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03Aug2017

How to Maintain School Bus Coolants in Summer?

 

Proper school bus coolants maintenance is essential for every season- winter or summer. But how to maintain school bus coolants in summer? For ensuring school bus safety, you need to carry out maintenance at the right time. It will be complicated task, when you compare the coolant maintenance during the winter season.

Here are some tips that can be followed in maintaining coolant formulations and checking the performance of the cooling system:

1. Analyse coolant/water ratio

This is the first step in checking the performance of a cooling system. All you have to do is to check the coolant-to-water ratio. When the concentration level of a coolant system reaches 65%, it can cause serious damage to vehicle engines and its components. And it can be quite expensive for you.

When the coolant concentration is low, the coolant starts boiling, and it may result in corrosion, cavitation, and ultimately engine failure. For ensuring efficient heat exchange between engine fluids, it is essential to maintain a 50/50 ratio of coolant to distilled water. But how will you measure this ratio? You can measure coolant to water ratio either using test strips or a glycol refractometer.

2. Execute comprehensive coolant analysis

Coolant samples should be taken in a routine manner in order to examine the coolant condition and performance of the cooling system. And these samples are given to laboratories for the purpose of expert analysis and quality testing.

Standard testing involves monitoring of inhibitor concentration, pH, corrosion and glycol level. And this testing helps you to identify the presence of contaminant and inhibitor metals. Also, it finds out the presence of any petroleum contaminants or precipitation.

Premium testing determines the cooling system issues such as combustion gas leaks, overheating, electrolysis, and air leaks. By careful analysis of coolant properties, you will be able to impede engine failure and recognise the issues that may pose threat to engine immediately or in the near future.

It was found that regular coolant analysis can save you money by minimizing downtime and avoiding unnecessary coolant drains.

3. Carry out repairs promptly

Once the cooling system issues are identified, maintenance should be carried out promptly. This will help you to avoid certain issues like overheating cavitation, coolant degradation, and metal component pitting. In order to protect every equipment systems and seal material, it is essential for you to maintain supplemental coolant additive treatments.

It is not a good idea to mix the coolants as certain additives may not be suitable with others. Hence it is better to carry out repairs at the right time, especially before switching to a different formulation.

4. Never attempt to fill it with water

It's a common prejudice that the cooling system should be filled with water for better functioning. But in reality, filling with water damages the system. Normally, a coolant system will help to raise the boiling point from 212 F to 225 F. With the help of properly pressurized systems, you can further raise the boiling point. When water is used, it will lower the boiling point and thus cause disastrous damage to vehicle engine and its parts.

Corrosion inhibitors of coolant will prevent the galvanic corrosion by hindering the flow of electricity. Since water is a conductor, corrosion will occur faster than you imagine. 

Usually, coolants are colourful and hence you can easily figure out the leaks in the system. When you fill it with water, it may get evaporated and makes the system dry. This may eventually cause costly damage to your business.

5. Guide employees

Proper education must be given to drivers as well as other employees about coolant formulations and cooling system maintenance. This will help you to have safe and efficient operation of school bus coolants. Also, they should be given instructions on recognising the indication of red flags, so that issues can be sorted out easily. Along with the review reporting policies, you can prevent sudden failure of various essential parts in a school bus.

Summer is the hottest season and with the rise in temperature, you need to take extra care on vehicle maintenance. Otherwise, school bus safety of students will be at stake. Hence, an important part like school bus coolants should undergo proper maintenance at the right time before it leads to expensive repairs and becomes a threat to student safety.

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