Coolant maintenance is a priority during hot months. However, preventative summer maintenance should extend well beyond coolant and oil.
The summer months can be brutal on engines. That’s why people call roadside assistance more during the summer than at any other time. However, it’s not just personal vehicles that are at risk. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity also affect larger commercial vehicles and even industrial equipment.
Obviously, coolant maintenance is non-negotiable. However, there are several additional items that should be on every summer maintenance checklist. Maintaining a thorough preventative maintenance schedule reduces the likeliness of mechanical problems. Additionally, a thorough maintenance plan helps fleet owners maintain warranty and OEM compliance.
Whether you’re working with heavy-duty industrial equipment or off-highway vehicles, here are a few items you should consider while performing preventative maintenance this summer.
Extend Engine Life With Coolant Maintenance
A cooling system that performs optimally is essential to the performance and long-term health of your equipment. While this maintenance includes checking for leaks, it also includes the actual coolant product (antifreeze) you’re using.
If coolant checks aren’t already part of your preventative maintenance schedule, here are a few indications your cooling system or antifreeze may need attention:
Signs Your Cooling System or Antifreeze Need Attention
- Liner cavitation
- Head gasket failure
- Water pump failure
- Radiator failure
- Engine failure
Unfortunately, repairs will be costly if you’re already experiencing these issues. That’s why regular preventative maintenance is so important.
Considering the financial impact of a poorly performing coolant system or antifreeze, fleet owners should seriously consider whether to switch from organic acid technology to nitrate-free. Equipment & Lubricant Specialist Elie Kamienski says, “Nitrates and coolants go way back. Long before the development of Organic Acid Technology (OAT) or ELCs, nitrates were used to protect wet sleeve liners in heavy-duty engines from cavitation damage. OAT chemistry uses no nitrates, but instead relies on an electrochemical process to deliver protection to spots on the liner vulnerable to cavitation-related pitting.”
If you’re a customer with a truck and thousands of dollars of attached equipment (cranes, specialized pumps, etc.), Delo FleetFix CME will prolong the life of your vehicle. When used properly with correct top-up and maintenance practices, the Delo ELC Coolant doesn’t require the addition of supplemental coolant additives to obtain a service life of 750,000 miles/1,200,000 km/8 years/15,000 hours.
Elie also adds, “ELC decreases the chance of water pump seal failure and improves hard water capability. This lengthens service intervals and improves maintenance costs. However, ELC can only be used on select engines because the organic acid components are incompatible with certain materials like brass and silicone.” Contact our team of experts today to find out if your equipment will benefit from switching from OAT to nitrate-free.
Keep Your Engine Cool With Regular Oil Checks And Oil Analyses
Oil does a lot more than lubricate moving parts. As internal engine components move, oil lubricates them to keep things working smoothly. However, it also absorbs the heat from these moving parts and funnels it to the oil pan where it cools down. As the oil gets older, however, it loses its ability to both lubricate and absorb heat.
Performing routine oil checks and changes, particularly during the summer months, helps keep your engine cool and moving parts working optimally. Additionally, an engine oil analysis can help fleet managers determine whether their lubricants are meeting their needs. For example, fleet operators could potentially save 1-2% on fuel economy plus extend drain intervals up to 50% each year by switching to a low viscosity oil or synthetic lubricant.
Watch For Fuel Leaks To Maintain Gas Mileage and Avoid Costly Repairs
During the hottest months of the summer, liquid fuel can vaporize and increase pressure in the fuel tank. Normally, vehicles are designed with a system of hoses capable of holding that vapor until the engine needs it. If your engine has a fuel leak, however, that vaporized fuel will escape and cause low gas mileage.
For fleet managers worried about the increased cost of fuel and any potential repairs, be sure to include these types of checks on your preventative maintenance schedule.
Keep your engines performing optimally during summer conditions by assessing coolant needs, performing regular oil checks, and watching for fuel leaks. Additional items like battery checks, checking fuel injectors, and changing filters will increase the performance of your equipment and increase long-term health.
Contact an SCL Consultant Today
In a wide range of industrial sectors, SCL is committed to being the number one logistics and solutions provider for the products that protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. We pride ourselves on remaining at the forefront of industry trends and technological innovations, and as the market continues to evolve, we are committed to providing extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers.