Heavy Vehicle Maintenance: Signs It’s Time For An Overhaul

Your heavy vehicle should run like the well-oiled machine it’s meant to be. Even if you properly maintain your vehicle, there might come a time when it needs an overhaul. Performance for the engine starts to diminish, and you begin to sense signs of the vehicle weakening. Check for signs when your heavy vehicle may need an overhaul to avoid further complications.

Dirt and Debris Buildup on the Undercarriage

Working with excavators and other similar heavy vehicles means that the tracks and undercarriage need cleaning at the end of the workday. The importance of cleaning these components heightens during cold weather. If you or the operator neglects to clean the tracks or undercarriage when working during a cold climate, dirt, debris, and mud will freeze.

When these particles freeze, they will rub on bolts during operations. Also, the frozen dirt and debris can loosen the guiding and seize the rollers. Failure to rectify the issue can lead to significant wear and tear.

Still, cleaning the tracks and undercarriage may only provide you with a temporary solution if these parts are already due for an overhaul. If the frozen particles already did a significant amount of damage, then you can replace these parts. Opt for getting your heavy vehicle parts from trustworthy dealers like Fortis Tracks.

The Check Engine Lights Activate

Several heavy vehicles have a “Check Engine” light at their dashboards. It’s time to check for potential engine problems when this light illuminates. This light can mean a host of engine issues, which include:

  • Fuel running too rich or too lean
  • Burning coolant
  • Combustion timing is off
  • Oil contamination
  • Reduced acceleration
  • Burning or leaking oil
  • Loss of cylinder compression
  • Over-fueled cylinder cycles
  • Low oil pressure
  • Poor engine brake performance

Overlooking these problems when the “Check Engine” light illuminates can lead to unexpected repair bills. If you don’t know the exact cause of the problem, it’s best to check with a professional well-versed in fixing the heavy vehicle you own. You may also want to overhaul your engine to breathe new life on this component.

A Gas Mileage Drop-Off

It may be time for an overhaul if you notice the distance given to you by your vehicle’s gas tank isn’t what it used to be. A gas mileage drop-off may be an indication of an issue regarding your engine’s compression stroke. You can use a fuel cleaner to see if it can help with the problem.

If the fuel cleaning solution only helped you to an extent, then you might need to consult a fuel system service to clear the issue. Opt for overhauling the engine if these two recommendations didn’t work.

Stalling Engine

An engine stalling is when the clutch and gas pedals don’t engage at the right speed. Manual transmissions for heavy vehicles and even standard automobiles might do an engine stall at certain times. The easiest way to deal with this concern is to stop the car for a few moments before reigniting the engine.

When your engine stalls, it can become an embarrassing event. Most of the time, an engine stall is because of human error. However, if your engine stalls and you know you’ve driven the heavy vehicle the right way, it’s time to see a professional for an overhaul as soon as possible. Stalling engines can lead to more severe concerns if not rectified with due haste. The solution might not even be as simple as a tune-up.

An Excessive Crankcase Blow-by

Pistons and piston rings allow more combustion and compression gases to flow through the crankcase as these components wear. The result is a rubber blow-by running alongside the engine. Tiny oil droplets collect and drip from the tube as the amount of gas used increases.

Operators of heavy vehicles will notice an increased rate of oil consumption. You might see the issue becoming severe until airflow blows the dripping oil under the truck and at the front of the fuel tanks. The excess in crankcase blow-by may also come from a leaking turbocharger seal.

Consult the services of heavy vehicle engine shops to check if this issue is present. Overhaul your vehicle if the concern already created significant damage to your engine and other areas.

Stop the use of your heavy vehicle when you detect something amiss. Look at the key areas to inspect like hydraulic hoses, engines, tracks, and undercarriages for damage. Do preventive maintenance on your vehicle before and after a workday. Never let these concerns blow out of proportion to prevent you from spending more for repairs and replacements.



About Joel Helmes 1833 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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