Commercial vehicle maintenance basics that should guide the checklist


Vehicle maintenance programs are very important in any business that depends on the operation of commercial vehicles and whose uninterrupted operation keeps the businesses stable and profitable.

When developing your checklist, consider these four fundamental elements that determine the success of maintaining your vehicle.

Preventive maintenance checklist

A preventive maintenance program helps fleet owners get the most out of the value and service of their vehicle.

This type of utility vehicle maintenance tries to anticipate problems before they arise and plan how they need to be resolved before they become serious. The preventive maintenance checklist and schedule should therefore include the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintaining the vehicle and the approximate time at which those responsible should perform it.

The rest of the truck maintenance checklist will be different depending on the type of vehicle and its specifications.

Some of the typical items on the preventive maintenance checklist include:

Oil changes

Filter changes

Component tightening

Motor tuning

Brake mount

Tire rotation

Lubrication

Radiator maintenance

Predictive / on-demand maintenance checklist

Predictive / on-demand maintenance is the type of maintenance that transport companies perform only when they need it.

This means replacing or repairing certain parts of the truck only when they fail and stop working properly. It can also happen after an independent inspection that determines the wear condition of a truck.

Predictive / on-demand maintenance forms typically include things like:

Replacing bulbs

Replacing the springs

Install a new window

Adjustment gauges

Installation of new windows

Replacement of seat cushions

New engine and transmission

New batteries

Replacement of corroded or deteriorated structures

Reactive / Crisis Maintenance Checklist

Crisis maintenance typically occurs when preventative maintenance and on-demand maintenance never occur.

This is the type of maintenance that is performed when a truck breaks down on the road due to the sudden failure of one or more components.

This usually means sending a replacement vehicle so the driver can continue their journey to the delivery point and send a mechanic to repair the vehicle on site.

Fleet owners should try to avoid having to undergo crisis maintenance, as they incur the following additional costs:

The time needed to organize the necessary repair procedure and re-route deliveries

Driver downtime

Hiring of an external mechanic, if the company does not have one in-house

Purchase of new parts to replace damaged ones.

Scheduled maintenance can prevent breakdowns, minimizing downtime for repairs and ensuring the vehicle is running safely at all times.

The preventive maintenance form should include a checklist that identifies all aspects of the vehicle that a driver and team of mechanics need to deal with.

The most effective and comprehensive checklists contain these elements:

Main technical control

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Filters
  • Fuel level
  • Suspension system
  • Steering system
  • Belts and hoses
  • Auxiliary systems
  • Body
  • Clutch
  • Electrical system components
  • Exhaust system

Fluid and oil control

  • Brake fluid
  • Wiper fluid
  • Fluid transmission
  • Oils
  • Defrost system

Brake control

  • Checking and testing the entire brake system
  • Measure the width of the brake pads and replace them if they are below the sufficient width
  • Checking the emergency brake

Fire control

  • Tail lights and brake lights
  • High beam and low beam
  • Blinkers
  • Reversing lights
  • Emergency flashers
  • License plate lighting

Wheel and rim inspection

  • Check if the tire matches the wheel
  • Wheel alignment
  • Tire condition and presence of encrusted objects and cuts
  • Spare tires
  • Check the availability of the tools needed to change a tire in an emergency

Interior inspection

  • Air conditioning system
  • Check if the horn is working and if it is loud enough
  • Seat belt
  • Gauges
  • Fan
  • Check the availability of an emergency and first aid kit, as well as a fire extinguisher, warning triangle, reflective jacket, etc.

Inspecting the windshield, rear windows and mirrors

  • Glass integrity
  • Window control system
  • Wiper system
  • Driver and passenger side mirrors
  • Interior mirrors

A truck maintenance checklist should also include the time between maintenance and inspection. The manufacturer must provide a vehicle owner’s manual with the recommendation of intervals between maintenance and inspection.

What are the benefits of preventive vehicle maintenance forms?

Maintaining commercial vehicles is critical to ensuring that the movement of goods, products and services runs as planned.

The downtime of an inoperative vehicle will result in significant costs and lost revenue, not to mention reduced safety for vehicle operators and passengers on the road.

