If you own a truck, it’s advantageous to understand how to address maintenance problems when they arise. With knowledge of how to change differential oil, fix a jammed tailgate, or replace a transfer case shift motor, you can conduct minor repairs which will save you money. For occasions when you can’t fix the problem yourself, it’s best to work with a professional in truck fleet repair. Working with a company like Mechano Max is a great idea for more advanced concerns. They can offer pipe support systems for truck racks.
For those situations you can tackle yourself, here are some tips for counteracting common problems. These will make your life easier, while saving you money.
Looking After Your Differential
If your differential is wrecked, a new one costs around $1500, plus labor, meaning it’s not a DIY repair. What you can do however, is perform a few basic maintenance tasks to prevent issues before they arise.
- Change Differential Oil: Starting at the bottom of the differential, remove the cover bolts and gently pry the bottom edge so oil can drain into a drain pan. Locate the ID tags on your differential, which are used by parts stores to indicate the type of oil you need. Once the oil has drained, use a gasket scraper to remove the old gasket. Wipe off any traces of old oil and apply a thin coat of sealant to your differential. Install the cover and torque bolts, essential for maintaining a good cover seal. Read the directions for your specific vehicle to determine minimum “curing” time, before refilling with fresh oil. Refill to the right level, adding the friction modifier before topping off with gear oil. For further instructions, follow online guides for your specific vehicle, and always check your manual.
Replace a Transfer Case Shift Motor
Remove the old shift motor, before sliding a new motor in its place and installing retaining bolts. If your truck shifts electronically, when your shift motor fails your truck will be stuck in either two- or four-wheel drive. Refer to a shop manual wiring diagram to diagnose a shift motor problem. This will outline a procedure for checking power at the motor. If there is power but no response, it’s time to change your motor. You can save up to $200 by doing the job yourself, which takes less than an hour to complete. The motor is usually mounted on the back, held in place by a few bolts. It’s important to move the transfer case into the right gear before removing the old motor, following the exact instructions in your shop manual. Once you’ve removed the bolts, your motor should pull straight off the shaft. Slide the new motor onto the shaft, after applying a light of sealant to facilitate the process. Finish things off by connecting the electrical connector and installing the bolts.
Lubricate the Tailgate Mechanism
The tailgate takes significant abuse, especially when debris collects and can prevent the latch from opening or shutting. Remove the access panel on the tailgate, before using compressed air to blow off the lock mechanism. Spray lithium grease around the cam/lever area, alongside all other pivot points. Operate the tailgate handle multiple times to work in the grease.