December 01, 2016

Engine Maintenance Knows No Season

While winterizing your engine is critical to maintaining performance and uptime when the temperature plummets, proper preventive maintenance takes year-round diligence.

Your engine is a fully integrated system of components that work together to deliver optimized performance, so maintaining your engine’s fuel, lubrication, air intake, cooling and electrical systems will promote a long, productive life.

Check out the following collection of tips on maintaining your engine systems — regardless of season.

Fuel system

An unrestricted and uncontaminated fuel flow is very important in ensuring the proper operation and long life of your diesel engine. Therefore, remember to:

  • Check for leaks and a bent, kinked or dented supply or return.
  • Inspect fuel filters for dirt, water or other foreign matter.
  • Use quality fuel that is not contaminated with water.
  • Check for water in the fuel filter.

Lubrication system

Following engine manufacturer recommendations for high-quality lubricants can prevent equipment from wearing out prematurely. Even the best lubricants cannot function properly if they are dirty, so be sure to:

  • Change oil when recommended.
  • Keep all lubricant containers covered in an area protected from dirt and moisture.
  • Remove all dust and grime from both the container and service points before performing lubrication service.

Air-intake system

Making sure your engine receives an unrestricted flow of clean air is imperative for proper operation. It is important to:

  • Inspect the entire air-intake system for openings that could draw in unfiltered air.
  • Inspect dry element type filters and replace if clogged with dust or dirt. Inspect for damaged seams and pleats, and replace them if damaged.

Cooling system

It is important to be selective with antifreeze/coolants because not all of them provide the protection needed to operate efficiently under extreme pressures and temperatures. In addition:

  • Thoroughly flush and clean the cooling system with a heavy-duty cleaner and refill with clean coolant and inhibitors per the operator manual's recommended interval.
  • Visually inspect the radiator and thermostats for any signs of corrosion, debris or physical damage.
  • Replace radiator hoses that are cracked, soft or swollen.
  • Clean all dirt and trash from between radiator fins and around the radiator itself.

Electrical system

Maintaining the electrical system is often more complicated than maintaining some of the engine’s other systems, so most maintenance tasks should be left to a certified mechanic. However, an engine’s electrical system is centered on its battery, and it is always important to check the condition of your battery

  • Verify batteries are fully charged and the electrolyte is at its proper level.
  • Remove battery cables and clean cable ends and posts.
  • Repair or replace the alternator if it isn't keeping the battery fully charged.

Your operator’s manual contains a complete description of recommended engine service requirements at various intervals. Following these service requirements — and using genuine John Deere parts — will help ensure that your engine continues to deliver performance and uptime no matter what time of year it is.