10 Ways to Avoid Overheating Your Truck

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Author's Note: 10 Ways to Avoid Overheating Your Truck

As I wrote this article, I thought to myself, how many different ways can a truck overheat? And, the bigger question: How many of these reasons (and why) were specific to trucks, simply because trucks are bigger?

The answer: Not many. I've seen people overload cars the same way they overload trucks. I've seen photos of a VW Jetta with so much lumber strapped to the roof that the trunk scraped the ground; I've seen photos of a VW Golf with laundry units secured in the hatch. My former significant other once limped a borrowed Toyota Prius home from the hardware store, laden down with so much ceramic tile that it could barely be coaxed over speed bumps. And we've all seen cars so flat-out neglected that it would probably be safer to get a new ride from the local junkyard.

The lesson: Any of these antics can overload, overwhelm and overheat almost any vehicle, but anecdotal evidence suggests a crucial difference. The car drivers, for the most part, appear to realize they're testing the car's limits, and they're either desperate or detached. The truck drivers, on the other hand, seem a bit confused when the heavy-duty, much-hyped, hellishly masculine engine can't quite cope. Who's to blame? Marketing's as good a scapegoat as any other. But take heed, truck drivers: Those tow capacity ratings are there for a reason. They aren't merely a suggestion.

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  • Allen, Mike. "Mike Allen's Weekly Online Auto Clinic." Popular Mechanics. Oct. 1, 2009. (April 7, 2012) http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/4279122
  • AMSOIL. "Propylene Glycol Antifreeze and Engine Coolant (ANT)." (Jan. 30, 2009) http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/ant.aspx
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  • Gottfried, Craig. "Cooling System Maintenance Helps Prevent Summertime Overheating." Automotive Service Association. June 1997. (Jan. 30, 2009) http://www.asashop.org/autoinc/june97/cooling.htm
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