Today’s diesel engines are a marvel of contemporary engineering, putting out increased efficiency model year over model year while drastically reducing emissions. The engine fluids and lubrication that help make that happen are equally advanced considering the environmental factors trucks are exposed to and the economic pressures of keeping a fleet operational That’s why understanding the importance of proper filtration can be the difference between costly downtime and efficient fleet operation.
Consider diesel engine oil. PC-11 birthed new API categories in 2016—the first time that the diesel engine world has seen two categories, API CK-4 and FA-4. The new FA-4 category was geared toward extremely efficient engines at the time, with CK-4 being the replacement for the old CJ-4. Today, the up-and-coming PC-12 aims to bring even more change to the diesel engine lubrication segment.
What has withstood the test of time is the importance of regular filtration maintenance checks. This involves routine checks on engine oil filters, fuel filters, coolant filters and air filters. FA-4 filtration requirements, for instance, necessitate a move from traditional filtration media to highly engineered media types, which offers higher flow volumes and larger sump capacities, noted Wix Filters. Addressing internal combustion byproducts like soot, which can result in oil sludge, is a pivotal component of modern filtration systems.
Regarding the diesel engine fuel filter, there’s a notable variance in diesel fuel quality nationwide. Proper fuel filtration selection and maintenance can counteract any diesel fuel quality issues that might arise from long-haul operations. Water in diesel remains a significant challenge. When contaminants meet water in the fuel, they form a sludgy mixture that can clog fuel injectors and carburetors, leading to reduced engine power and potentially even more severe problems.
Wix Filters emphasizes that choosing a premium-grade fuel filter is vital; fuel filtration configurations can vary. Some applications have a primary and secondary filter where one is for contaminants and one is for water separation. If your trucks have a single fuel filter than the primary filter should function both as a fuel filter and water separator. This dual role not only ensures a prolonged lifespan for the diesel injection system but also promotes efficient engine operation.
The hawk-like attention to diesel engine fluid filtration best practices should extend to the shop where lack of cleanliness could lead to issues when working around diesel engine fluids. Many shop environments are laden with contaminants, including dust and soot. Proper procedures and tools, such as desiccant breathers, are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the onboarded fluids.