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Maximising engine performance through preventive maintenance and scrutiny

June 3, 2023 12:40 pm

Maximising engine performance through preventive maintenance and scrutiny

This article gives valuable recommendations for keeping engines in good running order, allowing operators to predict and control wear correctly.

Our industry relies on mechanical components, literally and figuratively, as crucial elements that keep our economy operational. If machines stop, even briefly, factories and warehouses halt. Therefore, engines play a vital role in the system.

Consequently, it is imperative to establish a routine and timely engine maintenance regimen to minimise operating costs and extend the engine’s lifespan. While normal wear is expected and predictable, machines can also experience abnormal wear due to improper maintenance or operating techniques, hurting productivity and operating expenses. To ensure a longer engine life and optimal performance, it is advisable to create preventative maintenance schedules and adhere to regular engine monitoring practices. Here are a few tips for maintaining your engine’s excellent working condition, enabling you to anticipate and manage normal wear while avoiding abnormal wear.

Inspections and regular checks
Performing periodic inspections and in-depth analyses enables early detection of potential engine issues, preventing major failures and costly repairs. Operators should conduct daily visual inspections and operational checks, attentive to warning signs such as overheating, smoke, power loss, or difficulty starting. Understanding these indicators is crucial for prompt action.

Scheduled maintenance is vital for extending engine life. Follow the recommended maintenance schedules and guidelines provided by engine or machine manufacturers. Missing a service interval can affect performance and lead to critical component failure.

Tailor performance checks to suit operating conditions and engine type. Daily and weekly checks and regular servicing at specified intervals are necessary. The frequency of checks may vary based on calendar time or engine runtime. Engines in constant use require more frequent and thorough checks than those used less frequently.

Importance of good oil quality
Oil plays a vital role in ensuring smooth engine function. Using low-quality oil can negatively impact viscosity and reduce engine life. It can result in operational issues, difficulties with start-up, thermal breakdown, corrosion, and excessive wear.

Importance of regular water drainage
Typically, fuels contain some amount of suspended water. For off-highway engines, water in fuel originates from condensation in fuel storage, the fuel tank, agitation-induced free water, or poor fuel maintenance.

Significant water levels can cause problems such as fuel system corrosion, excessive injector wear, filter blockage, sudden engine cooling, reduced energy, and decreased power. Therefore, it is crucial to drain the water periodically. Ensure proper sealing of fuel storage tanks and allow settling time after fuel delivery. Prevent condensation by avoiding temperature fluctuations, and seal tanks to prevent rainwater contamination. Taking a little time each day to drain water from the water separator on the fuel filter can save money by preventing injector damage.
• Quick daily check-up tips:
• Check the coolant level in the cooling system.
• Inspect and empty the air pre-cleaner if necessary.
• Verify the engine oil level.
• Examine the fuel system’s primary filter.
• Drain water from the water separator.
• Inspect driven equipment, belts, and the electrical system.
• Conduct a thorough walk-around inspection of the machine, paying special attention to guards and the drive system.

Modern engines are resilient and reliable, thanks to technological advancements. However, operators must conduct daily checks, including visual reviews, operational inspections, and routine water draining. These checks and detailed weekly and monthly engine inspections help identify potential issues before they cause significant wear. By staying attuned to your engine, you can usually detect warning signs of any abnormalities. These practices contribute to longer engine life and consistent high performance.

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