CFMS panel clears up low emission engine maintenance questions

by Katy de Vries

TORONTO, Ont. – In the wake of the 2002 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards released in October of that year, there have been, and still are, many questions surrounding the implementation of low emission engines.

Questions regarding the maintenance of these low emission engines were addressed in part by panelists at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Management Seminar this May.

Canadian parts marketing manager for Caterpillar engine manufacturer, Richard Barrus, told delegates 49.9 per cent of all trucks ordered since February, 2003 have been Cat-powered.

“Cat has taken a different path, we went with our ACERT engine and the post 10/02 engine has the same maintenance requirements as the pre 10/02 engine,” he said.

The regular scheduled maintenance for the ACERT engine should be around 20,000 miles for severe-duty and 40,000 miles for light-duty, he said.

Oil sampling should be performed at every oil change, and if a driver is unsure of the proper service interval, he should visit the dealer service manager to figure it out, Barrus said.

It is also important to make sure a full oil analysis has been done, he added.

Cummins ’02 engines, the ISB, ISM and ISX, use a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology, said Jeff Van Poucke of Cummins.

There is no additional maintenance for such engines, he added.

There are about 8,000 EGR engines in service today, Van Poucke said.

“There quite simply is no extra maintenance needed for the new engines.

“It is all taken care of for you, all you have to do is drive it,” he said.

Oil technology has come a long way, and can account for much of the efficiency of the new engines on the road, Van Poucke said.

“C1-4 oil has a much better soot retention capability, in some cases seven or eight per cent better, and we are confident that oil has a lot to do with the extended life on engines.”

Most of the engine manufacturers’ past 18-24 months have been a roller coaster ride, according to Dave Ongaro, technical field support for Mack Trucks Canada.

“It’s been eight months so far and the sky hasn’t fallen, it has been business as usual,” Ongaro said.

Mack has developed two ASET engines, the IEGR for vocational use and the CEGR for highway driving, both using the EGR technology but in very different ways, he said.

He estimated there are approximately 500 ’02 engines on the road in Canada.

The maintenance interval for the ASET engines is either every 90 days, or 300 hours of operation or 16,000 kilometres – whichever comes first under a normal operating environment, Ongaro said.

“One maintenance suggestion is to service the restriction gauge yearly or when it reads 20 inches. This does save time and money in the long run.”

The engine warranty is another important component, he said.

“A warranty can have a big impact on maintenance costs, so be sure to understand it and use it,” Ongaro said.

According to Donald Coldwell of Volvo Trucks, there are about 500-800 V-Pulse low emission engines, based on the Volvo D12 platform, on the road today.

Service intervals for vehicles with GCW of 80,000 lbs should be at 40,000 kilometres, Coldwell said.

A vehicle of 100,000 lbs should be services every 24,000 kilometres.

And a vehicle that has a GCW of greater than 100,000 lbs should be serviced every 19,000 kilometres.

“There are no surprises with our ’02 engines, there is essentially no added maintenance needed.

Maintain your scheduled maintenance, and keep doing what you’re doing,” said Coldwell.

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