10 Ways to Avoid Overheating Your Truck

Watch Your Temperature Gauge
Do you watch your temperature gauge?
Do you watch your temperature gauge?
©iStockphoto.com/Jonas Kunzendorf

This may seem like rather elementary advice, but it does warrant a mention because so few drivers actually make a habit of monitoring their truck's engine temperature gauge. Understandably, the fuel gauge is critical for most drivers on a daily basis, as is the speedometer and possibly even the tachometer. But the instrument cluster of your truck can tell you so much more; you simply need to know where to look. Alongside the temperature gauge, you may be able to find an engine oil pressure reading, a battery charge indicator and maybe even a boost and vacuum gauge (if your truck has a turbocharged engine).

Once you've located your truck's temperature gauge, pay attention to what the gauge displays as a normal operating temperature for your engine. The easiest way to do this is to simply take a mental note of the reading on several different occasions after the truck's engine has had a chance to run for a while. If your engine's cooling system is operating properly, you'll find that the temperature should remain fairly stable or at least consistently fall within a certain range. If you see the temperature reading begin to increase rapidly, you may have a problem. Ignoring it won't make it go away, either. It's wise to diagnose and repair an engine cooling issue as soon as possible. If the worst case scenario plays out, you just may be able to avoid a potentially catastrophic engine failure. As you could probably guess, major engine repair or even replacement isn't cheap.

So there you have it: Something as simple as glancing at your temperature gauge could end up saving you a significant amount of money in the long run. Up next, we have another bit of straightforward advice -- nevertheless, it's equally important.