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Preventative maintenance is no simple task


New products and services p3 | Prepare for winter p4


Be prepared VOL. 05 • NO. 11

This month, BUSRide Maintenance focuses on one mantra: be prepared. Preventative maintenance constantly rates as a top priority among our readers based on surveys BUSRide conducts annually. To that end, top maintenance experts are sharing their insight and analysis on how best to manage this increasingly important aspect of vehicle maintenance.

CEO / Director of Advertising Sales Judi Victor Publisher Steve Kane

Take a look at what’s inside: •O  n the cover: In the ongoing Parts and Service series, Motor Coach Industries (MCI) explains best practices behind mapping out and implementing a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan.

Associate Publisher David Hubbard Editor in Chief Richard Tackett

•R  eviewing a memoir by Colonel Chris Hadfield, the famous astronaut, Associate Publisher David Hubbard explores how lessons from the International Space Station can just as easily apply to a bus garage.

Senior Art Director Stephen Gamble Accounting Manager Fred Valdez

•A  s part of the Prepare for Winter series, Peter Woyciesjes, Ph.D. examines critical areas of coldweather maintenance in anticipation of the freezing temperatures ahead.

BUS INDUSTRY SAFETY COUNCIL It helps to have a plan, and BUSRide Maintenance is here to ensure you always remember to be prepared. Richard Tackett Editor in Chief BUSRide Maintenance Magazine

CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2015 On the cover:


Plan on it: The merits of preventative maintenance

From the Editor in Chief Products and Services

2 3

Columns Preparing for Winter



A publication of:

By MCI Parts, Service & Support Business

Features Chevron DELO speaks to new engine oil categories 4

By Colin Dilley, Ph.D.

Take it from an astronaut: Prepare for anything and sweat the small stuff 6 2


POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to:

BUSRide Maintenance Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, STE 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588


Pure-UV flashlight spots all leaks

Eliminate corrosion with micro-male pin cleaners

Leaks in heavy-duty vehicles disrupt service and increase operating costs for fleet managers. Tracer Products manufactures an extensive line of leak detection products to address this problem. Tracerline® OPTI-LUX™ 365 (P/N TP8691) is a powerful LED leak detection flashlight that provides pure UV light for optimal fluorescent dye response. It’s ideal for all heavy-duty A/C and fluid system applications. The OPTILUX 365 produces a brilliant glow that makes all leaks easier to find, while slashing valuable diagnostic time. The flashlight is more than twice as powerful as most corded, high-intensity UV lamps, brightly fluorescing all dyes (both green and yellow). It even pinpoints high-mileage, dirty diesel engine oil leaks.

Innovative Products of America® (IPA) announces a new tool, the Micro-Male Electrical Pin Cleaners (#8043), a three-piece set for cleaning small, male pins commonly found on most makes of commercial vehicles, cars, construction, ag, industrial, and military equipment and other round terminals. Each file features an innovative, diamond-abrasive coating on a unique, concave-design that contours to the male pin. The Micro-Male Electrical Pin Cleaners scrape away corrosion to rejuvenate electrical connections while aiding in diagnostic troubleshooting. Pin corrosion and poor electrical connectivity plagues most industries today and results in equipment downtime in automotive, HD, marine, industrial and military applications.

Tracer Products Westbury, NY

Innovative Products of America Woodstock, NY


WITH THE COMPLETE SOLUTION INCREASE UPTIME AND DECREASE MAINTENANCE COSTS. Today’s diesel engines are sophisticated, and as a result, they run hotter and are more expensive to repair than ever before. The Prestone Command® line of heavy duty antifreeze/coolants, additives and testing products deliver the technology and innovation fleets can trust to protect diesel engines, with the proven reliability of Prestone. • (888) 282-8960 • Email: PRESTONE PRODUCTS CORPORATION, 1900 West Field Court, Lake Forest, IL 60045, ©2015 Prestone Products Corporation

Prestone Antifreeze/Coolant has protected vehicle cooling systems since 1927. | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE


