With balmy spring temperatures promising to warm up soil quickly this year, it’s already time to start planning for spring planting. Proactively preparing your equipment is the best method to prevent unnecessary repairs and downtime during the busiest time of the year. Before you head out to the fields, get your equipment ready for action by taking a minute to review the preventive maintenance guide below.

1. Change air and fuel filters. Internal combustion engines require the proper mix of fuel and air. Clogged primary and secondary air and fuel filters interfere with combustion efficiency. A University of Missouri study shows that replacing dirty air and fuel filters can increase power output by up to 4 percent. 

2. Service fuel injectors. Dirty fuel injectors can cause inefficient combustion and power loss. Internal diesel injector deposits, or IDIDs, can form suddenly, resulting in a significant decrease in power and fuel economy. Black smoke is a sign of over-fueling and may mean you need to clean injectors. 

3. Invest in premium diesel fuel. It pays to use a premium diesel fuel, such as Cenex® Ruby Fieldmaster® to protect engine components and increase equipment performance.  The special additive package in Ruby Fieldmaster has been proven to increase horsepower by as much as 4.5 percent and improves fuel efficiency by up to 5 percent. A detergent package helps clean vital engine components, removing harmful dirt and deposits that can form in filters and injectors that can lead to frequent replacements and repairs.

4. Clean and maintain bulk fuel tanks. Water is the enemy of stored fuel and the common culprit behind rust, bacteria and algae formation. If those contaminants make it through the filter and into engines, injectors can plug and pumps can fail. Check for water in tanks seasonally and if you find water at the bottom, drain and clean the tank. If sludge or contaminants are found, have the tank professionally cleaned.

5. Enroll in a warranty plan. Equipment failure cripples productivity, so look for a warranty plan that covers new and used equipment. Relying on Cenex lubricants and diesel fuels qualifies equipment for coverage with the Cenex Total Protection Plan®. With the Total Protection Plan, CHS covers parts and labor costs to repair or replace parts that fail during normal use and will not void existing OEM warranty programs. The plan provides coverage for up to 10 years or 10,000 hours for new equipment or 8,000 hours for used equipment.

Taking a few minutes to check and conduct engine maintenance will be time well spent and can help minimize expenses heading into a fresh planting season. To learn more about maintaining your diesel equipment as you prepare for spring, visit the Cenex product and services page.

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