It's almost winter and with temperatures dropping, we want to help you prepare your machines for the cooler months. Here are some recommended tips from our service pros to prime your machines, prevent costly repair bills and keep your business running year round.
First, Check coolant freeze point. There are three methods to choose from:
1 – Hydrometer tester, which will float colored balls. (recommended)
2 – Refractometer tester, this one you will take a small baster and dip into tank and put that drop on a glass film, then look into the end of eye piece (more accurate)
3 – Coolant test strips, dip test strip into coolant then match colors on bottle to indicate freeze point. (works)
Once you've decided your desired coolant level procedure on your machine, shut off the master switch to perform (lock out tag out) make ensure the machine will not start while working while you're performing service. Now see if engine is cool to touch. Locate the radiator cap of the machine. If the engine is cool, open the cap (counter clock wise) slowly to release any pressure that may be in tank. Once there is no pressure in tank, push down on the cap and turn at the same time. With the cap removed you can use 1 of the 3 above procedures to check the freeze point of the coolant. Check the indicator on the tester for freeze point, it should be around -30° F. If you do not have this you may need to drain the coolant into a suitable container and refill with 50/50 pre-mix coolant only.
The old coolant will need to be stored in a safe, closable container, disposed of properly and recycled at your local recycling center, service station or auto parts shop. When testing is done, install radiator cap back on and make sure it is tight. Take lock off of the master switch. Some machines (like scrapers) will have 2 engines so you will have to test the front and rear engine separately. If you see oil in the coolant tank or reservoir, there is a problem! Notify your trusted Worldwide Service department or local mechanic immediately.
Remember, preventative maintenance is the perfect preparation method to extend the lives of your machines and the livelihood of your business. If you don't have a mechanic on site, take your machines to a professional for a pre-season check-up who's certified to identify any potential or existing issues. Check out our preventative maintenance blog for a deeper look into useful tips to investing in safety, efficiency and productivity.