Saving Your Truck from Expensive Repair: Seriously, You Can Do It Yourself!

So your truck is broken; that’s a real toothache! Car repairs are always a serious financial drain on your resources, but believe it or not – some repairs can be done on your own, with minimum expenses and moderate effort. What can you do to avoid expensive repairs? Our first advice is – manage your truck’s differential and transfer case! The truck differential is a vital component of its operation; wreckage of a differential can cost you $1,500 plus $500 of work. Save your truck and your pocket from stress and perform maintenance by regular change of differential oil. To make your life easier, experts of have compiled a “do it yourself” list for changing differential oil in your truck – enjoy!

Saving Your Truck from Expensive Repair
Image by Ray Forster

Preparation for the DIY Truck Repairs

Before starting the DIY truck repairs and even simple changing of oil, make sure that you possess all necessary tools.

The minimum set you will surely need includes:

  1. The kit of combination wrenches (both standard and metric – depending on the type of your truck)
  2. Several differently sized screwdrivers (e.g. flathead and phillips)
  3. A set of sockets
  4. Pry and breaker bars
  5. Jack, jack stand, or ramps (ensure that they work properly and are reliable – it’s your safety after all!)
  6. Fire extinguisher
  7. Visegrips, rags, and penetrating oil

As you can see from the list above, three last things are included to guarantee you security and comfort; you should be confident that even if you set your car on fire, you will be able to deal with it quickly. One final advice before starting the DIY repairs: shake your car well before you get under it, to make sure it will not shift or slide to fall on your head or fingers. Let’s get the party started!

DIY Prevention of Large-scale Truck Repair

No matter how large and scary your truck is, you can easily crawl under it and perform some easy maintenance actions to prevent larger-scale damage and repairs, such as changing the differential oil. To do it, first drain the old oil from it; remove the cover bolts from your differential moving from bottom to the top, then pry the bottom edge and start draining.

Changing the oil is much easier if you raise the truck with jack stands. Having a drain plug in the cover of your differential can make your life much simpler, as you can perform all actions quickly by removing the plug and sucking the old lubricant. If you do not have them – no problem! Remove the entire cover and perform oil drainage; after that, remove the remnants with paper towels, remove the old gasket (or RTV sealant) from the housing and cover mating surfaces (you should use a gasket scraper for this purpose, or a putty knife in case you do not have it). We also strongly recommend to finish cleaning with a special aerosol brake cleaner. Let your differential some “curing” time before you refill oil – the exact time span should be indicated on you RTV package. First fill the differential with friction modifier and after that – refill the differential oil up to the needed level. Finalize the process with adding some gear oil.

You Can Do Much… But What Should you Better Leave to Professionals?

Even in case you have mastered out advice given above and possess the natural talent and skill of a truck repairs mechanic, still do not be overly confident in your abilities – proper alignment in four-wheel independent suspensions is a task to be left to professionals with specialized equipment. To get it done, select car maintenance organizations with well-calibrated racks, and entrust your truck’s fixing to them without hesitation.

Quite easy, right? It not only gives you self-reliance and confidence in your own forces and abilities, but also saves you money and nerves of entrusting the destiny of your beloved truck to other people. So stop paying so much money to truck maintenance services ripping you of the last funds you would spend with more use – for your family and children, to buy some new gadget, or anything else you would like! Take the bull by the horns, as people say, and manage your car on your own with our expert advice and tips.

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