October 17, 2017
PREPARE YOUR FLEET FOR WINTER PART. 2
Written by Devon Tamagi
Last month we began discussing how to prepare your fleet for winter, and although we covered some important topics, there were others left out. The Plug N Track GPS maintenance scheduling feature helps you plan out your service and maintenance. Here are 3 more ways to prepare your fleet for the ice and snow.
1) BELTS AND HOSES
There are some components of your vehicle more affected from the cold than others. The integrity of hoses and belts are compromised significantly by rapid changes in temperature. Even though these components are specially formulated to withstand extreme temperatures doesn’t mean they won't breakdown. Like most all materials, rubber expands and contracts in reaction to temperature. As the engine runs, the hoses in the engine compartment expand, and when the engine is turned off those hoses contract. Constant expanding and contracting of the rubber compromises the integrity of hoses. Small cracks eventually appear, damaging the structure that leads to even larger cracks and eventually, leaks. During your winterizing procedures, make sure to inspect all hoses for cracks and leaks, replacing all components when necessary.
Our previous article, discussed the importance of using winter weighted oil. But oil isn’t the only fluid that needs to be winter ready. Depending on the severity of your winter, fluids such as antifreeze should be season specific. Antifreeze or as it is often called, coolant, is the fluid in a radiator. Basically, it contains a chemical that prevents water from freezing or boiling in both regular and extreme temperatures. Coolant plays many roles in the health of a vehicle, from lubricating seals to protecting metal components from corrosion. The need for healthy coolant is exasperated during winter as the internal temperature of the engine compartment fluctuates daily. The stress these changes cause means the coolant needs to work harder to ensure everything is properly tempered and lubricated. At the start of winter, have your fleet vehicles checked for proper coolant levels and color. A rust or brown colored coolant could mean that it no longer retains the protective properties that define it and requires replacing.
Everything we’ve talked about in this article has been about maintaining the health of vehicles in winter. However, most of the issues we outlined are dealt with before winter starts, and only once per season. Vision, on the other hand, is a constant battle between driver, vehicle, and Jack Frost. When a vehicle is running, it’s warm, and when it’s warm it builds up condensation. This condensation then freezes, forming a layer of ice on windshields and headlights. In the case of a windshield, this ice directly impedes vision. New windshield wipers with rubber that is fresh and has yet to be structurally compromised from months of cold, paired with winter washer fluid that doesn’t freeze in sub-zero temperatures, will ensure that windshields remain clear of ice. As for headlights, ice buildup will distort the dispersion of light, which can blind oncoming vehicles. Regularly cleaning the headlights will ensure you and those around you can see.
A VERSATILE TOOL THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE
At Plug N Track GPS we are dedicated to the safety and longevity of your fleet. Our system can track and schedule the maintenance of your entire fleet so you always know that your vehicles are healthy. The key to excellent customer service is having reliable equipment and we can help you achieve that.
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