Service Clinic 1

“Engine Oil Maintenance”engine oil

With the recent exhaust emission regulations for construction machinery, their engines are getting more and more complex, making maintenance far more important than before. Just like human blood, an engine should not use dirty, degraded engine oil. If it does, such oil will not only contaminate the exhaust gases but also produce poor engine performance and cause the service life to prematurely come to an end. While a human being can naturally renew his or her blood, the engine unfortunately does not. Good maintenance is therefore even more important.


When do you have to change the engine oil?

Q: Unlike passenger cars, where oil changes are calculated by the distance traveled, construction machines have to change their engine oil every 500 hours of operation. This means that if a machine is operating on a busy site, engine oil would have to be changed once a month. Is it possible to extend the engine oil change frequency?

A: Since a wheel loader is designed to travel slowly to generate more power and to travel in the reverse direction extremely often, the travel distance cannot be a decisive factor for oil changes. Let us convert the hourly operation into the distance operation to compare with passenger cars.  Assuming that it travels for 500 hours at an average travel speed of 30 km/h, a car would travel 15,000 km. The travel distance would reach 20,000 km if the average speed was 40 km/h. The exchange interval of a wheel loader would be even longer than that of the passenger car. In addition to continual starts and stops, the digging operation results in a high engine load. Under these extremely harsh circumstances, please be sure to change the engine oil on time or even earlier.

What about checking if the oil is dirty?

Q: Is it possible to change the engine oil only if you find it really dirty?

A: Diesel engines inevitably produce soot during the combustion process, soon making the engine oil appear to be black. It is therefore extremely difficult to determine how dirty the engine oil is by visual observation. Other important particulars such as changes in the viscosity and degree of sludge contamination require precise examination that would cost you time and handling. Rather, changing the engine oil at the specified interval is a much more practical and economical solution. Note, however, that you can immediately tell if the engine oil is contaminated with a lot of moisture if it appears a cloudy white.

How about the engine oil grade?

Q: If the engine oil of the specified grade is not easily available, is it possible to use oil that is one rank lower?

A: Since a lower grade oil may deteriorate faster, please use the engine oil specified in the KCM Operation Manual as far as possible. If you have no choice but to use oil of a different grade, you may have to change the oil earlier. Please consult to local distributor near by you.

Tips for daily inspection

* Inspect the engine oil level with the machine on a flat surface because if the machine is tilted, you cannot determine the level accurately. Be sure to check the engine oil level before starting the engine or after at least 5 minutes has passed after turning it off.

* The engine oil circulates around every part of the engine while it is running. You should use the level gauge to check the engine oil level after all the oil has come back into the oil pan. This is why you have to check it after at least 5 minutes has passed after turning off the engine.

* When you refill the engine oil, be sure to always fill the oil up to the H level. and check  the engine oil consumption per hour based on the operating hours from the last replenishment to see whether a fault has occured or not (Too much the engine oil consumption could mean some problems happens on the machine).

* Do not overfill the engine oil. The agitation resistance could result in unfavorable conditions such as causing the fuel consumption to deteriorate, making the engine unable to produce the intended power, increasing the blow-by, or causing the engine oil to overflow.

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