WICHITA, KS--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2013) - As cold weather approaches for much of the country, Universal Lubricants®, a leader in sustainable energy solutions, issued a series of operating tips to help fleet owners avoid catastrophic engine failure in heavy equipment and passenger vehicles.
"Prevention starts with awareness," said Sonny Mays, Universal Lubricants' director of heavy duty technical sales. "Everyone who operates any type of vehicle or heavy duty machinery needs to understand the importance of warming up engines, transmissions, hydraulics and even differentials before moving into full operation. There's no minor case scenario when you spin a bearing; you're looking at an engine rebuild."
Tip #1 - Awareness and Training
Preparing for cold weather operation is a combination of verifying coolants and proper lubricants as well as training and reminding employees, equipment operators and other drivers of cold weather startup and warm-up procedures for their vehicles and machines. Keep in mind that bad stuff happens when oil thickens from the cold. When hydraulic fluid thickens, it decreases the flow rate, which can starve the hydraulic pump and cause premature failure. Thick transmission fluid can blow a filter off, which also can lead to catastrophic failure.
Tip #2 - Engine Warm-Up
In engines both old and new, the majority of wear can be attributed to cold start-ups and operation. To avoid accelerated engine wear from carbon deposits, which interfere with valve operation, allow the engine to warm up for a short time with limited fuel demand. This will slow build-up rates and save money by increasing the engine's service life. Thoroughly warming up an engine also improves the service life of other parts, such as bearings and piston rings.
Tip #3 - Block Heater Reminder
Cold-climate operators that take care in utilizing block heaters to keep engine coolant temperatures warm during shut down are to be commended. But they must remember that the other components have not had this advantage. To avoid premature operational failures, do not immediately put your machine to work without warming up the other components.
Tip #4 - Read the Manual
Reference the published OEM startup and warm-up procedures for your vehicle or machine.
Tip #5 - Plan More Time to Operate in Cold Weather
Whether it's a passenger car or heavy duty machinery, an engine's an engine; take the time needed to get as close to operating temperature as you can before putting it into high gear. If it's not completely up to temperature when you start, drive or operate a little easier until it's fully warmed up.
"Some of the hydraulic and engine oils Universal Lubricants manufactures are proven to perform at 55 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit)," said Mays. "They can minimize the risk of problems, cut warm-up time and increase component protection. But components are either lubricated properly or they're not. And when something doesn't get enough oil... it's always going to be bad. The service side of our company has been one of our greatest strengths for 84 years. We don't just sell oil and forget about our customers. We want to use our experience to bring value to the entire industry by keeping people as informed as possible."
Universal Lubricants is dedicated to educating and encouraging consumers to properly maintain their vehicles and equipment, to choose eco-friendly motor oils, and to recycle used oil to protect the environment and the economy. A leader in the Zero Waste Movement, the company employs a closed loop process to collect used oil, re-refine it and then blend and redistribute its own motor oils, transmission fluids and other lubricants in an infinitely repeatable cycle that makes oil a renewable resource.
The company's distinctive line of products includes the Universal flagship line that offers superb main-line lubricants for both automotive and heavy-duty diesel engines, and Dyna-Plex 21C® heavy-duty engine oils, hydraulic oils, tractor fluids, synthetic industrial products and greases.
For more information about Universal Lubricants' high-performance products and environmental mission, please visit www.universallubes.com.
About Universal Lubricants®
Founded in 1929, Universal Lubricants is a driving force in used oil collection, base oil refining and distribution. Through its closed loop process, the company collects, re-refines, blends and re-distributes its own engine oils and lubricants -- never losing guardianship within the chain -- to ensure that every quart is of the highest quality for optimal performance. Universal Lubricants operates 36 facilities nationally, including one of the world's most technologically advanced re-refineries in Wichita, Kansas. A leader in research and development, Universal Lubricants is a Pegasus Capital Advisors portfolio company and employs more than 430 workers. For more information visit www.universallubes.com.