Monthly Archives: June 2014

Getting Your Truck Ready for the Open Road

Pickup trucks are great all-round vehicles.  Today’s trucks have great towing and cargo capacity coupled with comfortable interiors and a whole slate of creature comforts.  They’re ideal in the country, and great around town, but they really shine on the open road.  If you’re hitting the highway for some summer fun, there are a few things you should do before heading out to make sure your truck’s up to the task:

1) Fluids – Oil, transmission fluid and coolant are the automotive equivalents of blood.  Make sure that your fluids are in good shape (change whatever the manufacturer recommends) and that they’re full before setting out.

2) Tires – check that there’s plenty of tread remaining, and ensure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure.  You need to check them when they’re cold.  Refer to your owner’s manual, or the chart inside the driver’s door. Don’t forget the spare!

3) Battery – Make sure it’s not too old (you should get about five years from a quality battery) and it’s been correctly maintained.

4) Wipers – check to make sure they’re working correctly.  Replace them if they’re getting worn.

5) Add-ons and accessories – Walk around your vehicle and make sure any accessories you’ve added are correctly fastened and working properly. It might be nice to add some bed rails or cargo hold-downs if you’re planning to take a lot of stuff with you on your trip.

6) Safety kit – Make sure you’ve got a first aid kit, some food, water, and blankets on hand in case you get stranded and have to wait for help. A printed map and a working cellphone can be lifesavers out there on the road!

For help readying your ride for the trip of a lifetime (or a trip downtown), come see us at Carlson Truck Outfitters, 155 Fennell St. in Winnipeg, telephone (204) 669-5249.

Keeping It Cool This Summer

With the weather finally turned to the “nice” setting in the dial, we here in Winnipeg know that it’s only a matter of time until the mercury starts climbing, and those of us who have experienced a Prairie heat wave start thinking about our car’s indoor climate.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know that their AC isn’t working until they’re sitting in traffic at 35 degrees Celsius.  Here are some things you can do to make sure your pickup’s ready for summer heat:

1)    Check the Air Conditioning – a functioning AC unit can maintain a temperature inside your vehicle that’s at least 10 degrees cooler than it is outside. If your AC isn’t working, there’s a pretty good chance you have a refrigerant leak.  You can fill the AC with a can from the hardware store or any auto supply shop, but if a leak has caused the problem, you will need to have it fixed, usually by a pro.

2)    Window Tint – one of the best things you can do to increase the comfort level provided by your vehicle is to tint the windows.  Not only will the tint keep the interior cooler, even when the vehicle is unoccupied, but it will reduce the level of harmful UV rays that come into the vehicle, sparing your skin sunburn and extending the life of your upholstery.

3)    Accessories – Not only can good accessories keep your ride looking cool, but they can keep it feeling that way too.  Summer comfort can be enhanced with vent visors, which will allow you to keep the windows cracked no matter what the weather.

For a full line of pickup truck accessories visit Carlson Truck Outfitters.  Our new location is at 155 Fennell St. in Winnipeg, telephone (204) 669-5249.

Getting the Most Out Of Your Tank

We love our trucks because they are capable, but let’s face it – a pickup truck is not a Prius.  Your truck’s ability to haul a big load of whatever your want, pull a trailer, and slog through mud comes at a cost.  The good news is that there are some things you can do to get better gas mileage.

1)    Drive sensibly. If you avoid sudden acceleration, and anticipate the need to stop at a stop sign or light, and let off the throttle early, this will save fuel and prolong the life of your vehicle’s brakes. A lighter touch on the throttle will add to your fuel mileage.

2)    Buy the right gas. Most trucks are tuned for 87-octane gasoline – good old regular unleaded.  If your truck’s manufacturer specifies regular unleaded, there will be no benefit whatsoever in spending the extra money for premium.

3)    Regular maintenance. Change your oil at the specified intervals, lubricate your trucks’ driveline and suspension components as recommended, and make sure your tire pressure is right.  Look on the inside of the driver’s door, or the owner’s manual, for the proper inflation pressure.

4)    Aerodynamics. If you add any accessories to your truck, make sure they don’t hinder the flow of air over the body.  Many add-ons can actually improve the aerodynamic profile of your truck.

5)    Put your truck on a diet. Don’t carry any weight you don’t have to.  Take those 2x4s and that bag of trash out of the box, and you’ll reap rewards at the pump.  Again, if you’re choosing accessories, look for light weight.

For a full line of pickup truck accessories, including many that can help with fuel economy, visit Carlson Truck Outfitters.  Our new location is at 155 Fennell St. in Winnipeg, telephone (204) 669-5249.