AUTO: Listener Wants to Know About Truck Maintenance

The Motor Medics – Chris, Shannon, and Russ gives you some coffee-cup diagnosis of your car problem, Saturday mornings from 10AM until Noon on WTYM AM 1380. 


Dear Motor Medics,
I’m new to the diesel world having just purchased a new very large camper to take the family on summer outings and I’m unfamiliar with a lot of little things that I did not have on my old half-ton gas engine truck. I upgraded to a 1 ton dually Dodge with and it needs DEF as well as Diesel and I’m wondering about other maintenance items as well. What can you tell me?
Mark in Muskegon Michigan

Dear Mark,
Upgrading to a heavier truck is a great idea in order to be sure you are properly matched for what you are pulling. A vehicle that is too small is just not safe to pull a large trailer. While a smaller truck may get it rolling eventually and be able to get you where you want to go it’s also about stopping and a heavier truck is equipped with bigger brakes and a heavier suspension to handle the load. DEF is Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Its purpose is to reduce emissions from the tailpipe by injecting fluid into the exhaust for a more complete burn. The fluid must be used and if it runs out you’ll have trouble. The system will go into a reduced power mode and you’ll be going nowhere fast. Oil changes and filters will cost more but overall the bigger towing capacity should keep you safer and be more efficient for the towing you will be doing over the summer.
Take care, the Motor Medics