Page 5 - Travelore Issue 43 Fall 2018
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DRVC Travelore - Page 5
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relief when the seller offers to show you the history of
the coolant and oil analysis as well as other maintenance records. Wouldn’t you feel better if the seller could show you a clean and wear-free history? Or, imagine you plan to sell your RV down the road; you might want to consider oil and coolant analysis records as part of the selling points. Such can help reduce the buyer’s overall risk of future problems because you’ve
kept up the maintenance
and you have oil and cool-
ant analysis data to prove
it. It can help to “seal the
Further, an analysis of the fluids in your vehicle should include the number of contaminants in the system and how much wear is taking place at a given time. Knowing these things and react- ing to them through preventive and predictive maintenance can greatly reduce overall risk while maximizing uptime and improving equipment life. Though you may not own a fleet of vehicles, your fleet of one, especially
if you are a full-time RV owner, is important and deserving of care.
Leading Causes
The diesel engine is the
most expensive compo-
nent in our coaches. A
replacement engine will
cost approximately $20,000, so it only makes sense to take care of the one you have. A good analysis can identify insidious problems that, if left too long, could drastically shorten your engine’s life.
According to Blackstone Labs, the most frequent cause of diesel engine failure is probably antifreeze. In fact, their website refers to engine coolant as “the killer extraor-
dinaire.” They note that there are several ways coolant can get into the oil — head seals, pin holes in wet liners, injector cups on some types of engines, and the oil cooler. By the time discolored oil is seen, the problem may have progressed beyond a point of making an economical repair. Fuel dilution problems run a close second when it
comes to causing abnormal wear
and expensive repairs. Bad injectors and fuel pumps can dump seri- ous levels of fuel into the oil sump. This, in turn, affects the oil’s ability to function properly. Left undetected, a fuel system problem can cause cata- strophic engine failure.
These are just a few of the problems faced by diesel engine owners. Preven- tive maintenance and regular analysis of engine fluids can help you avoid costly repairs.
Sample Reports
This probably leads to this question: What’s
in a fluids analysis? The answer lies in how much information you want. In other words, what is being tested and at what level of detail? And, as with everything else, the more you want the more it will cost.
In conducting research on the subject, I came across two companies
that I would highly recommend. One I had heard of when I got my first motorhome; a classic GMC powered by the Oldsmobile 403. (Yes, it was gas-powered with front- wheel-drive.) That company was Blackstone Labs who became the preferred facility for oil analysis by members of the various GMC Motorhome clubs. The other company is JG Lubricants Service, a company that got its start in
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