Charting coolant filters choices

Charting coolant filters choices

According to Jim Watson, engineering director, engine liquid filtration at Donaldson Co., “While heavy EGR coolant systems may have increased coolant thermal cycling and accelerated coolant additive depletion, coolant filter problems related to heat have been noted. Coolant conditions may need to be checked frequently to ensure proper coolant chemical balance is maintained. It’s estimated that nearly half of engine downtime is due to coolant system failure—reducing downtime is critical.

Be sure to check out all of our coolant and filtration feature coverage.

Your engine coolant battles rust, scale formation, acidity, foaming, silicate drop out and debris while it works to transfer heat and maintain the right operating conditions for optimal fuel economy. Donaldson points out that coolant systems are closed loop—with the filter operating in a side loop to the main flow. This means that approximately 10% of the circulating flow goes through a filter that is designed to capture large contaminants—reducing contamination and helping to maintain cooling system balance.

Donaldson said it provides various types of coolant filters and the replacement schedule is dependent on the overall strategy used for coolant system maintenance. For coolant systems using traditional coolant such as ethylene glycol/water, the coolant filter is changed out on the same schedule as used for non-extended oil drain intervals. The company notes that it also offers Donaldson Blue extended life coolant filters that include a time-release supplemental coolant additive for extended maintenance intervals.

When buying replacement filters, fleets should consider the type of coolant filter used. That would be determined by what type of coolant is used, how the coolant properties will be managed over its life and what service interval will be followed to replace the filter, Donaldson added.

Spencer Dell, on-highway marketing communications for Cummins Inc., says, “The cooling system is a very aggressive environment and can be susceptible to corrosion if not properly maintained. Engine heat management is key as very high temperatures are involved in the combustion chamber and engine coolant plays a key role helping to maintain effective heat transfer. Controlling coolant pH level is also critical to avoid potential corrosion within the system.” Coolant filter life expectancy is dependent on engine type, the coolant filter used and duty-cycle of the application. Cummins recommends coolant filter change interval for the ISX15 and ISX12 heavy-duty engines is 50,000 miles (1,500 hours or one hour) for typical linehaul duty cycle, Dell says.

Fleetguard says, “Water filtration is proven to reduce wear and to maintain effective heat transfer. This is especially important for coolants that stay in the engine longer. Additionally, water filters can provide a convenient and reliable method for delivering supplemental coolant extenders into the cooling system to improve performance and extend coolant service life.”

Coolant filters provide a simple and easy way to add SCAs at traditional service intervals with any Fleetguard coolant. Fleets can choose filters that include these additional chemicals, which are incorporated into the cooling system through an immediate release method, or versions that provide the same filtration protection to the cooling system without the chemical additives. Customers may opt for the extended service filter from Cummins Filtration that use a patented slow-release mechanism, which replaces only chemicals depleted, by use.

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