Chevron DELO speaks to new engine oil categories In accordance with action taken in 2010 to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions and to mandate fuel economy improvements in medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have put the second phase in motion, scheduled to take effect in 2018. To meet the new standards, the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) requested the American Petroleum Institute (API) develop a new category for commercial engine oil performance. According to a whitepaper from Chevron DELO, this new performance category, proposed as PC-11, focuses on the development of engine oils that will help OEMs improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, maintain protection of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions control systems, and enhance engine performance, especially during high-temperature engine operations. Chevron DELO says diesel engine oil changes aimed at improving fuel economy are a new development. The current engine oil performance category, API CJ-4, previously known as PC-10 before licensing, became available in 2006 to improve durability and reduce exhaust emissions. PC-11 includes two different oil categories: PC-11A oils, licensed as API CK-4, will cover SAE xW-30 and SAE xW-40 viscosity grades, and will maintain existing high temperature, high-shear (HTHS) viscosity levels. They will work with older and newer engines in mixed fleets regardless of viscosity requirements. Chevron DELO says PC-11B oils, licensed as API FA-4, are being developed for model year 2017 engines, will not be backwards compatible at this time with previous generation API CJ-4 and API CI-4 PLUS oils. As OEMs seek to achieve improved fuel economy and comply with new greenhouse gas emissions regulations. PC-11B oils will incorporate an “L” after the viscosity grade (SAE 10W-30L) to distinguish them from higher viscosity oils. PC-11B requirements only cover the SAE xW-30 viscosity grades. PC-11 oils are said to also improve fuel economy performance as compared with current API CJ-4 oils; oxidation stability, a main cause of oil degradation that can be accelerated by higher engine operating temperatures; and aeration resistance, or the capability to prevent the formation of air bubbles that limit the oil’s engine protection capabilities. Chevron DELO says among fleets there has been a recent trend toward increased use of SAE 10W-30 oils to improve fuel economy and still provide for engine protection. At the launch of PC-11, fleets will have new diesel engine oil options available including the use of Low-High Temp/High Shear (HT/HS) oils for both SAE 10W-30 and 5W-30 viscosity grades. PC-11 oils will incorporate limits on sulfur, phosphorus and sulfated ash content that engine manufacturers have required for maximizing system longevity. Chevron DELO adds that testing the performance of API CJ-4 oils is quickly becoming obsolete. New tests are under development for PC-11 oils, which will include two new engine qualification tests, such as the Volvo T-13, which measures oil oxidation control; and the Caterpillar Oil Aeration Test, an improved replacement for an older test that measures the ability to resist aeration. The Chevron DELO whitepaper credits the development of the new PC-11 engine oil category as “a truly collaborative effort by industry associations and suppliers, and government agencies and regulatory bodies to create a next-generation diesel oil that protects new engines designed to meet current particulate and NOx emission standards along with fuel economy and carbon emission reduction targets required by the federal government.” As part of its involvement, Chevron chairs the ASTM Heavy Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel (HDEOCP), which helps set direction on final testing requirements for new diesel engine oils. Chevron has held this position for close to 50 years. 4


Parts & Service

The merits of preventative maintenance By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business In this day and age of rising expenses and tight profit margins, there is ample reason for fleet managers, even those with just one bus, to examine their preventative maintenance (PM) practices. Have a plan If there are so many urgent repairs going on in your shop that you don’t have the time or money to do your preventative maintenance, you’re in trouble and it’s going to get worse. The trick with maintaining a fleet is to avoid this vicious circle in the first place. How can you do that? Have a preventative maintenance plan and make it your number-one priority to stick to that plan. This is a challenge that will have to be met if you’re going to stay in business; it’s that simple. But, you might ask, if you have a brand new bus what could go wrong? It’s under warranty, you say? Yes, newer is better, but should you neglect mandatory things like drive train oil changes, you could be in for a rude shock. It’s not unheard of for engine, transmission and axle manufacturers to demand maintenance records if they see evidence of poor maintenance resulting in a failure. In some cases, you could even be refused those repairs under warranty, and that could sting for a long time. Usually it won’t come down to anything that dramatic. However, delaying or neglecting PM will dictate that you’re just going to pay for breakdowns and repairs sooner and more often. More than just oil changes Good PM goes way further than merely an oil change and a lube job. Think of your coach as an active preservation project. Consider your equipment as irreplaceable, and instill every attitude and take every step to further those objectives. Scheduling a routine PM cycle can also mean all of your service parts and fluids are on hand and waiting. This will help keep the coach out of service for shorter periods and keep the shop turnaround times shorter. Making it happen So, now that you’re sold on preventative maintenance, what does it take to make it work? It takes a plan. That plan can take the form of a computer program, or it can be done on paper using log books or file folders, supplemented with a simple chalk board. Every maintenance action taken on every vehicle should

