Equipment World

January 2014

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Page 28 of 67

maintenance | by Tom Jackson FLUID CHECK Now is a good time to double check the health of your coolants, lube oils and, if you have it, DEF T he fluids essential to the operation of heavy diesel equipment are engineered to work in almost any temperature or climate on the face of the earth. But winter's cold temperatures can turn prior neglect of these fluids into a current problem. And with short days and cold temperatures outside, drivers, mechanics and operators can be overly hasty in their maintenance routines. So now is a good time to take an extra minute or two to go over your machines and make sure all your fluids: coolant, lube oil and diesel exhaust fluid (if you're running a truck or machine that needs it), are in tip-top shape. COOLANT A 50/50 mixture of the appropriate coolant and water will keep your engine running in the correct temperature band and protect your radiator and cooling system from corrosion. The only exceptions being Alaska and some parts of Canada where dilutions may need to go up to 70 percent coolant/30 percent water to protect freeze point. This is common knowledge, but after running your trucks or equipment flat out all summer with multiple drivers, operators or service techs, nobody may really know what the freeze point is. "In summer if the coolant gets low, the driver may not care about freeze point," says Colin Dilley, director of technology, Prestone Technology Center. "He may just throw some water in there or some concentrated coolant or the wrong type of coolant to fix the problem." In an emergency situation that may be the best thing to do temporarily to | January 2014 29

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