A Checklist: How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Towing for Both Hot and Cold Weather

Whether you’re eagerly awaiting winter so you can drag your snowmobiles to the top of the mountains, or are getting ready to escape the cold and snow by towing your RV to Arizona, the preparation process is very similar. Whether it’s winter or summer, the fact is that towing is hard on your diesel pickup and there are steps you should take to get it ready. A vehicle breakdown on the site of the road is a surefire way to put a wrench in your fun trip. So you’ll need to spend some time to prepare your vehicle for towing.

Here’s a short vehicle maintenance checklist of items to inspect and/or take care of before you head out:

1) Check Your Tires

First, and most importantly, are they in good condition? Now’s the time to check for wear and decide if a new set is in order.

Secondly, make sure they’re correct for the conditions (ie: snow tires). Remember, high mountain roads often have mandatory tire ratings during the winter months.

You’ll also need to check the air pressure. Make sure you have the correct PSI for the conditions you’ll be travelling in.
Don’t forget to check the tires on your trailer as well as the spare for both your vehicle and the trailer.

2) Check Your Brakes

Are your brakes in good shape? Do the pads of enough life left in them to handle any situation the road and mother nature throws at you?

If your trailer has brakes, don’t forget to inspect them too. This is also a good time to re-pack the bearings.

3) Suspension

Make sure there are no broken springs and that your shocks are in good shape.

4) Engine

Make there are no engine light warnings. If there are, now is the time to take your vehicle in and have a professional technician test and fix the issue.

Ensure all your fluids are topped up. Check the condition of the coolant and inspect all the belts and hoses.

5) Transmission

Have you recently checked the fluid levels? If you’re noticing the levels are low or the fluid is no longer clean, now’s the time to bring your truck in for a transmission service.

6) Powertrain

Make sure the u-joints are in good condition.

7) Fuel

Your vehicle can only perform as well as the fuel that’s in it. Make sure you’re filling it with diesel from a quality source. If you’re heading up the mountains in cold weather, we recommend using a fuel additive such as Stanadyne Performance Formula or Alliant Power Ultraguard.

Taking some time before your trip to ensure that all these items on your tow vehicle are in good working condition will make for a much less stressful road trip and help avoid the dreaded roadside breakdown.

As always, we’re here to help. If you have any questions, please get in touch with our expert staff anytime and if you aren’t the DIY type, call NW Diesel Service to schedule a pre-tow inspection and service.