January 17, 2017

Heat helps some, hurts others: Keeping it cool so your machine runs efficiently

WIn the middle of winter, it’s tough to think about the dog days of summer but the seasons will change and we’ll be there before we know it. Soon we’ll be seeking respite from the extreme heat whenever we can. Luckily, IT4 and FT4 exhaust after-treatment systems don’t mind the heat, since they require sufficient exhaust heat during their regeneration cycles. While heat is necessary for regeneration, there are a few key items to keep in mind that will help keep other engine parts cool. 

1. Keep the cooling package clean – Debris such as pollen, cotton dust, wood chips and pine needles can make it through even the finest screens and end up lodged in the cooling package. On some equipment, including many models from John Deere, reversing fans periodically reverse airflow to clear debris from the coolers automatically. Whether the machine is equipped with a reversing fan or not, it is good practice to monitor the cooling package – a group of heat exchangers, that may include: a radiator; intercooler; hydraulic oil, transmission oil brake and/or axle cooler; and air conditioning condenser, that cool the engine, powertrain, and operator station – for debris accumulation and clean out as required. With a clear passage for air, the cooling package can run efficiently, keeping the machine efficient and operator comfortable.

2. Maintain coolant levels Water plays a critical role in regulating human body temperature through the evaporative cooling produced by sweat. Coolant plays a similar role in helping to reduce engine heat. If there is not enough coolant the engine can overheat and underperform, similar to dehydration effects on humans. Check the reservoir to make sure it is consistently filled to appropriate levels. John Deere recommends using John Deere Cool-Gard II coolant for optimal performance.

As long as the engine’s cooling package is properly maintained using the precautions above, operation should not be a problem in taxing heat. John Deere equipment is tested in everything from extreme cold to severe heat (100+ degrees in Laredo, Texas) to ensure that no matter the climate, efficiency and performance standards are met.