be carefully recorded, but there has to be a plan. Looking at section 10 of MCI’s maintenance manuals will provide much of what is needed as far as the basic requirements, but to take things further, one should consult with one’s engine and transmission distributors for the latest PM requirements. An example of a PM requirement is Service Bulletin 3039. Caterpillar requires thrust washer end play to be checked at every oil change interval or 10,000 — 12,000 mile intervals on all coaches configured with a C12 or C13 engine and a ZF transmission. Consider using oil analysis at every oil change to detect problems, preventing unneeded down time. Preventative maintenance training may be available for the technicians doing the work. MCI’s training department offers on-line courses through the MCI Learning Management System (LMS) on various topics including preventative maintenance — You have to have an account created to utilize the LMS. If you do not have an account, contract the Training Department at Paying for it — and making it pay So now you have a new chalk board and, some new log books, and the shop is all fired up about this new initiative. The PM initiative must be budgeted and funded. The shop manager should be expected to furnish weekly or monthly staff reports to the management showing which objectives have been met or describing shortfalls. In smaller organizations, it may be helpful to farm out oil changes and lube jobs if workloads become oppressive; however, an inspection by an in-house employee is still highly important, and must be documented. Your PM program will have to be encouraged and respected by every level of your organization and all the departments, especially at the leadership level. Without their active support, the initiative will fail miserably. All managers need to be flexible, reasonable and work to accommodate the group objectives. Once you have it all in place, chances are, you’ll have far fewer of those urgent repairs and bad-for-business breakdowns. And in the end, your PM plan should more than pay for itself. Visit MCI online at To get the full story, read the MCI eBook on | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE


Take it from an astronaut: Prepare for anything and sweat the small stuff How Chris Hadfield’s Flight Rules apply on the ground and in the shop By David Hubbard Canadian astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield’s memoir, “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination and Being Prepared for Anything” speaks easily to the heart and soul of safety and maintenance. The Canadian astronaut-turned-author retired two years ago shortly after his three missions into space and becoming the first Canadian astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. Hadfield closed his 35-year career upon completing his third stay in orbit as commander of the International Space Station. Recounting his journey from fighter pilot to the rarified air of NASA astronaut, Hadfield lays bare the mental processes and performance strategies that separate the right stuff from the wrong stuff; success and failure; life and death. While the work environment dealing with rockets, space modules and the control center is considerably more complex than that of buses, coaches, maintenance facilities, garages and dispatch, the takeaways in Hadfield’s book easily apply to the maintenance professionals in the bus industry charged with the safety and wellbeing of fellow workers and paying customers. Hadfield is a worthwhile read for operators, safety directors and maintenance techs who go to great lengths to learn all they can from accidents and failures. He lays bare what NASA calls the Boldface procedures aimed at reducing errors and passing along lessons learned during training simulations that have actually saved lives or show further potential to save lives. What has become engrained in Hadfield and his associates 6


over the years, they call the Flight Rules. Every team member lives by them, and does everything within t grasp to avoid dying by them, creating new rules when and where they are needed. “Given our obsession with preparation, its is interesting how frequently we run into trouble in space,” Hadfield writes. “Only to learn how we miscalculated or overlooked something obvious, we scratch our heads to come up with a new Flight Rule to cover that situation.” He says reverence for the Flight Rules is about the only way to protect against risk taking. “Being resolute and unwilling to bend the Flight Rules on launch day eliminates the temptations,” he writes. “They keep us from proceeding by moving off our plan, when we know for certain the conditions are not quite right. We catch ourselves as we are about to say, but, let’s just try it anyway.” Hadfield stresses preparation for anything by learning and understanding the dire importance of sweating the small stuff. He points to one cracked O-ring on the launch of Challenger and one dislodged piece of foam on the reentry of Columbus as tragedies that further taught NASA in the saddest ways possible to understand just how much the smallest details matter.

