Six Reasons Why Cooling Systems Need More Attention

It’s easy to think that coolant is separate from engines because it has its own system and fluid. But remember, your coolant flows through your engine and is just millimeters from the oil and fuel. For as vital as coolant is to the life of engines, it’s surprising how often it gets overlooked.

Here’s six reasons why coolants get overlooked and why that’s wrong:

          • It isn’t changed as often as oil. Oil usually gets contaminated more quickly and needs to be changed, but coolant can be contaminated just as quickly.
          • I use an extended life coolant. ELCs can be contaminated just as quickly as conventional coolants.
          • I’ll just change the coolant every fall or spring. Conventional coolants can last two years and extended life coolant formulations can potentially last five or six years. In addition, changing the coolant will just mask some problems instead of fixing what caused the problem.
          • All coolants are the same. Cooling systems have changed dramatically in the last 30 years and coolants have transformed with them. OAT, HOAT and NAPS formulas have joined conventional coolants, and mixing them together can make both coolants less effective.
          • If something’s wrong, I’ll just drain and flush the system. Some coolant/engine problems cause corrosion, deposits, pitting and erosion that can’t be fixed by flushing. One-tenth of an inch of scale alone has the same insulating capacity as three to four inches of cast iron.
          • The problem is in the engine, not the cooling system. About 40 percent of preventable engine failures are caused by problems initiated in the cooling system. The damage might show up in the engine or the oil, but the root cause can be traced back to the cooling system or the coolant itself.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of how cooling systems and coolants are misunderstood. Our Practical Cooling System Maintenance Training class dispels the remaining myths while training you to use analysis data to discover what’s happening in your engine. Want to get started today? Watch my short video to start solving your coolant mystery today.

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Published April 24, 2014

Getting What You Need from Diesel Fuel Analysis

Just like oil and coolant analysis, diesel fuel analysis makes sure the fluid has properties that allow the equipment to operate when needed and isn’t contaminated with a substance that will reduce the operational efficiency.

Unlike oil or coolant, diesel fuel analysis is unique because testing happens most often while the fluid is in bulk storage or upon delivery. Coolant and oil properties degrade due to continued operation of their systems, whereas diesel fuel picks up contaminants during shipping, degrades over time or grows biological organisms as it sits in storage.

Many of our customers will send in a diesel fuel sample because they’ve noticed performance or a maintenance event – smoking, power loss and clogged fuel filters are all commonly associated with fuel problems. The symptoms will determine what tests to run on the fuel sample, and the results will prescribe the corrective action needed to make the fuel usable again.

However, reactive testing isn’t the most efficient use of diesel fuel analysis because the company will still experience equipment downtime and repair costs. Proactive testing, such as pulling fuel samples from incoming shipments, day tanks or long-term storage tanks, will identify fuel problems before they can affect equipment availability.

To find the diesel fuel test package that’s right for you, please review our diesel fuel quality and diesel fuel cleanliness solution sheets or contact us with your reason for testing diesel fuel.

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Published April 16, 2014

Take Advantage of the HORIZON Technical Library

Are you having problems finding technical information on fluid analysis? Would you like information on standards for oil, coolant, and fuel? Do you need documentation on HORIZON training? This can be found in the new Technical Library. We have a new layout, new content, and new location – in our web-based application, HORIZON®. The new library was reorganized by subject matter to make it easy to find the documents. Also, storing it right in HORIZON means customers don’t have to leave the application to get the information they need.

POLARIS Laboratories® has accumulated a deep understanding of tribology and other fluid analysis expertise, and much of that knowledge has been captured over the years in our technical bulletins. Some are basic, such as instructions on how to pull an oil sample, but many dive into the nuances of fluid analysis.There are documents about the differences between testing for acid number or base number, how coolant formulations differ, and the ASTM methods related to biodiesel. The Library also has sections with instructions on how to use HORIZON features and thought-leadership pieces to improve fluid analysis programs.

The new library is just one of the ways POLARIS Laboratories® is making it easier for our customers to improve their maintenance and reliability programs and save money in the end. To access the technical library, log in to HORIZON, and click on the Technical Library Tab.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published April 8, 2014