Cat engines deliver maintenance benefits

Cat on-highway engines purchased after Sept 30, 2002, will include some of the same improvements when engines equipped with Advanced Combustion Emissions Reduction Technology (ACERT) technology are introduced early in 2003. However, truck owners are concerned about maintenance costs for these engines as well as ones equipped with cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).

Maintenance schedules for Cat engines purchased after Sept 30, 2002, will be the same as now. There is no change in oil change intervals, and engines are compatible with CH-4 and CI-4 lube oils. Truck owners don't have to use new, more expensive oils required by engines equipped with cooled EGR. Cat engines will also use the Caterpillar Diesel Oxidation Catalyst to optimize emission levels. This catalyst is incorporated into each truck OEM's chassis and requires no maintenance.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cooled EGR engines could cost customers $15,000 in incremental owning and operating costs.

“Our research indicates that the intense heat load generated in the cooled EGR engine, plus the unavoidable combination of sulfur in the fuel mixing with hydrogen from the combustion cycle and becoming sulfuric acid in the engine, will significantly limit extended oil drain intervals and ultimately shorten engine life,” says Steve Brown, marketing manager, Caterpillar On-Highway Division.

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