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Commercial truck breakdowns can be a major inconvenience for drivers and can cost a significant amount of money to repair. Fortunately, many of the reasons for these breakdowns can be prevented with proper maintenance and care.

On top of the checks and maintenance that you can do yourself on your truck, take note also that it’s still best to visit a truck repair service center regularly to ensure that your commercial vehicles are in top shape.

Here are some common causes of commercial truck breakdowns and valuable tips on how to prevent them so that you can keep your truck running smoothly and avoid costly breakdowns on the road.

Electrical system failures

To prevent electrical system failures from happening, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain your truck’s electrical system including the battery, alternator, starter, and all electrical connections. Be sure to replace any damaged or worn-out parts as needed. It’s also a good idea to avoid overloading the electrical system by using too many accessories or running the air conditioning or heater for long periods of time while idling.

Make sure to search for commercial truck service near me immediately when you find problems in your truck’s electrical systems before they become major problems while you’re on the road.

Faulty or damaged brakes

Brakes are a critical component of any commercial truck and any issues with them can be dangerous. To prevent brake-related breakdowns, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain your brakes. This includes checking brake pads, rotors, calipers and brake lines for signs of wear or damage, and making sure to replace any worn or damaged parts promptly. Additionally, avoid overloading your truck or driving at excessively high speeds, as this can put extra strain on your brakes bringing your truck to a stop.

A regular commercial truck maintenance schedule with experienced mechanics can help detect and rectify potential brake problems as soon as possible.

Engine overheating

Engine overheating is caused by a variety of factors such as the following:

  • Low coolant levels
  • Malfunctioning cooling system
  • Clogged or malfunctioning radiator
  • Driving in high temperatures
  • Overloading your truck

To prevent engine overheating, be sure to regularly inspect and maintain your cooling system including the coolant levels, radiator hoses, and the water pump. Furthermore, you need to replace any worn or damaged components immediately.

Get in touch with a provider of commercial truck service near me to discuss how you can further prevent engine overheating that best suits your specific situations.

Transmission issues

Transmission problems that can cause truck breakdowns to include the following:

  • Slipping gears happen when the transmission is not able to stay in the correct gear while driving, causing the engine to rev higher and putting extra strain on the transmission.
  • Difficulty shifting can also be a sign of worn gears or a damaged clutch, among other transmission issues. 
  • Transmission fluid leaks can cause the transmission to run low on fluid, leading to overheating and potential damage to the transmission.

To prevent these problems, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain your transmission system. This includes checking transmission fluid levels, inspecting the transmission pan for leaks, and replacing the transmission filter as needed.

It’s also important to avoid overloading your truck or shifting gears too aggressively, as this can put extra strain on your transmission.

Regular maintenance and inspections with a reputable truck repair service center can help identify transmission issues before they become major problems and can perform prompt repairs to prevent costly breakdowns on the road.

Suspension system problems

A damaged or worn-out suspension system can lead to a rough ride and can also cause premature wear and tear on your truck’s tires. To prevent suspension system problems, make sure to have your suspension system regularly inspected and serviced by well-experienced commercial truck maintenance technicians. These professionals will be able to check shocks, struts, springs, and all suspension components for signs of wear or damage, and replace any worn or damaged parts promptly.

It’s also essential to avoid overloading your truck or driving over rough terrain.

Tire blowouts or punctures

Tire blowouts or punctures can be dangerous and can lead to a breakdown on the side of the road. To prevent tire-related breakdowns, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain your tires. This includes checking tire pressure, tread depth and looking for signs of wear or damage. Be sure to replace any worn or damaged tires promptly. Additionally, avoid overloading your truck or driving at high speeds, as these can put extra strain on your tires.

Fuel system issues

To avoid breakdowns due to fuel system issues, have your fuel system checked and maintained regularly. 

  • Check fuel filters, and fuel lines for signs of wear or damage
  • Replace any worn or damaged parts immediately
  • Use high-quality fuel only
  • Avoid overloading your truck

Don’t ignore fuel system issues, as they can cause a variety of problems for commercial trucks such as poor fuel economy, engine misfires, or a no-start condition.

Cooling system failures

The cooling system is responsible for regulating the temperature of the engine, which can become very hot due to the friction and heat generated during operation. A failure in the cooling system can cause the engine to overheat, leading to serious damage and potentially even a total engine failure.

Here are some tips on how to prevent cooling system failures.

  • Have your truck’s cooling system checked and serviced regularly by a professional mechanic, who can catch and rectify any leaks or other issues in the system as well as ensure the coolant levels and quality are at the right levels.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature gauge on your dashboard while driving. If you notice the temperature starting to climb, it’s important to pull over and let the engine cool down, do not keep driving when you notice the gauge registering above normal operating temperature. Contact a truck service center to have the truck diagnosed and repaired.
  • Make sure to regularly check your coolant level and top it off as needed.
  • Keep your radiator and cooling system clean and free of debris. Dirt, dust, and other debris can build up and clog the cooling fins, reducing the effectiveness of the system.

By taking these preventive measures, you can help avoid cooling system failures and keep your commercial truck running smoothly on the road.

Dead Battery

A dead battery is caused by various factors including the following:

  • Alternator failure
  • Corroded battery terminals
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Improper battery maintenance
  • Leaving lights or electronics on
  • Old or damaged battery
  • Parasitic drain/load

To prevent a dead battery, make sure to turn off all electronics when the engine is off and have your battery and alternator checked regularly. You can also invest in a portable jump starter to keep with you on the road in case of emergencies.

Ignition System Problems

The ignition system is responsible for starting the engine and keeping it running, which means that problems with this system can prevent the truck from starting or cause it to stall while driving.

Here are some ways to prevent this issue.

  • Check and replace ignition coils as needed.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for ignition system components.
  • Keep the air filter clean and replace it as needed.
  • Keep the battery terminals and connections clean and corrosion-free.
  • Keep the engine and surrounding area clean to prevent debris buildup.
  • Regularly inspect and replace spark plugs.
  • Replace faulty sensors or modules promptly.
  • Use a fuel system cleaner periodically.
  • Use high-quality fuel and oil in your commercial truck.

Proper maintenance of the ignition system can help ensure that the truck runs smoothly and reliably, minimizing the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs.


Taking preventative measures to avoid common causes of commercial truck breakdowns can save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run. By regularly maintaining your truck, keeping an eye out for warning signs, and addressing any issues promptly, you can help ensure that your truck stays on the road and runs smoothly for years to come.

At Truck-N-Trailer Service, we understand the importance of keeping your truck in top shape to avoid breakdowns and costly repairs. Regular maintenance and inspections can go a long way in preventing common issues that can arise with commercial trucks.

If you’re in Oklahoma, we highly encourage all truck owners to visit our service center for routine maintenance and any necessary repairs. Our experienced technicians can provide the expert care and attention that your truck deserves, ensuring that it’s running at its best and keeping you safe on the road. So, whether you need a routine oil change, liftgate repair, cargo box repair, brake repair, or a complete engine or transmission replacement, trust our team to get the job done right.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and keep your truck in top shape.


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