What your heavy-duty truck filters could be telling you

What your heavy-duty truck filters could be telling you

Understanding filtration can help you avoid larger maintenance down the road.

Sponsored by Wix Filters

A good filter not only protects your engine’s air or fluid systems, but it could also be a harbinger of potential diesel engine maintenance heading your way if you don’t heed its warnings. Understanding how to interpret engine filtration issues is key to keeping trucks running on the road.

Consider the fuel filter—often the problem child of a diesel engine filtration system. This is true when trucks are not regularly used, especially in cold weather, leading to issues like diesel fuel gelling, noted Wix Filters. The sensitivity of diesel engines to fuel quality makes the maintenance of the fuel filter a critical task. Ignoring this can lead to serious performance issues, emphasizing the need for regular check-ups and timely interventions.

Identifying issues with fuel filters is crucial for fleet managers and drivers. Some of the early signs include difficulty in starting the engine and an unusual increase in fuel consumption. Another red flag is the appearance of moisture or a gel-like substance in the fuel, which indicates contamination. These symptoms, coupled with rough engine performance, signal the need for immediate attention to the fuel filter. It is advisable to change pre-filters and secondary filters in the fuel system preemptively. This proactive strategy can help avoid unexpected maintenance events and extend the service life of the trucks.

While the focus on fuel filters is paramount, oil and air filters should not be overlooked. Oil filters, though less sensitive, require attention, particularly in trucks that are in heavy use. Regular oil analysis can be a valuable tool, providing insights into the state of the oil and the engine. This can guide timely maintenance decisions.

There is usually plenty of talk about oil filters and drain intervals, but air filters are often neglected. Proper air filter maintenance plays a significant role in ensuring engine longevity. Lack of attention to air filters in the early years can lead to severe engine damage, Wix Filters stated. Modern technologies, like sensors and air restriction monitors, can offer invaluable data on the condition of these filters, aiding in effective maintenance.

In fluctuating business environments, fleet usage can vary greatly, with some trucks being overused and others sitting idle. This variation calls for a flexible approach to maintenance. It’s important to adjust maintenance practices based on the specific operational conditions of each truck, focusing on both immediate efficiency and long-term health of the equipment. Understanding the lifecycle of trucks and aligning maintenance practices accordingly is crucial for optimal asset utilization.

Lastly, the advancement in technology and the availability of data in modern filtration systems are invaluable tools for maintenance managers. These technologies can pinpoint the optimal time for filter replacement, ensuring the filters are efficient without being overused. By leveraging these technological tools, equipment managers can ensure the health and efficiency of their diesel heavy-duty trucks, ultimately maximizing their investment and extending the operational life of their fleet.

Click here for a look at high-quality diesel engine filtration options that will keep you running productively.

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