Get with the Program
• Inspect the entire air-intake system for openings that could draw in unfiltered air (loose clamps, cracked hoses, etc.).
• Inspect dry-element type filters and replace if clogged with dust or dirt. Inspect for damaged seams and pleats. Replace if damaged. Cleaning the elements with compressed air or by pounding them on a hard surface is not recommended.
• Replace highly efficient PowerCore-type filters when they become restricted; they cannot be cleaned.
When performing maintenance on your engine’s cooling system, always use the recommended class of coolant. It is important to be selective with antifreeze/coolants because not all of them provide the protection needed to operate efficiently under extreme pressures and temperatures.
Use a fully formulated antifreeze/summer coolant designed and extensively tested to protect wet-sleeve-liner diesel engines from cylinder-liner cavitation erosion. This is especially critical for heavy-duty, off-highway equipment in the aggregates industry that often endures punishing conditions and temperature extremes.
Engine cooling systems should be thoroughly flushed and cleaned with a heavy-duty cleaner and refilled with clean coolant and inhibitors per the operator manual’s recommended interval. In addition, it is important to visually inspect the radiator and thermostats for any signs of corrosion, debris, or physical damage.
Coolant solution analysis is highly recommended. It will verify the chemical composition of your coolant and include a written report with maintenance recommendations for the coolant and cooling system.
Also, make sure to do the following:
• Replace radiator hoses that are cracked, soft, or swollen;
• Clean all dirt and trash from between radiator fins and around the radiator itself;
• Check for bent radiator fins and straighten as needed;
• Ensure baffles and fan shrouds are in place and functional; and
• Inspect the fan blades for damage, the fan belts for excessive wear, and replace as needed.
Maintaining the electrical system is often more complicated than maintaining some of the engine’s other systems, so most maintenance tasks should be left to a certified mechanic. However, an engine’s electrical system is centered on its battery, and it is always important to check the condition of your battery.
• Verify batteries are fully charged and the electrolyte is at its proper level.
• Remove battery cables and clean cable ends and posts.
• Repair or replace the alternator if it isn’t keeping the battery fully charged.
• Check all alternator wiring connections for tightness and corrosion. Correct as needed.
• Check all chassis grounding and bonding wires for corrosion and integrity.
• Check condition and tension of alternator belt, and adjust or replace as needed.
• Check all starting motor connections for tightness and corrosion. Correct as needed.
Maintenance to remove accumulated ash is a key system health component of your Interim Tier 4 engine’s exhaust filter. The exhaust filter must either be replaced with a remanufactured component or cleaned by a certified exhaust-filter cleaning facility at the appropriate interval.
Contrary to what some end users think, Interim Tier 4 engines do not necessarily require more maintenance than their predecessors. In fact, some manufacturers have been able to maintain or improve on Tier 3 maintenance intervals depending on the application and machine type.
By establishing and diligently following a preventive maintenance program, equipment managers can help ensure the optimal performance, reliability, and longevity of their engines.
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