You do (sometimes) the required oil changes, tire rotations and other recommended vehicle maintenance. But, from how much you can safely haul in the bed to knowing where your blind spots are, are you up on the ins and outs of keeping a pickup on the road?
Which is better for your truck's gas mileage, a smooth, steady start or a quick start?
smooth and steady
Smooth, steady acceleration is always going to give you more bang for your buck, or in this case, more miles per gallon.
Which type of driving is best for your truck's engine?
letting the truck sit for extended periods of time
traveling a distance 10 miles or less
none of these
Cars, trucks ... all vehicles want to be driven, that's their thing. And not stop-and-go traffic, either. No one, not even your vehicle, likes it. However, if you also don't drive your truck more than 10 miles at a time, or you leave it sitting, undriven, for long periods of time, the engine can become prone to corrosion.
A broken air conditioning system doesn't necessarily mean no cold air. Which is a sign your truck's A/C is on the fritz?
less air blowing through the vents
all of these are
Signs of a problem with your truck's A/C can show up in the cab as wet carpet from a clogged air conditioner drain, a mildewy odor from mold in the evaporator box, or less air blowing from the vents because of an evaporator problem.
It's recommended when you drive under "severe" conditions you change your pickup's oil more frequently. What's a "severe" condition?
driving on dirt, gravel, and dusty areas
towing a trailer or hauling a load in the bed
all of these
Severe conditions may not seem extreme to you. In fact, they may just seem like normal daily driving, like stop-and-go traffic. It also includes driving off-road, towing a trailer or a hauling a load in the bed, too.
Before they outright fail to stop your truck, which is a sign your brakes need some attention?
your truck pulls to one side when stopping
you hear a high-pitched squealing when stopping
you hear metal-on-metal grinding noises
any or all of these
Brakes that need maintenance will often pull to one side, stop more slowly or cause noises like high-pitch squealing or metal-on-metal grinding. Failing brakes may also smell bad or cause your truck's steering wheel to vibrate.
Where in the truck bed is the safest place to load heavy items?
on the sides
near the cab
Loading the heaviest items near the cab instead of near the gate can help with road handling and is also safest for the truck's drive train and suspension. Don't forget to make sure it's weight-balanced from side to side, too, to avoid messing with the truck's center of gravity.
Is it okay to intentionally underinflate your truck's tires to increase its traction?
yes, go for it
no, that's dangerous
it depends on what you're doing
Sometimes it's Ok to intentionally underinflate your vehicle's tires to increase your traction, such as in inclement weather. But driving on underinflated tires long term will make them wear quickly and unevenly and decreases the fuel efficiency.
What isn't used to determine the maximum working payload of a pickup truck?
the ground clearance
The weight of the load you can safely carry in your truck bed is determined by a few things, including the chassis, as well as both the tires' load rating and load index number -- oh, and the weight of the passengers, too. But its ground clearance doesn't matter when it comes to heavy loads.
Are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) tires the best for your truck?
you can almost certainly do better
The OEM tires fitted to your truck at the factory aren't a bad choice, but they're not usually the best choice, either. While OEM tires are usually chosen for their pretty-good performance on both dry and wet roads, choosing non-OEM when it comes time to replace allows you to choose what's best for you.
Most of the wear on your truck's engine isn't from an adverse condition. It's from engine turnover while starting the truck, which in cold weather can take years off of the engine, battery and starter.