The engine in your Cat equipment is designed to work hard all day, every day. Designed to be rugged and reliable, a Cat engine needs regular inspection and maintenance to run properly and last a long time. While there are some services that need to be performed by our expert technicians here at MacAllister Machinery, there are many checks you can perform every day before start-up to ensure your equipment is ready to go.
Take the time to look over your equipment and learn some of the engine basics explained here in our video:
Hey, I’m Dave and this is today’s Quick Tip.
Keep your engine running at maximum efficiency by knowing a few simple things about the important components of your engine bay.
First, know the location of your engine oil dipstick.
Check the oil level often and make sure the engine contains the proper level of oil.
Air filters are one of the most vital components of the engine bay.
Clean air going in will lengthen the life expectancy of your engine so make sure to check your filter daily.
This is what the fuel filter looks like.
It’s important to keep an eye on your fuel condition.
Visually inspecting the fuel lets you know if you have high amounts of water or contaminants.
Excess water leads to fuel gelling in cold weather and to rough idling.
Here’s what the Hydraulic filter looks like.
Be sure to follow your machine model’s recommended intervals for changing the hydraulic filter.
Here’s the site glass for checking coolant levels.
Make sure your coolant is filled according to spec.
The coolant overfill jug looks like this.
Visually inspect the overfill jug so you know that it’s at the right level.
The block heater is located here.
The block heater can be plugged in during colder weather.
This will keep your coolant warmed up to help the engine upon cold starts.
This is the battery disconnect switch.
If your machine is equipped with a battery disconnect switch it is generally located in this area.
Manually disconnecting the battery is helpful as an anti-theft device or if the machine will sit idle for an extended period of time.
The fuel fill on newer models is located inside the engine bay.
It is important to distinguish between your fuel fill and your hydraulic oil fill.
On newer models, these two have been switched. They are now color-coded and labeled to help prevent incorrect filling.
On newer models, here is what the hydraulic oil fill and the labeling looks like.
This shows you the level of your hydraulic oil. Make sure it’s filled according to spec.
That’s a look inside your engine bay.
Proper maintenance of these components will help keep you on the job and your engine working at top performance.
As always, consult your operation and maintenance manual for more information.
That was today’s Quick Tip, thanks for watching.
Reasons to Perform Regular Engine Inspection and Maintenance
Our expert technicians here at MacAllister Machinery know that only through regular engine maintenance can we guarantee top performance and reliability of your equipment. They perform the same checks that you should, including:
- Engine oil level: It only takes a moment to check your oil level on the dipstick. If the level is down, not only do you know to add oil, but you may also become aware of any leaks or oil consumption issues. Always use Cat-specified oil to maintain your engine lubrication.
- Air filters: Most heavy-duty construction and industrial equipment is used in dusty, dirty locations. Your air filter is critical for ensuring the air entering your engine is clean, so check it daily and change it according to Cat recommendations.
- Fuel filter: Cat fuel filter holders are made from clear plastic so you can quickly inspect the filter element. Watch for particles or water in the filter, which can indicate a problem with your fuel quality. Don’t wait until you have an engine problem occur in the field to check your fuel filter.
- Hydraulic filter: As with all fluids, keeping your hydraulic fluid clean is important for minimizing wear. The high performance of Cat equipment means the hydraulic system is put to the test every day, so verify your fluid and filter frequently.
- Coolant system: The coolant in your equipment keeps your engine from overheating and also keeps it from freezing in winter. The level and quality of your coolant is important. It’s easy to check, thanks to the reservoir that’s clearly marked for cold and hot levels.
- Battery and disconnect switch: It’s a good idea to do a load test on your battery, especially before winter. Most equipment has a battery disconnect switch you can activate when your equipment is stored for an extended period, to eliminate discharge.
Learn More at MacAllister Machinery
Get to know these basic engine checkpoints and perform a quick daily inspection to catch any potential problems and ensure that your Cat machine is ready to go. If you have any questions, we can answer them and give you a daily inspection checklist to help you save time and effort. Give us a call or fill in our online contact form for more information.