It is important that you understand the unique procedures involved in properly maintaining an ACERT engine—this information will keep you from wasting valuable business time over failure due to neglected maintenance. The following list will address ten tips to prevent costly repairs to your ACERT engine-equipped truck and to avoid the associated downtime.
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Keep it Clean and Mind Your Fluids:
"Ten Tips to Keeping Your Caterpillar ACERT™ Engine-Equipped Truck Running, Profitable, and Out of the Repair Shop"
by Matt Torrence
1. Get Your Valves Adjusted with Your First Oil Change:
A proper first-time valve adjustment is essential to getting the most out of your ACERT engine, but many operators and technicians forget this crucial early maintenance procedure, since self-adjusting engine valves have made the practice obsolete in most automotive applications.
2. Choose the Correct Fuel and Oil Filters for Your Engine:
Incorrect fuel and oil filter selection is a common problem for ACERT owners, but it’s easily remedied—and can make a big difference in your engine’s longevity and performance.
3. Extend Your Oil Change Intervals with Oil Analysis:
Caterpillar recommends a specific oil change interval for your ACERT engine, but in practice, you can easily extend it by thousands of miles and operating hours by combining properly-rated filters with oil analysis from a trained provider. Naturally, this will save you a lot of money!
4. Clean Your CRS with Every Oil Change (C7 and C9 engines):
Your ACERT engine’s Caterpillar Regeneration System (CRS) regenerates your engine’s diesel particulate filter (DPF) by increasing the temperature in your truck’s exhaust system, which oxides soot trapped in the DPF.
5. Don’t Forget to Replace Your OCV Filter:
Your heavy-duty (C13, C15) ACERT engine is equipped with an Open Crankcase Ventilation (OCV) filter that traps pollutants from the engine and lets air out of the crankcase.
6. Maintain Your ELC Coolant:
The Extended Life Coolant (ELC) in your ACERT engine represents a significant improvement in engine coolant technology; however, it does require slightly different maintenance than conventional coolant.
7. Don’t Sweat Condensation:
By now, the importance of monitoring your ACERT engine’s fluids should be very apparent. One thing you don’t need to worry about, though, is the formation of water droplets on your engine’s oil filter cap or dipstick.
8. Understand Your Warning Lights:
The warning lights on your ACERT engine-equipped truck’s dash convey a lot of useful information about your engine’s status.
9. Update Your Software:
Like most modern engines, your ACERT engine is equipped with a sophisticated onboard computer, which monitors various environmental and internal factors and adjusts your engine for peak performance.
10. Don’t Stand Idle:
Minimizing idling has been a major issue lately, given skyrocketing fuel prices and increasing public concern about emissions.