Page 4 - Travelore Issue 43 Fall 2018
P. 4

Page 4 - DRVC Travelore
A wise thing to do
The Importance of Fluid Analysis
by Byron Songer, VP Publications
What is one of the routine things you have done when you go to a medical appointment? Of course, you get your blood checked. In fact, some of us on certain medications may have our blood drawn and analyzed on a regular basis. The reason is simple: Issues in the rest of the body may first be discovered through a complete analysis of the blood.
The same can be true of the RV engine. An analysis of the fluids from the crankcase and transmission as well as the cooling system can be used in determining the cause of other issues. It provides a good “health check” of the engine. And, the same can be done for the generator, which also depends on cooling and lubricat- ing fluids to operate efficiently and effectively.
In fact, a fluid analysis of your vehicles, not just the RV, can provide the following:
• Save a possible large outlay of money by detecting problems that could result in a breakdown and an expensive tow cost.
• Reveals to you and your technician what parts may need attention and, thus, making maintenance more effective.
• Helps in knowing if you can safely extend your oil change intervals (some diesel owners can run up to 20,000 miles between engine oil changes).
• Offers “peace of mind” knowing your RV and tow stay as reliable and free of problems as possible.
Follow me in taking a closer look at these four benefits.
Save Money
Conducting oil and coolant analysis on a regular basis leads to minimized downtime and possible loss traveling valuable time. Oil and coolant analysis can be used to diag- nose problems and determine when attention is needed.
It can also determine the remaining useful life of the oil
or coolant and tell you how the equipment is respond-
ing to internal changes over time. Such a procedure gives the owner a “look” into the equipment and determines
the overall health of the engine. Whether it’s an engine,
a transmission, a differential or a cooling system, the important thing to keep in mind is that knowing the
state of the oil, the coolant, and the equipment facilitates provides flexibility in planning the best maintenance cycle while keeping wear to a minimum and even preventing
failures. An analysis
can often catch problems at an early stage avoiding big, more expensive, problems.
One way to understand some causes of symptoms in the body is through the analysis of the body fluids. It is the same way with a vehicle, the only way to have a clear idea of what is going on is through a sampling of the fluids. Sometimes, without oil and coolant analysis, you don’t even know you have minor problems, let alone
Image courtesy of Blackstone Labs
major problems that may result in complete failure and equipment breakdown at the worst possible time.
Extend the Useful Life
Many things, including contamination and thermal break- down, affect oil and coolants. Oil and coolant analysis can help you gain the data needed to extend frequency-of- change intervals. Keep in mind that simply draining oil
of changing coolant without sampling and analysis, you are throwing away valuable information. The information gained can be used to optimize PM (preventive mainte- nance) schedules.
This process also has the effect of stopping wear before
it results in equipment failure. Equipment life is a func- tion of wear rate on the individual components (gears, bearings, bushings, seal rings, etc.) used in the engine, transmission, differential, or cooling system. If oil and coolants deteriorate, or if they have an excessive amount of contaminants, then abrasive or chemical wear can become a real issue. Only a complete analysis allows you to determine the condition and the number of contaminants circulating through the oil and coolant.
Increase Resale Value
This is something you may not have thought about. Imagine buying a used motorhome. Then, imagine your
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