How Often Should You Service a Semi-Truck?

Semi-trucks are built to last and to cover long distances, but just like any other vehicle, they need regular maintenance to stay in top shape. By having your truck regularly serviced, you can address potential problems early and avoid the need to fix additional issues with repairs like radiator service or charge air cooler service. But how often should you service your semi-truck?

It’s generally recommended that you service your semi-truck every 12,000–15,000 miles, or about every 20,000 kilometres. The exact maintenance schedule for your needs can vary depending on your truck’s make and model, as well as the type of work it’s doing. If you’re hauling heavy loads over rough terrain, you might need more frequent servicing.

What’s the Point of Servicing a Vehicle?

Servicing your semi-truck is about preventing wear and tear and keeping your engine running smoothly. Think of it as a checkup for your truck. Just like you’d visit the doctor for a physical, your semi needs regular checkups to catch any potential issues before they become major problems.

Routine service gives an experienced mechanic a chance to thoroughly examine your engine and the state it’s in. It also allows us to replace any worn or damaged parts and make necessary repairs before parts fail, which can ultimately save you money in the long run. This lets you drive comfortably knowing that your truck is in excellent shape!

What Gets Done When You Service a Semi-Truck?

When you bring your semi-truck in for service, there are several things your mechanic should check and maintain—depending on the mileage of your truck. In general, your routine service might include the following tasks:

  • Inspecting your engine for any signs of wear or damage
  • Checking your oil and changing it if necessary
  • Ensuring your tires are in good condition and properly inflated
  • Examining your brakes and replacing any worn-down components
  • Inspecting your transmission
  • Looking at your suspension and steering systems
  • Checking the condition of your fuel system
  • Inspecting your exhaust system for any leaks or damages
  • Inspecting your radiator and charge air cooler

What’s the Best Service Schedule for a Semi-Truck?

While the general rule of thumb is to service your semi-truck every 12,000–15,000 miles, or about every 20,000 kilometres, that isn’t always exact. Your ideal service schedule can depend on the specific circumstances your truck operates under.

For example, if you often drive in severe weather conditions or rough terrain, you might need to take your truck in more frequently. The same goes for those who often haul heavy loads. Hauling lots of weight can be extremely hard on your engine and can lead to premature damage to your truck if you put off repairs for too long.

Remember, preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your truck on the road. It can help to speak with your mechanic about their recommendations for a consistent service schedule. We can help you rest assured your engine has what it needs to get up the next hill. 

Why Do Charge Air Coolers Need Maintenance?

Think of the charge air cooler, or CAC, like the lung of a vehicle. It takes in air, cools it down, and then supplies it to the engine. This helps cool the engine and helps the entire system run smoothly. When it’s operating well, a CAC helps to:

  • Improve the overall performance of the engine
  • Conserve fuel 
  • Control emissions

It’s a critical component, so it can be problematic when a CAC isn’t maintained. A leaking CAC can compromise the overall cooling process and lead to increased engine wear and reduced efficiency. It’s crucial to regularly maintain the charge air cooler so you can keep the lungs of your vehicle in fine operating order.

How Important Is the Radiator in a Semi-Truck?

The radiator is a vital part of your truck’s cooling system. It works with the charge air cooler to keep your engine cool, especially during those long hauls. Without a functioning radiator, your engine can overheat, leading to costly repairs and potential downtime.

Radiators contain a mixture of water and antifreeze that circulates through your engine, absorbing heat. They use a fan to lower the temperature of this hot mixture before transferring the cooled fluid back into your engine to lower its overall temperature.

Radiators repeat their cycle continuously to maintain your engine’s temperature within an optimal range. All that time spent working means they need a little maintenance occasionally too. Routine radiator maintenance can help you stop your engine from overheating—and help you keep cool on the road too. 

How to Tell if Your Radiator Needs Replacing

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and your radiator may need to be replaced or repaired at some point. Signs of a serious radiator problem include:

  • Coolant under your truck, which indicates a leak
  • Your engine overheating
  • Visible discolouration or rust on or around your radiator
  • Discoloured coolant
  • Sludge or particles in your coolant
  • A frequently high reading on your dashboard temperature gauge
  • Poor heating or A/C performance

Remember, catching these issues early can save you a lot of hassle, money, and time down the road. It’s essential to regularly inspect and service your truck to keep your wheels spinning!

A happy semi-truck driver gives a thumbs up as he gets into his vehicle to show his gratitude after having the semi-truck serviced.

Visit Us for More Advice

If you think it’s time to get your truck serviced, come visit us at City Wide Radiator. We know trucks inside and out, and our team of experienced mechanics is here to provide service and advice for your semi. 

Schedule your next service with us today!