John Deere Maintenance Monday: Inspecting the exhaust system
Be sure to check the exhaust system on your utility tractor frequently, and maintain it properly.
Radio interview source: Tim Hale, Program Chair, John Deere Tech, Vincennes University
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Pete in Oregon. He just bought a used utility tractor, and noticed some rust on the tail pipe. How often should the exhaust system be checked, and what can he do to maintain it?
Tim Hale is the program chair of the John Deere tech program at Vincennes University in Indiana. He says the life of a tractor's exhaust system depends on how the machine is being used.
"If it's a tractor that's being used long hours hard every day, that expels the moisture that condenses in there, and will lengthen the life of that," he says. "If it's a tractor that has short use, a lot of starting and stopping, heating and cooling, we get condensation. And that can cause more rust and corrosion and shorten the life."
If you see black smoke, make sure the air filter isn't dirty. Hearing unusual noise or rattling from the exhaust system is a tip-off that there may be trouble. But Hale says even if everything sounds okay, there could still be a small leak somewhere. He recommends a visual inspection of the system with every preventative maintenance check.
"Normally bends in the piping, or elbows, exhaust manifolds," says Hale. "Look for leaks and cracks, things like that may be exposed areas that might be physically damaged by obstructions that the tractor might go over."
Leaks should be taken care of immediately, even if very small. If the tractor has a cab, exhaust gasses can seep into the operator's area, creating the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. An internal restriction or blockage in the exhaust system can lead to poor fuel economy.
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