The 5 Senses of Truck Service
Have you ever wondered just how to tell when your truck or other equipment needs a tune up? You don’t have to be an expert to get a sense for what’s happening when you’re driving. Just let your senses help you out! Here are some ways to discern potential problems using nothing more than what you’ve already got.
1. Listen: This is one of the most helpful senses when trying to find out what might be going on in your engine. If you hear knocking coming from under the hood, possible causes could be mechanical parts – like valves, injectors, gaskets or pistons – or even some sort of mechanical failure in the engine itself. It could be an exhaust leak, badly aligned tires, or any number of issues. The only way to be sure is to get a mechanic to take a look – ideally before major work is needed. So call us, and save stress and your money! And if you hear honking from other drivers while you’re behind the wheel, then that is probably a good sign that something might be wrong. Stop right away, check over your truck, and make sure everything is okay to drive!
2. Feel: If the steering wheel pulls on one side when you drive it could be a wheel alignment issue, or even a blown tire – which, if you have 18 of them, you might not even notice until your control starts to slip! If the steering pulls to the side when you apply the brakes it could be air lines, or a hydraulic brake system problem. Keep alert and be aware of what your truck is telling you, through every vibration, jolt, and drag.
3. Smell: This is one of the least desirable senses to encounter in a truck, as it’s very rare that a noticeable smell means something good. It could be burned oil, rubber, brake pads, friction dust from the transmission, or even an exhaust leak into the cabin (for which you’d notice a smell of combustion), or coolant vapours, which are somewhat sweet and very distinct.
Brake fluid can leak by the push rod inside the cabin and smell oily, and the engine air HVAC system can sometimes smell if the air conditioning hasn’t been used for quite a while (get a mechanic to take a look if it doesn’t go away within a day). Even the smell of diesel can seep into the cabin if there’s a faulty fuel line. Keep your nose attuned to what’s going on with your truck and you will likely end up saving yourself a lot of trouble!
4. Sight: You might see more than hazy heat lines coming up from your engine one day! There might be smoke, steam, or coolant vapours – and if that last one happens, it can be very dangerous, since it means coolant has splashed on the exhaust manifold, leading to a possible fire, where you’ll see the flames and feel the heat!
If any of your dash lights come on, take notice immediately! Don’t ever assume they’re an erroneous warning. If the lights are yellow, make plans to get the systems checked out, but if they are red then you must stop immediately or the engine will seize. Even something as simple as a warning light for oil pressure should be followed, because if you keep driving, the engine will seize due to friction…and it is much more expensive to change your engine than to swap out your oil!
5. Taste: While taste generally isn’t something that helps identify engine trouble, we hope it goes without saying that you should not taste any of the substances and fluids that you might find in your engine or other systems – but we’re not the only ones to worry about. Due to the sweet smell of coolant that we mentioned earlier, furry friends like dogs usually love the taste of engine coolant and should not be allowed into any areas where they might encounter it in a container or on the ground. It’s fatal if they ingest it, so we make sure not to let any dogs into our service bays, and we hope you do the same.
If you’re ever unsure of what might be going on with your truck, don’t take the risk of letting it turn into something major – call West Tech Mobile to get an expert opinion on how to keep your rig flowing smoothly when you need it. Use our contact page to get a hold of us by phone, email, or message, or even drop in to our shop at 22-5555 51 Ave SE in Calgary, Alberta!