How to Winterize Your Truck

As December begins, the autumn season nears its end and winter looms on the horizon. Colder temperatures and precipitation can make for challenging conditions to maintain and operate vehicles. Proper maintenance and preventative actions can help to minimize issues relating to cold weather conditions. In this post, we will discuss a few ways to prepare your truck for the upcoming winter.

Carry the Right Supplies

Cold, wet weather presents a number of hazards to you and your vehicle. Make sure you are carrying the proper supplies in your truck in order to better prepare yourself for roadside issues. Some gear worth having in your cab includes:

  • Extra clothing (jackets, rain gear, hats, gloves, socks)
  • Windshield fluid
  • Blankets
  • Bags of salt, sand, or kitty litter
  • Tire chains
  • Jumper cables
  • Snow brushes/scrapers
  • Dried food, extra water
  • Propane heater & lighter

All of these items serve to help you in situations relating to poor weather conditions. Make sure you stock your cab with some of these items before your next haul.

Check Your Batteries

It only takes one poorly charged battery to cause your truck to not start. Making sure all of your batteries are at similar charge levels can help avoid the frustration of your truck not starting in frigid weather. Go to a local repair shop at the start of the season to ensure all of your batteries’ charges are within a few percent of each other.

Tires and Tire Pressure

If you regularly drive through areas with snow and ice, winter tires are a must. Making sure you have the correct tires with the proper tread and tire pressure is essential. Lower temperatures cause tires to lose pressure, so it is important to regularly check tire pressure. Insufficiently inflated tires can cause excess wear, increased fuel consumption, and improper handling. As the season continues, be sure to rotate your tires and monitor tread depth.

Use the Engine Block Heater / Avoid Cold Soaks

Cold soaks occur when the engine’s components and fluids drop to the surrounding temperature of the environment, typically after a day or more of inactivity. By plugging in the engine block heater when stopped, you can maintain proper temperatures for the engine block and fluids. This serves to avoid cold soaks and makes it easier for your engine to start. It is important to note that engine heaters do not warm enough to heat up from a cold soak; engine heaters are simply used to maintain optimal temperature while the truck is not running. For this reason, plug your truck in when it is at normal operating temperature.

It doesn’t have to be particularly cold in order for the engine block heater to be helpful, and trucks should be plugged in every night. The longer a truck sits, the more important it is to plug it in.

Winter Fueling

Appropriate fueling and fuel tank maintenance can help save time and money as temperatures fall. Keeping your fuel tank at least half full with quality winter blend fuel at all times can help prevent a lot of issues caused by cold weather, such as fuel line freezes and no-starts. Make sure your fuel blend is appropriate for your destination and anywhere you will be traveling en route. When temperatures drop below 20°F (-7°C), be sure to use diesel anti-gel additive to prevent the paraffin wax in your fuel from gelling into a solid.

Check Wipers

Good wiper blades are the difference between visibility and no visibility in serious winter conditions. Check your blades at the beginning of the season to ensure that you will have an unobstructed view of the road at all times.

Check Fluids

It’s important to check your fluid levels often in order to make sure you have the correct amounts. Windshield washer fluid, coolant, and antifreeze should all be monitored and filled accordingly throughout the season.

Truck Parts at Iron Wing Sales

Looking for replacement parts to get ready for the winter? At Iron Wing Sales, we carry thousands of Heavy Duty Truck parts helps to keep truckers on the road. From climate control to clutch & transmission, and everything in between! Our parts are In-Stock & Ready-to-Ship, which helps minimize downtime. Search our inventory by part #, category, or manufacturer to find the parts you need. For further assistance, contact us at: or 216-912-9089.

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