Ten tips on maximizing engine durability
Feb 1, 2004 12:00 PM, By David Taber Coordinator, Product Technical Services ConocoPhillips Company
Today's regulations aimed at curbing exhaust emissions have caused anguish to many fleet owners. Still, owners/operators have a few options to help them avoid bearing the costs of replacing entire working fleets. Some are purchasing used trucks and engines rather than new models, while others have chosen an even less expensive route and are opting to maintain their existing engines. For those seeking to extend the life of their engine, there are several practices to consider implementing as part of a successful preventive maintenance program.
Do Your Homework - Review original equipment manufacturer recommendations about servicing and maintenance intervals for each part of the truck, especially the engine. If these recommendations have been followed, great! If not, fleets must begin doing detailed periodic service work on vehicles in order to maintain longer engine life.
Keep It Clean - Keep fuel injectors and fuel filter systems clean to extend the life of older diesel engines. A streaming or leaky injector reduces fuel economy and combustion quality that leads to higher emissions, and eventually fuel dilution of the lubricant. Excessive fuel in the lubricant reduces oil viscosity and diminishes the ability of the oil to fully lubricate the internal moving parts of the engine.
Simply the Best - Use a high quality diesel fuel. It will contribute to improved combustion, which results in maximum power and clean combustion in chamber components.
Movin' on Up - Switch to a higher performance level engine oil. These upgraded oils have been specially formulated to meet the latest demands of cooled EGR engine designs.
Top Notch - Use a top quality oil filter. A well-maintained fuel filter system allows clean, full flow of fuel to the engine, ensuring minimum fuel injector wear.
Apply Your Knowledge - Understand how the latest reformulated oils are more beneficial for your engine. In three key areas, these new oils provide a greater margin of safety to assure extended engine life, when compared to lower grade oils. First, they provide increased bearing protection. Second, they offer improved viscosity control of soot-laden oils to ensure that the viscosity of the oil stays in grade. And third, greater oxidation stability helps to elongate oil life.
Get with the Program - Implement an oil analysis program. An effective oil analysis program can assist owners and operators in making more informed maintenance decisions based on the equipment condition information provided by the oil analysis.
Troubleshoot - Identify abnormal engine operating conditions or wear characteristics as early as possible by using your oil analysis program and other preventive maintenance measures. Early detection of coolant leaks, fuel dilution of the oil or metal wear is critical to extending engine life. Through an effective oil analysis program, a truck can be taken out of service and repaired while a problem is still small, and unexpected on-the-road breakdowns can be minimized or avoided.
Change with the times - Identify and optimize the oil drain interval for the fleet. Actual oil drain intervals for vehicles are best determined by trend analysis results from an on-going oil-sampling program. An effective oil analysis program will also help to accurately tell you if you should reduce drain intervals.
An Oldie but Goody - Return to fundamentals. Fleet owners don't need to implement radical solutions to keep their diesel engines in tip-top condition. Instead, an effective and conscientious preventative maintenance program will not only help to keep your aging engines healthy, but also will prolong the lives of brand new models.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.