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Are you keeping up with summer maintenance?

Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in making truck mods that you forget to focus on standard vehicle maintenance. However, it is essential to be constantly watching different aspects of a truck to ensure everything is functioning in a safe and proper manner. Even doing a few simple tasks throughout the summer can go a long way toward preserving your truck and keeping you behind the wheel for longer periods of time. 

Here are a few areas of maintenance that needs to be done on a consistent basis throughout the summer: 

Replace your fluids 
You should be replacing all of the fluids that keep your truck running, from engine coolant to oil to wiper fluid. Each of these liquids has their own job, so stocking up at regular intervals can have a system running smoothly while making sure you have a safe driving experience. A good rule of thumb is to flush out and replace coolant when you go in for an oil change - every 3,000 miles or three months, in general - and wiper fluid should be checked before you head out off-roading. The last thing you want is mud to splatter your windshield, only to find you have no way of cleaning it, and doing this simple check can help you avoid that scenario. 

Check the tires
Extreme weather changes and high temperatures can wreak havoc on your tire pressure. That means you should be monitoring your tires throughout the summer, pumping them up whenever necessary. You may even want to switch from all-season tires to summer tires to get the maximum efficiency from your vehicle, but keeping the traditional all-season gear on a truck won't be detrimental. 

Pressure isn't the only thing you need to look out for. Tire treads can be worn down after a long winter and multiple off-roading adventures, which makes it particularly important to examine the treads to ensure there is an adequate grip. Use the penny test to check the tread on your tires. All you need for this is a standard penny. Simply place the penny in the grooves of a tire - as long as part of Abraham Lincoln's head is always at least partially covered, the treads are deep enough to be effective. TireRack.com has outlined the ways drivers can use different coins to find tread depth, so if you want to make sure your tires have enough grip to keep you safe on rocks, sand or any other terrain, you can still check on it yourself. 

Clean and wax
The happenings under the hood are important, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the exterior of your truck. For example, sudden rain showers can harm the outside, so waxing a vehicle regularly may help prevent rust and water spots while also extending the life of a paint job. Car wax also deflects the sun's rays, allowing you to avoid fading even in the hottest of conditions. 

You should be washing your truck frequently in the summer, as well - especially if you make it a point to go off-road driving whenever you can. Even the most basic wash can get rid of dirt and debris left over from an adventure, which preserves the exterior and ensures you aren't allowing this mess to infiltrate the systems under the hood. 

Have an emergency kit
You should always have an emergency kit stored in your vehicle. The contents of this package may change with the seasons, but good things to keep on hand include basic tools, a flashlight, jumper cables and recovery straps, just to name a few. It's also a smart idea to have a few pick-me-ups for you kept in the kit, as well. Bottled water and nonperishable snacks can be a tremendous help without taking up a lot of space. If you find yourself stuck for an extended period of time under the hot sun, you'll be happy you have this nourishment on hand.