can do to extend the life of your truck.

When it’s time to say goodbye, we understand that you want to get as much money as possible out of selling it.

But where can you find a junk car buyer in your area?

That’s where we come in.

Spend some time on our website to learn more about how much you can expect to get for your car. Then, get in touch with us today to receive a free cash offer on your car.

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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