CASTROL LABCHECK / Post date: 1 December 2014
While oil analysis is an invaluable condition monitoring tool, it tells us very little about what’s happening inside the cooling system. Coolant analysis gives us the rest of the story by pinpointing coolant and cooling system issues that can lead to premature engine failure.
Almost everyone understands how important a properly maintained lubrication system is to optimum engine health. But what most people don’t understand is that engine coolant and the cooling system are just as important to engine design, maintenance and optimum performance.
An estimated 50% of all engine failures are associated with problems in the cooling system. Once initiated, these problems can spread through the lubrication, hydraulic and transmission systems damaging components, causing scale, clogging passages and forming deposits. Yet, the cooling system is one of the least understood and most neglected.
Implementing a predictive maintenance program that includes analyzing the in-service coolant has proven to optimize reliability, reduce in-service failures and field repairs, increase component lifespan, and control equipment costs.
Coolant analysis is recommended for both conventional and extended life coolants (ELC). Changes in in the composition of both conventional and extended life coolants can cause chemical reactions that can destroy metals and result in premature component failure and neither fluid formulation can correct the root cause of a mechanical problem.
Regular coolant testing and analysis can determine if:
Trends in test results can identify mechanical and formulation issues that can jeopardize the life and longevity of the system and it components, such as:
Quality coolant analysis at the proper intervals can identify the root cause of many problems:
Coolant analysis can identify deficient maintenance practices and operational issues impacting equipment.
Whenever you review a coolant analysis report, it is very important to evaluate it in conjunction with oil analysis done at the same maintenance interval. The effects of engine overheating may be evident in both oil and coolant samples.
Cooling system deficiencies affect all systems. Engines, transmissions and hydraulics are often repaired with no consideration given to the possibility that a serious cooling system problem may have precipitated it. As a result, the same failures happen again and again. Coolant analysis can dramatically improve machine performance, reduce unnecessary repair and replacement costs, and extend the life of your equipment by optimizing the condition of the mechanical systems involved and the fluids that keep them running.