Get ready for your state inspection.
Don’t let the temptation to save a few bucks by delaying maintenance on your food truck steer you off course. Follow the maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Not changing the air filter and oil at the right intervals just makes your engine work that much harder. Neglecting other tasks can have even more serious consequences. Failure to replace worn-out brake pads, can result in the damaging of other parts and put you and your staff member in danger.
Don’t take your tires for granted, either. Make sure they’re inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflation increases tread wear on the outer edges and reduces gas mileage. Too much air pressure leads to uneven wear and faster deterioration. Check on tire wear every 3,000 miles. Use the “penny test.” Put a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. It’s time to replace the tires if you can see the whole head.
Read the owner’s manual to understand what the dashboard warning lights mean, and take appropriate action when a light turns on (even if the truck appears to be running OK). Ignoring warnings could lead to expensive damage and danger.
That includes the warning light for low fuel. Besides increasing the risk of running out of gas, driving a fuel-injected engine frequently on a very low tank is hard on the fuel pump. We always recommend keeping the fuel level above a quarter tank.
Tape saves light covers
A cracked taillight or turn-signal cover, if left alone, may allow your light compartment to fill with water and cause some real damage. A good short-term fix is to tape over the crack. Use the red or orange tape that’s made for this purpose.
Avoid light fixture problems
When changing a bad bulb, clean dirty or corroded sockets with fine steel wool or a small wire brush. Wipe the socket clean of debris before installing the new light bulb.
Fix small windshield chips
Got a rock chip, crack, or ding in your windshield? Bring your truck to a windshield repair shop. For far less cost than replacing the windshield, they can fix chips and cracks, even quite long ones. The repairs not only keep the chips and cracks from spreading and restore structural integrity, they also improve clarity.
Fill with washer fluid only
Don’t add water to the windshield washer reservoir. It won’t clean as well as washer fluid, and it may freeze in cold weather and damage the system. Don’t try to run your windshield washer system once you suspect there’s no more fluid in the tank, or you may damage the washer fluid pump.
Fix the washer fluid tank
Cracked washer-deicer fluid tanks are fairly common once a truck is of a certain age. A good remedy — until you can buy a new tank or find one at the junkyard — is to insert a plastic freezer bag into the tank and fill it with the washer fluid.
Inspect wheel-well splash guards
These guards, however flimsy on many of today’s trucks, help keep water and winter’s salty slush from splashing up into the engine compartment, where it can damage sensitive electrical components. Unfortunately, these guards tear off easily — sometimes without the driver knowing it. Check for damage to these guards when you wash your truck. Re-secure with the appropriate fasteners or replace as needed. As added protection from splashed-up muck, slush, and debris, install mud flaps (also called splash guards) on your vehicle.Give customers a reason to do business with you.