CASTROL LABCHECK / Post date: 1 October 2016
Even though you may not have put away the shorts and flip flops yet, it’s the time of year to start preparing your HD equipment for what is typically the harshest season of the year… winter.
No matter what the application – mining, construction, vocational trucking – equipment downtime often results in missed deadlines and a loss of revenue impacting your bottom line. However, cold-weather issues can be avoided with regular coolant testing and analysis.
One of the biggest cold-weather concerns is maintaining adequate freeze protection. The chart below shows the freeze protection for ethylene and propylene glycol concentrations. It is important to maintain this freeze protection throughout the winter season. This can be assured by testing the glycol level with a refractometer during every preventative maintenance event.
Monitoring glycol levels in the field is a proactive first step to help ensure proper cooling system health. While the freeze point is very important, the boiling point should also be monitored. Heat is the number one enemy of today’s modern engines. Operating temperatures are at their highest in the most recent Tier-4 designs with an abundance of heat-producing components under the hood. These new designs place even more demand on the cooling system to transfer heat sufficiently enough to maximize engine efficiency and fluid life.
To sufficiently winterize your fleet against extreme seasonal temperatures, you should analyze your coolants. Test for contaminants that can cause scale or acids formation, glycol degradation, signs of air leaks, hot spots and localized overheating. Monitor inhibitor levels for proper metal protection and determine if the coolant’s pH is within specifications.
With a little extra effort, your fleet will be ready when Old Man Winter arrives.
Register for a free 45-minute webinar on winterizing HD equipment featuring coolant analysis expert, Elizabeth Nelson, from Analyst’s Inc.