Can Your Truck Handle the Heat?

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July 7, 2016 by Minuteman Trucks

orange thermometer

For drivers to safely operate their commercial motor vehicle (CMV), they have to understand how heat affects the operation of the CMV. Two areas that drivers must pay attention to during inspection are the engine coolant and tires!

Engine Coolant

With each EPA change, engine operating temperatures increase 10 to 15 degrees. This temperature increase does nothing to help the estimation that about 50% of all engine failures are associated with an overheat condition of the engine. In response to this, OEM truck manufactures’ introduction of extended life coolant (ELC). The benefit of using ELC is that it improves the engine’s heat transfer rate by 12 to 13 percent over conventional anti-freeze.

With today’s emission systems, an engine running low on coolant runs the risk of damaging the emission components such as the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). To avoid damaging your engine, during pre/post trip inspections drivers should:

  • Make sure the coolant level is in inside the markers on the side of the coolant reservoir. If low, contact your Idealease service provider immediately.
  • ELC coolant should be red/orange color, free of dirt, debris, rust, and other contaminants. Do not mix ELC with conventional antifreeze.
  • Don’t operate the unit in an overheat situation as this will severely damage the engine. If the overheat warning light turns on while driving, pull over immediately and call your Idealease service provider.


During the summer, some road temperatures can reach up to 200°, making potential heat problems from under inflation more extreme. Between hot summer temperatures, under inflated tires, heavy loads, and traveling at high speeds, summer can spell disaster for your tires.

So how can drivers avoid tire related issues this summer?

  1. Check tire pressure more frequently during the summer.
  2. Check tire pressure when the tire is “cold” rather than immediately after operation.
  3. In the summer, tire treads become hotter and “softer” so be sure to inspect tires for punctures or damage.


This safety bulletin is brought to you by Idealease.


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