Our semi truck repair tips and tricks will save truckers some $$. Bookmark this page of handy repair tips, tricks and advice for reference when you need some help diagnosing or fixing your rig.
We’ll try to help you keep your truck out of the shop. Reduce your repair bills so you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, where it belongs.
Often times, something goes wrong with your rig, and it’s only minor. But you don’t know where to look or what to do, to fix it.
However, when you take it into the shop, the repair may be minor, but the bill isn’t. It’s also best to know or have a good idea of just WHAT the problem is before taking your truck into the shop.
In some cases…….Don’t you wish you could have taken care of the issue yourself?
We’ll try to help you do JUST THAT.
If you have any tried and true tips or advice for simple do it yourself tricks for fixing big rig trucks, send them in and we’ll add them to our truck repair tips library.
There’s no guarantee we’ll have all the answers for you, but we sure as heck will try.
Semi Truck Repair Tips, Tricks and Advice
For 2 years, I have changed 2 clutches. Driving the first 50,000 miles, everything seems to be fine. After that, the problem starts with a grinding noise. First, it can be detected from the start and then when heavy, but later this noise is almost all the time, no matter if heavy, light or empty. What could be the problem? I’ve spend a lot of money but the problem is not resolved.
Answer: First, what shop changed the clutch? Do you use the clutch regularly? Is there a possibility the installed clutch could be the wrong one for the truck? The clutch installed could be too light for the work the truck is doing. It should be under warranty up to one year. Before the year is up, and if you’re over the 50,000 miles, the moment it starts to grind, take it back to the shop who installed it. They ought to figure it out. Of course, this shouldn’t be happening for every clutch. Something is clearly wrong.
LOOSING RAD FLUID
Semi Truck Repair Question: I’m having a problem with loosing radiator fluid, from my semi. It looses about a half gallon a day. The sensor was replaced and a leak was fixed at the shop, but every day I still need to add 3/4 gallon of fluid. The alarm also stays on. The truck is a 2010, with abut 230,000 miles.
The fluid disappears while the truck is shut down. I can shut it down in the evening with no problem and when I wake up and start my pre-trip, I start the truck and low light is on and the coolant level is low, but no fluid on the ground.
The rad fluid disappears when the truck is shut off. There is no sign of fluid on the ground.
Answer: Check the oil when the truck is cold for signs of coolant on the dipstick. Many manufacturers set the low coolant sensor too high on the radiator. The rad has an overflow tube that could be draining the coolant to below the sensor level. This is more likely the case as your truck is relatively new.
The coolant could also be escaping into the engine or evaporating. If there’s no coolant on the ground, and it’s disappearing when the truck is shut off, it’s most likely a head gasket. If it’s not leaking externally, it’s leaking internally.
Take the truck to the engine manufacturer, like a Cummins or Cat shop or whatever your motor is, you didn’t say, NOT the truck dealer or just any dealer.
***IF the semi is an older model, this can be a sign of a head gasket needing attention.
Semi Truck Repair Question: Has anyone had problems with their truck going to reduced power after 250 thousand kms?
Answer: I never rely on sensors. I always check my fluids, belts and brakes, also any leaks by hand before every trip. I do not trust these new sensors in trucks. I am old school…. do your walk around and keep an eye on the gauges.
I operated a Cascadia when they first came out. I had lots of problems with the sensors. The truck was always in the shop. It’s a good thing there was a good warranty on it.
**Electronic system may sense a problem.
**S.T.G. Comment: Programming in new trucks is often set in order to reduce power when the electronic system senses a problem.
The truck should be taken to a dealer right away. If the truck continues to reduce it’s own power, and the dealership continually finds nothing wrong other than a faulty sensor, you may wish to consider having the programming on the sensor changed by the dealer. The dealer will just ‘blank out’ the sending units.
However, should you do this, you’ll need to manually check such things as rad level and oil levels consistently.
Release Brake Lock
Semi Truck Repair Question: How do I release the brake lock, once the brake is locked by loosing the air from the brake chamber?
Answer: Don’t mess with this yourself. Take it to a licensed mechanic a.s.a.p. Do not fool around with brake chambers.
Know your equipment. Don’t always take the word of the shop mechanic as being totally right. I had a truck gel up on Rogers Pass in Montana at 1:00 am in January 1993. The mean temp was -42 F. The shop mechanic had done a repair on a cross-over line, but did not treat or cut the number 2 diesel in the tank that was shut off before the repair. When you are out in the middle of nowhere in temperatures like this, it can be very dangerous. Luck would have it someone stopped and took me into Lincoln Montana. Inspect everything on your truck and know its road ready.
Simple Semi Truck Repair – Do-It-Yourself
- By doing things yourself, you can save thousands in labor costs. If you don’t believe me, take a look at your next repair bill, parts verses labor. Cut the labour and that’s money in your pocket.
- Your rig is a large air compressor….. setting it up for air tools is easy and inexpensive. Tooling up is also cheaper than the shop. Learn to do the easy stuff yourself. It’s not rocket science.
- Tires and brakes are the trucks second big expense. You can buy your tires at a good price and stock pile them at home and save money that way, plus with mount and dismount.
- Brakes as well are cheaper by themselves than at a shop and easy to install. You can always stock your own parts.
- Do not change your own oil unless you have a way to dispose of 11 gallons of used oil. That is way too costly… trust me, I learned the hard way on that one.
- But changing your own filters? You bet you can do that. Figure the shop is going to charge you a minimum of $60, just to change a $12 – $17 filter. Save all that cash for yourself. (Dan, Clinton, UT)
look for parts at a salvage yard.