Category: Blog
Date: October 12, 2022

The fluids that run through your machine are vital to its safety and health. Contamination of the fluid can lead to severe damage to the machine and result in heavy monetary as well as productivity losses, accruing to an out-of-service machine in your fleet.

Contaminants can get into your system during service through dust and particles sticking to filter caps, funnels, transfer pumps, and replacement parts. Dirt is a primary contaminant. During operation, dirt can get into the engines through damaged air filter components, bad seals, faulty hose clamps, cracks in air induction systems, etc. Dirt may also stick to cylinder rods, and if a rod or wiper seal is damaged then the dirt could also enter the fluid system. Water, fuel and glycol are most often the indicators of internal system problems. Contamination is the worst thing for your hydraulic systems, they accelerate component wear and reduce system efficiency. These efficiency losses are difficult to detect because they occur over time and much of the damage may already be done.

Contamination control is something that must be given a lot of attention. It will ensure that the machine and its engine will last a long time with minimal loss in productivity. There are many measures one can take to do so:

Change oil and oil filters regularly and properly
Since oil filters contain contaminants proper removal is imperative. Prevention of these contaminants re-entering a system is of utmost importance. New filters should be kept away from all contaminants by making sure they are in their proper packaging unless they are ready to be used. Drain oil when it is warm and agitated. The contaminants are stirred up so more can be removed during the oil change. It is always ideal to follow the recommended intervals by Caterpillar and the dealer.

Change air filters only as indicated by the service indicator
The Cat® Air Filter service indicator provides an accurate and continuous report of the machine’s air filter condition. It saves guesswork when it comes to servicing and reduces the number of times a system is opened.

Use Ultra-High efficiency (UHE) filters once the system has been opened
UHE has ultra-fine media that can trap even tiny contaminants. These filters trap contaminants that may have entered when the hydraulic or drivetrain systems have been opened for service or repair. Filters must be installed dry and never with oil in them, as these also be an inlet for contaminants in the system.

Use tight-fitting drum covers
Airborne particles and water can enter the oil drums, thereby acting as contaminants in the machine. Fitting drums with proper covers that seal the container, and keeping it away from harmful contaminants should be a priority. The small cost that you will incur for drum covers, will be more than an offset to the amount you will save due to no contaminant damage. For best protection, store oil drums indoors.

Use the proper filters
Replacement filters that are not Cat certified and do not meet the efficiency requirements of your machine can allow contaminants to get into your system. Install Cat filters to ensure that you put in the best filter for your machine. All Cat filters that you may require for your machines are guaranteed to meet all its specifications.

Use a filter cart
Do not transfer oil directly from the oil drum to the machine. Always turn to experts for guidance to properly use filter carts.

The aforementioned steps will help you control fluid contamination in your machine, helping you to get the most out of your machine. The S.O.S service program Cat offers deals with all the intricacies of fluid contamination. Signing up for such a service will ensure you can make the most out of your Cat machines and know for sure that your machines are in capable hands. Contact us today to book you next S.O.S session with us.