Food truck tune up intervals vary from one vehicle to another. Most older food trucks with non-electronic ignitions should be tuned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or annually. Newer trucks with electronic ignition and fuel injection systems are scheduled to go from 25,000 miles to as many as 100,000 miles without needing a major tune-up.
Refer to your the truck’s owner manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Please note that even if it says that the vehicle doesn’t require scheduled tune-ups very often, it’s in your best interest to check periodically that your food truck is working at peak efficiency.
Since food trucks typically do a lot of stop-and-go driving to get to their set up locations and pull heavy loads, your ignition system may need to be tuned more often.
Symptoms you need a food truck tune up of your electronic ignition system:
- The truck stalls a lot. The spark plugs may be fouled or worn, the gap between the spark plug electrodes may need adjusting, or an electronic sensing device may need to be adjusted.If you’re having trouble pinpointing why your vehicle is stalling, you can help your automotive technician diagnose the problem by paying attention to whether the engine stalls when it’s hot or cold or when the air conditioner is on.
- The engine is running roughly when idling or when you accelerate. Chances are the vehicle needs a tune-up.
- The truck gets harder to start. The problem can be in the starting system (for example, a weak battery), in the fuel system (for example, a weak fuel pump), or in the ignition system. Or you might have a faulty electronic component, such as the electronic control unit (ECU).
The Bottom Line
Your food truck is the means to deliver your menu to your customers. If it breaks down due to overuse or a lack of preventative maintenance your business will suffer. Use these tips to help determine if you should be getting to the shop for a tune up. Remember that every day you are off the street, your mobile food business is losing money.