SHOP TALK: VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
Maintenance tips for your pickups so you can be “making hay while the sun shines”
by Steve Temple
When you’re changing engine oil for the summer months, don’t forget to freshen your truck’s other moving parts with lubrication while you’re at it.
As pointed out by our contacts at Shell Lubricants, a good grease (such as calcium-based Shell Gadus S3 A1000XD 2) provides resistance to water washout, along with oil separation and softening due to mechanical action.
Keep in mind that a lubricant must be usable at the operating and ambient temperatures in which your truck operates.
Components that typically require greasing include wheel bearings, kingpins, tie rods, slack adjusters, brake cams, suspension bushings, clutch release system, universal joints, and the 5th-wheel/gooseneck.
When applying grease through a zerk, first make sure both the gun tip and fitting are clean. Always apply enough new grease to force out the old to ensure the grease job is done right.
If the old grease doesn’t get pushed out, check for damage or if the fitting seems clogged, replace it. Lastly, remove any excess grease once you’re done.
If you’re towing with a 5th-wheel, check the layer of grease on the hitch to make sure it’s not too thin or old.
It’s important to have good lubrication here to minimize damage, and grease can also become contaminated over time by road grime.
After cleaning off the dirty old grease, apply a fresh bead of the correct type with a back-and-forth motion, putting a heavier coat on the back section, since it will be pushed forward by the kingpin of the trailer.–Pro