EXTEND TRUCK LIFE
QUESTION: I would like to know your thoughts about types of improvements to make for a longer-lasting truck. My ’14 Chevrolet Silverado only has 12,000 miles on it. We purchased it new and use it to tow our fifth-wheel trailer. I am a longtime subscriber and see things like fuel lift-pump systems, downpipes, CP3 conversion kits, and such in the magazine. I change my oil every 5,000 miles and do the fuel filter at 10,000 miles. My goal is to make the truck as dependable as possible while we are on the road. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. ANSWER: Four things are critical for diesel longevity: Clean fuel, lubricants, coolant, and air. Installing a high-end lift pump that helps take the load off the stock fuel pump and maximizes the cleanest fuel (no water/particles) reaching the injectors is paramount. It also helps extend the life of the CP4 injection pump. Changing or draining those filters on a regular basis is also a big part of preventive maintenance. Perform oil service every 5,000 miles and start an oil-analysis program with the next change. Send the samples to a respected laboratory, then provide a sample at every third maintenance interval to keep an eye on what’s happening internally with the engine. Doing this alerts you to any usual wear issues. Use the best oil filter available. Flush the coolant system (including the block) every 40,000 miles, or every two years, which is probably twice as often as stated in the owner’s manual. It is good to change the transmission fluid and filter every 50,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first. We can’t stress enough how important clean fuel, lubricants, and coolant are to the life of a modern diesel engine. Change the air filter at least once a year—using a stock filter is fine. When downpipes and EGR coolers fail, replace them with aftermarket versions that have better welds, improved flow, and heavier material than OEM.