Easy Steps to Protect Tier 4 Engines

Tier 4 engines are powerful yet fuel-efficient and environmental-friendly.

Without them, your fleet would be going nowhere. To get consistently peak performance, however, you have to take proactive steps to protect those engines. Here are some simple preventative maintenance tips to ensure your equipment keeps running smoothly, off-road or over the highway. 

1. Choose ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel

EPA national standards are now consistent, requiring all Tier 4 engines running anywhere across the US to burn ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD). If you don’t, your “fine” for failure to comply could be costly indeed, because you’re risking serious damage or even outright failure to the fuel system, the diesel particulate filtration (DPF) system and/or the exhaust after-treatment system, not to mention the engine itself. 

Along with choosing the right fuel, be sure to choose a supplier you trust to deliver consistently reliable fuel quality. That will help your engine run more smoothly and give you greater peace of mind.

2. Inspect your filtration system religiously

Filters are your first line of defense against fuel contamination, but only if you replace them as often as needed. Once they start to get dirty and clogged, they can no longer do the work they’re intended to do, negatively affecting fuel quality and fuel flow. The dirtier the working conditions – dirt, dust and wind can cause problems both off-road and on – the greater the chance that particles will get past the filters designed to keep them out. Check storage tank filters as well as those on the vehicle itself.

Yes, filters cost money, but that’s nothing compared to the potential expense of component damage and the downtime required for repairs. Inspection and replacement are, you might say, dirt cheap. Every OEM specifies a procedure and timeframe for all filters, so you can easily incorporate that into your preventive maintenance schedule and worksite daily inspections as needed.

3. Keep your storage tanks clean

Pristine fuel that goes into a dirty tank for storage comes out contaminated. Keeping storage tanks clean and well-maintained is cheap insurance against unintended fuel problems. In climates or seasons where the weather tends to be hot and humid, tanks can also develop biological contamination, requiring more frequent inspection and, if needed, cleaning. 

4. Make sure the pumping system is water-tight

Along with keeping out dirt and other particulates, it’s crucial to keep moisture out of your storage tank and fueling system, too, since water denigrates fuel quality. Again, this issue is especially important in coastal and humid areas.

5. When the little light says “check engine,” do that

When you’re on the job, productivity counts. It may be tempting to ignore the “check engine” light or other fault code alerts, but you could be tempting fate. These electronic alerts are designed to notify you immediately if something is amiss, so you can take immediate action to correct the problem. The longer you wait, the more likely something minor will become something major, causing far more damage to your work schedule as well as your profitability.  

If you always follow these common-sense tips, you can look forward to excellent service from your Tier 4 engines for many years to come.