Maintenance tips and tricks

Maintenance tips and tricks

A proper maintenance regime will reduce your running costs and prolong the life of your engine. In addition to the scheduled maintenance that all engine owners should carry out, there are a number of other hints and tips which will help keep your engine in excellent working order.

There are two types of engine wear: normal wear is expected and predictable; abnormal wear may be the result of improper maintenance or operating techniques, and can adversely affect your productivity and operating costs.

The following hints and tips help you plan for, and predict normal wear – and avoid abnormal wear. This information is not intended as a substitute for the Operations and Maintenance Manual (OMM) or advice and recommendations of our parts and service experts.


A good inspection programme combines your daily inspections with periodic in-depth analysis. These inspections allow you to:

  • Locate potential problems before they lead to major repairs
  • Schedule engine maintenance and repairs
  • Plan and control your operating costs and downtime
A little extra know-how will help your engine

Perform regular checks

Your daily visual inspection routine should include a complete visual and operational check of your engine. Perkins engines generally indicate problems with advanced warning signs, such as excess smoke, loss of power, hard starting and overheating. It’s important that you and your employees recognise and understand these repair indicators.

Follow an inspection schedule

Service meter hours provide the best way to structure checks and inspections. These scheduled checks can help you identify potential problems before they become serious. Do not, however, substitute these checks for the specific information located in the OMM for each engine model.

Other key tips include:

  • If the engine works in a very dusty environment or other adverse conditions, reduce the intervals between maintenance. Consider renewing the filters and oil more regularly than the service intervals to ensure that the inside of your engine remains clean
  • Don’t put fuel in the tank while the engine runs – unless this is absolutely necessary – because it can introduce air into the fuel system
  • If the coolant system is to remain empty temporarily after flushing, drain the oil cooler and fill it with 165 ml (1/3 pint) of antifreeze. This will protect the oil cooler against frost if any clean water drains down from the water jacket when the machine is moved
  • Don’t allow dirt to enter the fuel system. Before a connection is disconnected, clean the area around the connection thoroughly. After a component has been disconnected, fit a suitable cover to all open connections
  • With common rail fuel systems, be aware that the fuel system remains pressurised after the engine has been shut down for a short period of time. Allow 60 seconds for the pressure in the system to decay before carrying out any maintenance or inspection procedures on the engine. For Perkins 1200 Series engines, allow 10 minutes
  • Always check the condition of O-rings and rubber seals when filters or plugs are removed, and consider replacement. Sump plug seals should be changed every oil change


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