Common Kenworth T800 Problems and How to Address Them

Discover the Kenworth T800, a versatile workhorse in the trucking industry, and learn about its common issues and solutions. From flickering fog lights to front springs displacement, explore expert advice on addressing these challenges. Dive into the blog post for insights into the T800's reliabilit

Common Kenworth T800 Problems and How to Address Them

The Kenworth T800: one of the most reliable workhorses in the trucking industry. Known for its versatility, performance, and design, the Kenworth T800 is suitable for a wide range of applications, from OTR or regional hauling with day cabs or sleepers to vocational trucks like mixers, dump trucks, refuse trucks, heavy haulers, loggers, tankers and even snowplows! 

But as with any workhorse, this heavy-duty truck comes with its own quirks and set of problems. In this blog post, we'll be diving deep into what makes the T800 special, how much it costs, common Kenworth T800 issues owners may face, and how to address them. Let's dive in and put those problems in the rearview mirror!

Is the Kenworth T800 a Good Truck?

The Kenworth T800 is not just good; it's downright special. Since its debut in 1986, this heavy-duty truck has proven itself as a true workhorse. Its versatility is unmatched, making it a top choice for various applications — from hauling freight to handling construction duties, the T800 gets the job done with finesse and rugged reliability. 

Plus, with its 48.5-inch set-back front axle, the Kenworth T800 gives room for you to distribute more weight towards the front of the vehicle without constraints. No wonder it's a favorite among truck owners and fleet managers alike!

What Year Did Kenworth Make the T800?

The T800 burst onto the scene in 1986, making its mark as one of the most sought-after heavy-duty trucks in the industry. WIth its PACCAR powertrain, aerodynamic appeal, customer-centric design, and various configurations, the Kenworth T800 is a perfect addition to any fleet, no matter the nature of the heavy-duty industry you work in.

How Much Does a T800 Cost?

The price tag on a Kenworth T800 varies depending on several factors. You can find models ranging from $50,000 to $230,000, though the average price typically falls within the $70,000 to $120,000 range. Remember, the cost depends on factors like the age of the model, its intended application, and any existing problems. 

Like with any other used model or truck that isn’t under warranty, it’s often recommended you get a pre-purchase inspection to get a better idea of the overall condition the vehicle is in, safety features, the condition of the electrical systems, and any shortcomings you should be aware of. It is suggested you consult with your local repair shop before biting the bullet. 

Common Problems for the Kenworth T800 and Their Solutions

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and tackle those common issues that can pop up in your T800 and how to deal with them like a pro.

#1 - Flickering Fog Lights

One of the most common Kenworth T800 issues is the fog lights not functioning as they should. This issue is often due to electrical wiring issues. However, before diving deep, it's wise to check the fuses and the bulb, just as you would with any other truck model. Sometimes, the solution to a problem can be as simple as a new bulb or a quick fuse swap!

#2 - Displacing Front Springs on Steer Axle

The front springs on the steer axle may sometimes displace and move apart from each other. The culprit here is often the thick, low-quality band used to hold them together. To remedy this, consider having a metal U-bracket welded on instead — this upgrade will ensure those front springs stay right where they belong, providing you with a smoother ride while avoiding any future mishaps. 

#3 - Going In and Out of Cruise Control or High Idle

Does your truck have trouble staying in cruise control or at high idle? One possible cause is a seized-up clutch linkage. The solution? Replace the ball and socket in the clutch linkage. With a fresh ball and socket in place, your cruise control will be back in action, making those long-haul journeys a breeze.

#4 - Turn Signal or Brake Light Problems

Got Kenworth T800 turn signal problems? Are they playing a guessing game with the brake lights? The culprit might be corrosion in the chassis node. This issue is due to the chassis node's location underneath the truck, near the driveline, where mud and dirt love to gather and corrode electrical components and wiring.

Make sure you get your mechanic to properly clean the chassis node frequently, especially if you’re driving off-road.

Final Words

Although you may run into problems related to your truck’s lights, electrical systems, springs, and clutch, the Kenworth T800 is still one of the best heavy-duty trucks on the market. With its fair price point, versatility, durability, and design, you can be sure that you’ll be getting the most out of your investment. Just remember, proper maintenance and timely electrical repairs will keep your T800 running strong and reliable for years to come. With a trusted heavy-duty truck repair shop in your back pocket, you’ll be able to hit the road with confidence!

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