It is especially important to monitor fluid levels in your equipment during the summer months when temperatures are high. The summer heat will cause the engine to warm at a faster rate. As the engine warms, the machine’s fluids will suffer vaporization loss, eventually leading to lower fluid levels. Perform daily checks on the hydraulic fluid, coolant and machine’s oils to ensure that the equipment will not run into problems while operating.
Fluids to Check
Hydraulic fluid is used to transmit the force required to operate the machinery and to lubricate the hydraulic system, protecting it from corrosion. Low hydraulic fluid levels will cause the machine to overheat and reduce the power of the equipment. Before checking the level of hydraulic fluid, make sure the machine is on even ground. The fluid should be kept at the level indicated on the tank’s gauge.
Coolant keeps an engine running at peak performance in all temperatures. Coolant adds antifreeze and corrosion inhibitors to prevent freezing, corrosion, cavitation and rust. Operating with low coolant can lead to major problems, because unprotected surfaces could sustain damage. When checking coolant levels, allow the engine to completely cool. Then, locate the coolant reservoir and fill the tank to the indicated line.
Oils – engine, transmission, gear
Engine oil is used mainly to lubricate parts. It also cleans, inhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. To check the engine oil level, some machines require a dipstick inspection while others require removing the fill cap to check that the oil is at the fill line or the top of the fill hole.
Transmission oil lubricates the transmission gears and helps keep the transmission operating temperatures reduced. To check the transmission oil, turn off the engine and locate the transmission dipstick. The level should be just under the full mark. Gear oil lubricates gear teeth and helps prevent the machine from overheating. When checking the lubricant level, make sure the gear oil is at the level of the filler plug. Low fluid level is critical to effective and efficient operation.
Additional Fluid Questions?
Contact your local branch with your fluid maintenance questions. Be sure to ask about fluid analysis to track contaminant levels in your equipment’s fluid, so we can predict component failure. We will provide guidance and oil change intervals, based on the results for your equipment.