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How to Maintain Engine Cooling Systems

The cooling system in your equipment is necessary to keep it from overheating, which will lead to serious damage and costly downtime. In order to properly cool your machine and keep the engine operating as efficiently as possible, you have to take several steps to maintain the cooling system and ensure it's working at its best.

Keep the radiator clean

Dirt, dust, and other debris can build up on your machine's radiator, reducing airflow, impeding heat transfer, and causing higher operating temperatures. This increase in temperature can cause your engine to overheat and shut down. You should wash the radiator and cooler every few days, especially during hot weather, to prevent downtime. Use a low pressure hose, as high pressure power washers can damage the radiator.

Regularly check cooling fans

Cooling fans help remove excess heat from the engine. Cracked, scratched, or otherwise damaged blades will cause the fan to not be balanced correctly, leading to vibrations that can cause harm to internal components. Additionally, do not let debris build up around the fan, as this can cause it to blow a fuse. To avoid costly repairs and unnecessary downtime, always inspect cooling fan blades for cracks, nicks, debris build up, or any other visible signs of damage at regular intervals.

Inspect hoses and clamps

Hose to neck seals can wear out at a fast rate because hoses and clamps expand and contract as the temperature in your equipment's cooling system rises and falls. Worn seals will eventually fail, potentially leading to costly damage and repairs, which means it's critical to inspect all hoses and lines for cracks, leaks, or excessive softness or hardness. As a general rule of thumb, hoses should be removed and replaced every two years, or at the interval recommended by your manufacturer.

Perform routine coolant analysis

Regular fluid analysis will help you identify problems before they become major issues. Half of all water pump failures are caused by a concentration of antifreeze that is too high for the cooling system and could have been avoided with coolant analysis. The best way to prevent this type of failure is to routinely check coolant levels and send samples to a professional lab for analysis.

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