Critical areas of cold-weather maintenance Extreme winter temperatures require cooling system attention By Peter Woyciesjes, Ph.D. As we face the winter of 2016, we can reflect back on the prior year as the poster child for the importance of preparedness. States west of the Mississippi river experienced unusually warm weather. Conversely, February 2015 was one of the coldest Februarys on record in many Midwest and Northeast cities. All but four states east of the Mississippi placed within their 10 coldest Februarys since 1895. Arctic sub-zero temperatures and double-digit wind-chills left many busses stranded or with incapacitated equipment. For many of those stranded during the winter cold snap, it was decisions made about what to do (or what not to do) with their antifreeze/coolant systems that may have sealed their fate. Winter is coming At a glance, coolant maintenance may seem to be as simple as pouring in new coolant. However, given the vast number of new antifreeze/coolant technologies and formulations, making decisions regarding their maintenance is a very serious matter that can potentially affect the bottom line of any fleet. Ask anyone who may have been stranded or stuck in the shop during any brutal winter cold snap. The primary components of antifreeze, both glycol and water, can freeze; however, a combination of both has the ability to prevent freezing to a lower temperature. While recognizing glycol levels in antifreeze/coolant is essential to maintaining a properly operating heavy-duty vehicle, it is by no means less of a concern than corrosion within the engine. Responsible testing recognizes coolant has key protective characteristics that can minimize additional issues such as corrosion or scaling buildup. During extreme temperatures, fleets are not thinking so much about corrosion protection as they are trying to make sure the necessary percent of glycol is correct in their formula. Corrosion protection is a daily concern for the heavy-duty engine, and freezing concerns tend to be seasonal. Inspection essentials A solid practice for antifreeze/coolant maintenance would be to take the opportunity to check the overall effectiveness of coolant while also checking for seasonal freezing protection.

There are three steps for such an inspection: 1. Test your glycol for freeze-point. 2. T  est for inhibitors to make sure you’re still getting the correct corrosion protection. 3. M  ake sure you’ve got the right volume in your cooling system so there are no air pockets. Air entrapment in the engine is a serious problem for any engine. Seasonal cold weather testing is the ideal time to make sure your engine is full and topped off. A routine loss of coolant due to leaks and other maintenance issues can be expected. In these cases, topping off with the appropriate 50 percent pre-diluted coolant is ideal. If an engine has encountered cooling system failure, draining and replacing the coolant with a fresh fill of a quality coolant is recommended. I would not recommend that coolant collected from a leaking system or a system being drained be reused. Given everything within the engine that relies on the cooling system, it is much safer to refill the system with a fresh batch of antifreeze/coolant. Antifreeze/coolant should: •P  rovide freezing protection to the lowest temperature encountered.  rovide effective inhibition of corrosion for all cooling system •P metals through a wide range of temperatures. •P  rovide efficient transfer of engine heat to help control critical metal temperatures. •M  aintain optimum engine temperature for fuel and lubrication efficiencies. • I ncrease the cooling index to help prevent boil-over and overheating failures. •U  nless routine testing reveals a change is needed earlier, following engine manufacturer guidelines is the best practice for ensuring appropriate antifreeze/coolant protection. Conclusion In many areas of the country, driving in severe cold and snow are an unavoidable fact of life. Bus fleets of all types have schedules that must be met and the only way they can avoid breakdowns that will inconvenience their riders is if their heavy duty engines are maintained properly. While it’s true that effective antifreeze/ coolant maintenance is not just a seasonal concern, winter’s wrath and the extreme demands of harsh weather always elevate the importance of cooling system maintenance to the forefront. Peter Woyciesjes, Ph.D, is the worldwide RD&E manager, coolants at Prestone Products Corporation. Prestone Products Corporation manufactures and markets Prestone® antifreeze/coolant and related products. For more than 85 years, the Prestone name has provided customers with high-quality products, including one of the leading brands of antifreeze/coolant. Visit | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE


BUSRide Maintenance November 2015 digital version  

The Exclusive Maintenance Resource for the Transit and Motorcoach Industries.