Fall Is Hard On Trucks In Saint Paul

I’ve spent most of my free days this past spring and summer putting together a log cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. Now that fall is here I’m seeing more trucks on the dirt roads and off in the woods than usual. Being a mechanic I wonder how well these drivers keep up with their truck’s service needs. Driving on rough and pitted dirt roads is hard on a vehicle and a break down out in the woods would be costly if not dangerous. It’s mostly state park, state forest and wild life refuge land with few residents and few cars or trucks.
This time of year with the weather being cooler and leaves dropping off the trees I also see my coworkers and other Saint Paul customers doing some pretty heavy yard projects like hauling dirt, firewood, gravel and even pulling out tree stumps.
These types of activities are why people, including myself and everyone that works here, own trucks. Before winter and before any of these activities it’s a good idea to make sure your 4 wheel drive works by testing in the driveway at home so your don’t get stuck in the woods or in the back yard while hauling.
What we all have to keep in mind is that spinning tires when stuck, engines and vent systems clogging when tossing up dirt, pulling heavy loads, hitting bumps hard and other fun activities require that you give your truck a little extra care so you can keep your trucks active lifestyle going weather your out in the woods or in St Paul.
Suspension, brakes, steering, wheel bearings, u-joints and filters clogging are areas of special concern. After your truck or car is involved in any off roading the first thing to do is make sure you’ve switched out of four wheel drive. Then turn your radio and heater off and give a good long listen for and grinding, squeaks, thumps or other noises when braking or turning on smooth pavements. Next try to hit a few small to medium bumps or dips in the road. Do this with windows closed first and then window open, at low speeds and highway speeds. Any unusual noises should be looked at soon so as not to cause additional damage to any your vehicles systems. A low growling or humming noise can be caused by a wheel bearing and if it’s allowed to continue it can cause one of your wheels to come off of your car or truck. We’ve seen it happen a number of times but it’s easily avoided by listening on a test drive.
Also keep an eye on the surface under your car for oil and coolant leaks. It’s easy for a branch or rock to get tossed up into a fuel, brake, coolant or ATF line under your truck and cause a leak. But if you park in a garage you can just look at the floor for signs of leakage or if you park on the street, put a clean piece of cardboard under it at night it’s quick and easy to spot a leak.
A little investigating after rough fall activities will keep your truck dependable through the tough Saint Paul and rural winter driving. Remember fall is hard on trucks in Saint Paul.

Jack Carrick
Minnesota Repair Inc

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