3 Tips for Maintaining Diesel Engines in Winter
Maintaining your construction and heavy equipment vehicles during the frigid winter months is most essential to the way they function for you. Of course, a little snow and cold weather can't stand in the way of running your business... and it sure can't bring down a big rig, can it? Well, it depends on how much your commercial or construction vehicles are needed in your business. Weather can not only hinder the functionality of your equipment, but it can render your company non-functional until it is repaired.
There are 3 major factors that can cause breakdowns during cold weather. We'll outline them here and offer tips on how to avoid those breakdowns.
1. Keep Your Fuel Tank Full & Fuel Warm
Keeping your fuel tank full can be a huge remedy to preventing a breakdown. A full tank removes space for condensation to form and the fuel to freeze. A winter diesel fuel additive can potentially reduce the risk of your fuel freezing up as well.
Keep your diesel exhaust fuel above minus 11 degrees Celcius to prevent it from freezing before filling. Diesel fuel can form wax crystals during winter which can clog fuel filters. The best way to prevent this from happening is by using winter-blended diesel fuel.
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If your fuel has frozen or gelled together, you’ll need to change the fuel filter and warm the fuel prior to starting the engine. This will prevent the frozen fuel from blocking the flow from the tank to the injector pump. Use an electric block heater or a diesel-fired coolant heater if you don't have electricity. Glow plugs can help ignite cold fuel and ether can heat the fuel-air mixture inside of a large-sized engine. A battery tender will remain effective as long as it is at full charge.
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2. Warm-up Time
Giving your diesel engine time to warm up allows the hydraulic oil to warm up as well. Not giving your engine ample time to warm up will make the engine work harder in the long run and wear it out much sooner. We recommend at least five minutes to warm up before operating your machinery. Operators who encounter difficulties with cold diesel engines deal with gelled fuel and electrical failure.
3. Store Your Diesel Engine in Warm, Enclosed Areas
If it is possible, store your machinery in a storage unit or garage that is not exposed to extreme cold weather. Storing your diesel engine in a spot where the temperature is even a few degrees warmer can make it easier to start and faster to warm-up.
If you can afford the extra expense, consider purchasing or building a shelter for your heavy machinery and equipment. Companies that provide pre-fabricated units can probably ship these products to your door for easy assembly. As said, any type of shelter from winter's elements will help preserve your valuable machinery for years to come. Expensive equipment for your business is an investment worth protecting.
Finally, always examine battery cables for any bad connections that can reduce its ability to start the engine. If you have concerns and would Done-Right Services to maintain your heavy equipment and machinery for you, contact us for thorough maintenance plans. If you are broken down and need roadside repair, call our 24-service at 519 796 5248.