Having a checklist of maintenance requirements that operators and other personnel can check before transporting goods is recommended by the Federal Road Safety Corp.

The business benefits of following these preventive maintenance vehicle checklists are:

Reduced maintenance and repair costs

Lower operating costs through fewer downtime

Increase in the residual value of the vehicle and prolong the life of the vehicle

Protecting your assets

Improved vehicle fuel consumption and reduced fuel costs

Reduced vehicle downtime

Increased customer and customer satisfaction with on-time deliveries

There are also road safety benefits, including:

Increased driver safety

Improvement of the driver’s working environment

More safety for passengers

More road safety

Comply with the standards required by law.

Generic codes

P1171: Lean fuel system during acceleration

Meaning

The lean fuel system during acceleration is the generic description for the P1171 code, but the manufacturer may have a different description for your vehicle model and year.

Possible causes

Air intake or exhaust blocked

Clogged fuel filter

Fuel pump failure

Injector failure

P1172: Rear A / F sensor bank 1 sensor 1 circuit out of range high

Meaning

The air / fuel (A / F) ratio sensor 1 is installed in the exhaust system and detects the oxygen content in the exhaust gases. The A / F sensor transmits the output voltage to the engine control module. A heating element for the sensor element is integrated in the A / F sensor (sensor 1). It is activated and heats the sensor to stabilize and accelerate the detection of the oxygen content by controlling the current flowing through the heater. An increase in current stabilizes when the voltage applied to the element electrode reaches a certain range because the amount of oxygen that passes through the diffusion layer is limited. The current amperage is proportional to the oxygen content of the exhaust gas, so the air / fuel ratio is detected by measuring the current amperage. The ECM compares a set target air / fuel ratio with the detected air / fuel ratio and checks the fuel injection timing.

If the voltage to the A / F sensor (sensor 1) is low, the air / fuel ratio is lean and the ECM uses the A / F feedback control to issue a rich command. If the voltage of the A / F sensor (sensor 1) is high, the air / fuel ratio is rich and the ECM uses the A / F feedback control to issue a lean command.

Possible causes

Bank 1 sensor 1 air / fuel ratio fault

Air / fuel ratio bank 1 sensor 1 harness is open or shorted

Bank 1 Air / Fuel Ratio Bank Sensor 1 Circuit Poor Electrical Connection

P1173: O2 sensor heating before no reversing

Meaning

The front heated O2 sensor without reversing is the generic description for the P1173 code, but the manufacturer may have a different description for your vehicle model and year.

Possible causes

Exhaust leak

Faulty front heated O2 sensor

Front heated O2 sensor harness is open or shorted

Poor electrical connection of the front heated O2 sensor circuit

P1174: Fuel Compensation Cylinder 1 Balance Bank

Meaning

The Fuel Trim Cylinder Balancing diagnostic detects a rich or lean cylinder / fuel air / fuel ratio imbalance in each row. The diagnostic monitors the signal amplitude and frequency characteristics of the pre-catalyst heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) by calculating an accumulated voltage over a predetermined sampling period. An imbalance is indicated when several samples of the accumulated voltage are consistently above the desired value.

Technical Notes

This is sometimes triggered by clogged fuel injectors. Start by using high octane fuel and / or fuel additive to clean the injectors. If the problem persists, the fuel injectors may need to be replaced.

Possible causes

Clogged fuel injectors

Defective oxygen sensor

Ignition problem

Fuel injection problem

Mechanical condition of the engine

P1175: Fuel Trim Cylinder 2 Balance Bank

Meaning

The Fuel Trim Cylinder Balancing diagnostic detects a rich or lean cylinder / fuel air / fuel ratio imbalance in each row. The diagnostic monitors the signal amplitude and frequency characteristics of the pre-catalyst heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) by calculating an accumulated voltage over a predetermined sampling period. An imbalance is indicated when several samples of the accumulated voltage are consistently above the desired value.

Technical Notes

This is sometimes triggered by clogged fuel injectors. Start by using high octane fuel and / or fuel additive to clean the injectors. If the problem persists, the fuel injectors may need to be replaced.

Possible causes

Clogged fuel injectors

Defective oxygen sensor

Ignition problem

Fuel injection problem

Mechanical condition of the engine.

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