Service Tips

Contact our service department for the maintenance and repairs you need to stay on the road. Be sure to ask about training for your technicians and drivers.

Coolant Leaks

Its normal in most vehicles for a coolant leak to develop at some point. These leaks are mostly minimal and come from easy-to-replace hoses or fittings. Sometimes it's tempting to simply top off the coolant and continue driving as normal. What you may not know is that low coolant is a very common cause of EGR cooler failure. Your EGR cooler uses coolant to cool off recirculated exhaust gasses, but if your truck is low on coolant, it may not reach the EGR cooler. Hot exhaust gasses can then lead to leaks that if left alone, may catastrophically damage your engine! It’s important to address coolant leaks quickly to help avoid contingent engine damage.

The following are indicators of possible EGR cooler failure:

  • Check engine light
  • Internal coolant loss
  • White smoke from exhaust

Transmission Service

Transmissions need love too! Just like your engine, transmissions use oil that degrades with time. Transmission services may be needed more often than you think and failure to change out fluid and filter can lead to very expensive repairs (not to mention may void your warranty). Pay attention to the message board in your dash and recommended service intervals outlined in your operators manual to schedule trans services at any of our Peterson locations.

  • Never mix oil brands
  • Some transmissions do not require filter change at each service
  • Transmission oil service intervals vary depending on drive cycle

DEF Quality

Operating a new diesel truck means that it was built to use Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). Some companies choose to store their DEF in bulk rather than purchasing it at the pump. While this may save money in the long run, it’s important to know that DEF can expire! DEF stored in direct sunlight or in high heat can lose its water concentration and result in a high urea-to-water ratio. If expired DEF is used in a truck, it may lead to a derate condition. Ensure all stored DEF has a concentration of 31.8% - 33.2% to avoid possible after-treatment issues.

  • Never store DEF in direct sunlight
  • Do not allow DEF storage to be above 86 degrees F
  • Never mix poor and good quality DEF

Mixing Coolant

We have all heard that you are not supposed to mix coolant in your engine. Well guess what, it's true! Mixing coolant brands may lead to a condition called electrolysis. Contrasting additives in different brands can react negatively and start to wear away the coolant passaged in your engine and radiator. If coolant must be mixed in a tight situation, make sure to drain and fill your system with a single brand as soon as possible.

  • Never mix coolant brands
  • If using coolant concentrate, mix with water BEFORE filling vehicle
  • Always use distilled water when mixing

Cabin Air Filter Replacement

There is not much worse than getting into the warm season and finding out your trucks A/C is not blowing cold. While most A/C failures are related to refrigerant leaks, a less common but more expensive failure is a plugged evaporator core. The only way to keep this from occurring is keeping a clean cabin air filter installed in your truck. These filters are cheap and easy to replace, but easy to ignore and forget about in your day to day work life. Its best to include a cabin air filter replacement as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance to help keep you cool all summer long.

  • Request replacement during services (not regularly included in a service)
  • Change after driving through exceptionally dusty conditions
  • Some trucks are easy for driver to replace on their own

Changing the Oil in Your Differential

Just like any oil, differential oil degrades with time and use. While your differential is not a regularly changed component, neglecting to service your differential may lead to premature failure and a large replacement bill. Differential services are quick, inexpensive, and a simple way to keep your drivetrain reliable. Refer to your operator’s manual for recommended service intervals.

  • Always change oil when wheel bearings or races are replaced
  • Never completely submerge axles in water
  • Never mix diff oil viscosities

Valve Adjustments

Engine valve adjustments are an often-overlooked part of your truck’s health. While not a frequently needed service, as your engine ages, a needed tune up may not present with an audible misfire. You may start to notice poor fuel economy, low power, or even more frequent regens needed. Most engines are recommended to have a valve adjustment performed every 100,000-150,000 miles (or less depending on engine operating conditions). A tune up is just a simple way to help get the most life and dependability from your truck.

The following are indications of a possible valve adjustment needed.

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Misfire
  • Frequent regens

Diesel Particulate Filter Regeneration

Parked and passive regens are a critical part of your engine’s health. While some trucks may have a “regen inhibit” switch installed, it is critical to not overuse this feature. Not allowing your truck to perform a regen may lead to catastrophic aftertreatment system damage.

  • Limit city driving as much as possible. Low speed and stop-and-go drive cycles do not allow the vehicle's exhaust to get hot enough to passively regenerate and will require more frequent parked regens.
  • Drive the truck at freeway speeds for at least 20 minutes a week. This will allow the truck to passively regenerate and clean off some of the built up soot in the DPF.
  • If a driver is not familiar with how the regen system works, under the drivers side visor, there is information explaining the lights on the dash and warnings about running parked regens.

If you are concerned about the health of your system, Peterson can perform an inspection to make sure temperatures and soot loads are where they need to be to keep you on the road.