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Work Vehicle Maintenance

Posted by on 7/22/2014 to Diesel / Truck / Fleet

Vehicle Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to save money and prevent lost work time. To keep your vehicles in top condition, perform these tasks weekly:

  • Check tire pressure and inspect tires for wear or damage.
  • Check and top off coolant, engine oil, brake and power steering fluids, and wiper fluid.
  • Test lights and blinkers.
  • Check wiper blades for wear.
  • Make sure there’s plenty of gas in the vehicle.
  • Inspect seat belts and airbag indicators.
  • Clean the vehicle, especially the windows and mirrors.

Creating a Long-Term Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

To make a long-term plan for vehicle maintenance, consult the owner's manual. It includes a regular maintenance schedule and will tell you how frequently the manufacturer suggests changing the oil, filters and drive and timing belts, as well as what weight of motor oil and which octane gas to use. For workhorse vehicles that are used for heavy loads, increase the frequency of checks and repairs. For best results, work with your supervisors to create a schedule for fleet repair. If your organization supports enough vehicles, you may want to consider fleet management support software. 

It also helps to check off a to-do list of common preventive repairs. Here's an example. 

Vehicle Maintenance List:

  • Oil. Inspect it monthly, and perform regular oil changes per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Battery. Test your battery’s charge with a voltmeter monthly. Clean connections when dirty.
  • Wipers. For driver safety, replace your wipers every six months or when they cause streaks.
  • Air filters. Check cabin air filters and engine air filters monthly and replace them if they’re dirty.
  • Tires. Rotate and balance every 4,000 miles. Have your alignment checked at the same time.
  • Spark plugs. Change your spark plugs about every 30,000 miles.
  • Belts. Have your timing and serpentine belts replaced every 50,000 miles or so.
  • Tune-up. Schedule an annual tune-up to keep your fleet running in prime condition.

Time-Saving tip: There are a number of excellent mobile apps that specialize in vehicle maintenance. AutoCare (iOS/Android) tracks a vehicle's maintenance history, mileage, repair history and service expenses. It allows you to set reminders and supports multiple vehicles. Car Minder Plus (iOS) offers preset reminders for filters, belt inspections, and oil changes. Stoplight-colored indicators tell you when it's time to have work done. Finally, aCar (Android) is free and tracks fill-ups, mileage, maintenance history and expenses. It even supports custom notifications. 

By creating and following a comprehensive vehicle maintenance schedule, you'll help keep your employees safe and your company moving.

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