Fall Truck Projects

Fall Truck Projects by Jennifer C. on FlickrFall will be here before you know it, and now it a great time to think about some projects to get your car in shape for the winter and holiday travel, and bigger hauling projects, like bringing home a cord of wood or the perfect Christmas tree.  Four ideas for fall truck projects are:

1. Weatherproofing your truck.

Are you prepared for snow, ice and intense rainfall? From waterproof truck covers and flatbed lids, to new tires, to fresh wiper blades, if you live in a region with intense inclement weather, it’s time to update and accessorize your truck to handle the weather safely. You can even get spray on waterproof paint for your flatbed, but you might want to hold off – can a version of NeverWet for vehicles be far off?

2. Retrofitting for better fuel mileage and performance.

This is the perfect time of year to take a look under the hood and see how you can improve your fuel efficiency.  Options like replacing your air filter system with a racing air filter can not only give you better gas mileage but can also increase power. You can also lighten your car by removing excess  weight from extraneous plastic around the air filter. If you have a diesel, consider a installing cold air intake or free flow exhaust system, or you can even change up the computer programmer, improving mileage and performance. Upgrade to a high performance exhaust system or muffler from diesel-friendly brands like Flowmaster. The time and expense, though, may not necessarily outweigh the fuel mileage you save so be sure to research costs and return on investment before making costly changes.

3. Create an emergency kit.

Are you ready to be stuck in half a foot of snow with a dead battery? Create a truck emergency kit.  Include jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, collapsible shovel, rope, tow chain, a basic car tool kit and road flares. If you carry a mobile phone, keep a spare charger in your car. For cold weather dwellers or travelers, add to this kit: an ice scraper, hand warmers and cat litter or sand, for traction emergencies.  If you’re taking a long trip into perilous or uncertain terrain, be sure to have water and protein bars for your trip as well.  Finally, make sure you have at least a basic first aid kit…and perhaps a deck of cards for a long, boring wait.

4. Modify your truck for off-road capability.

While this sounds like a fun project, remember that trucks can roll easily, so do plenty of homework first! Get to know off-roaders who have modified your same vehicle and find out what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.  It’s not just about tires, wheels, and brakes – you need the right vehicle to fit the bill. You must also consider not only ground clearance, but torque, gearing and differentials, to name a few. Learn what it takes from David Tracy’s article: “This Is What Makes A Vehicle Unstoppable Off-Road.”

If you’ve decided to dip your toe into retrofitting or modifying your truck, remember that that it’s possible that you can cause damage that won’t be covered if you do have a warranty. Also keep in mind legalities, and make sure that you are conforming to state and federal emissions laws.  Always keep safety and law top of mind, and your investment a close second.

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