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Old 01-08-2015, 05:56 AM   #15
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My thought is that (from reading other threads on this subject) if you start the engine, you should drive it for 20 to 30 minutes minimum to allow the engine to get to normal operating temp. Sitting and running at idle does NOT allow normal operating temps. to be achieved. If the coach is going to sit for 3 or 4 months, do not start it and let it idle as this is bad for the motor. Oils do not get properly injected into all parts of the engine unless normal operation is achieved.

I also am a believer that an annual engine maintenance (oil and filters) should be done no matter the mileage. For example my coach may only get 8000 or so miles driven per season, but it still gets an annual oil/filter change with Rotella oil. I just do not wish to chance a major engine problem.

I try to remember to run my generator, UNDER LOAD, for about an hour at least once per month. Under load allows the generator to get to normal operating temps.

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Old 01-08-2015, 05:59 AM   #16
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Always learning something new. I've been changing my oil every spring before we hit the road, but I'll now be doing it before we hunker down for the winter. I have an oil analysis done every year, and it's been fine, so I haven't thought about changing it b-4 we park it.

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Old 01-08-2015, 08:20 AM   #17
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Is it the Age or the Miles???

Originally Posted by MN_Traveler View Post
Curious - this maybe raises the additional question of whether annual service (fluid changes mostly) are better done before or after winter storage ??? (DP's only)

Before winter storage.
Both diesel and gas.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Before winter storage.
Both diesel and gas.
I asked because the local truck service center where I have my annual service done recommended I wait until the spring to have the fluid changes/service done. The discussion here makes sense though - I will have to re-visit my past practice!
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:43 PM   #19
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I suspect corrosives stored and neutralized in oil are likely neutralized and have no effect on the well being of the engine.

Here is a discussion on Wikipedia of the TBN value provided in oil analysis:

Total base number (TBN) is a measure of a lubricant's reserve alkalinity. It is measured in milligrams of potassium hydroxide per gram (mg KOH/g).[citation needed]

TBN determines how effective the control of acids formed will be during the combustion process. The higher the TBN, the more effective it is in suspending wear-causing contaminants and reducing the corrosive effects of acids over an extended period of time. The associated measurement ASTM D2896 and ASTM D4739 Template:-06 removed as refers to method edition not method generally range from 6-80mg KOH/g in modern lubricants, 7-10mg for general automotive use and 10-15 for Diesel operations.

Marine grade lubricants generally will run from 15-50mgKOH/g, but can be as high as 70 or 80mg KOH/g. This high level is designed to allow a longer operating period between lubricant changes under harsh operating conditions. When the TBN is measured at 1mg KOH/g or less the lubricant is considered inadequate for engine protection, and is at risk for allowing corrosion to take place.[citation needed] Fuels containing a higher amount of sulfur will decrease the TBN sooner due to the increased formation of sulfuric acid.

In other words when we buy new engine oil, it has a 'base reserve' built into the additive package, which is designed to neutralize the acids as they are produced. As with all acid base reactions, the 'base reserve' is used up in the process of neutralizing these acids.

This Base reserve is called the Total Base Number which is a measure of the level of BASE in the oil and is determined by measuring the amount of acid required to neutralize the base, the resulting number is expressed as an equivalent amount of potassium hydroxide in 1 gram of oil (mgKOH/gm).

In the average engine oil, the starting TBN is usually around 6 to 9, however if we are looking to extended drain interval oils, we need to increase the initial TBN so we don't allow the reserve to be depleted before the oil is drained. In some oils, a starting TBN 15 is not un-common and a depletion level should never get below TBN 3, which is a signal to change the oil.

TBN is also a useful tool in assessing an engines combustion efficiency, if rapid depletion is observed. If an engine's combustion is inefficient, un-burned diesel will enter the oil as blow-by, forming acids and using up TBN reserves. Exhaust emissions will often be visible as excessive smoke which in extreme cases will form 'wet' soot with large soot particles on the exhaust which will have a detrimental effect on engine wear.

Have your TBN checked periodically in your engine to monitor combustion efficiency.

Remember when practicing extended drain intervals in engines, always have your TBN checked, which with viscosity is used as a drain indicator.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:41 AM   #20
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With 35 Diesel engines on the farm we have lots of maintenance we do. I agree with everything Papa Jim said. Diesel engines are ideal for long storage applications. What is not proven to be ideal is DEF systems. Think about it, the engineers designed these things for trucks that run everyday. They didn't start an engine test and sock it away on the shelf for 3 months! No they ran them hard and for long periods. Time will tell if these systems can handle being left on the rack for interruptive service. We have had one truck already with a DEF system failure on a Volvo truck. (Just out of warranty, of course)
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:30 AM   #21
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There are two schedules for repairs.. Many parts wear as they are used,, Thus MILES is a consideration.

Other parts .. Well oil can build up acid which eats metal,, This happens when the engine SITS for long periods,, so AGE is a factor.. Hoses and belts can go bad even while sitting (Dry Rot type) same with tires.

And that is just to name a very few things. The entire list of things that can be affected by both time and distance is.. Well basically the parts list for the vehicle.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:19 AM   #22
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Farm diesels have another factor. They are usually shut down close to the arrival of winter. Most chemical reactions also slow in the cold. I wonder how well the same equipment would fare if stored in places that run hot all year but were only run for a short season once a year. Based in what I know and stories I hear they deteriorate a lot faster in the heat.

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