As temperatures finally begin to drop here in Tennessee, make sure your diesel equipment is winter-ready by following these tips.
Before putting your equipment away for winter, give your machine a thorough inspection to check for any maintenance needs. Glow plugs, inlet heaters, and especially batteries should be replaced if they appear to be worn past reliable use. Switch out your fuel filter and keep an extra one on hand in case it freezes later on when you need your machine. Lastly, don’t forget to use a winter blended fuel to avoid gelling, and swap your engine oil to a lighter weight to allow for better lubrication in lower temps. Stay within manufacturer recommendations for oil weights, however, to ensure your engine continues to lubricate correctly once warmed up.
After thoroughly checking for maintenance concerns on your equipment, find a dry, covered place to store your machine through the winter. If you have a garage or storage building that is temperature-controlled, this will be the best place to keep your equipment warm and out of the elements. Colder temperatures make it harder for your diesel engine to reach the temperatures necessary to ignite injected fuel, therefore ensuring your equipment has a place to stay out of cold, icy, and snowy weather will decrease the time needed to start your engine. In addition to keeping your equipment out of the elements, DEF and fuel cans will benefit from being stored in a warm area as well.
At the end of each work day, do remember to fill your fuel tanks and drain water from your fuel filters and water separators. Keep a close eye on your temperature gauges and avoid overcooling by using only the correct water/glycol mixture to top off your coolant. Never pour water by itself into your coolant as it will freeze your engine or radiator in low temperatures. These small tasks make a big difference when it comes to starting your machine in the cold and avoiding frozen parts.
When you’re ready to start up your diesel equipment for a winter workday, give it plenty of time to warm up before heading to the worksite. Although diesel engines’ versatility allows them to run effectively in nearly any weather condition, warming up the engine for at least 5 minutes before working will help your machine’s oil, DEF, and coolant rise to optimal temperatures for operation.
By following these helpful tips and remaining proactive about your engine’s health through the season, you are sure to remain productive even in the coldest months.