Dirty dozen

Max Kvidera | July 01, 2010

“It can become catastrophic when it takes out the differential housing and it can even knock brake chambers off the axle housing,” he says.

The biggest cause of power divider failure is wheel spin, preventing the power divider from getting sufficient lubrication. This leads to metal-on-metal contact and metal shafts and gears getting chewed up.

Spin your wheels on ice, for example, and the problem might not appear until later. As you drive, the divider continues to grind away until it fails.

An in-cab control allows you to lock in the power divider, though McClusky says many operators don’t know how to use it. When the power divider goes out, the operator says it’s not his fault because he didn’t use it. “That’s like pleading guilty” in a criminal trial, McClusky says.

How to prevent

• At least once a year, have the transmission and drive axle checked out.

• Have a differential oil analysis performed. “Catching it early with differential oil analysis can reduce it to about a $1,500 repair,” McClusky says.

Fuel filter replacement

Replacing a fuel filter before it gets clogged can head off a power loss that could force a shutdown.

If your truck starts to run poorly, loses power and eventually shuts down, the fuel filter may be too restricted. Injector problems also might be traced to a clogged fuel filter, says Jeff Sass, Paccar Parts general marketing manager.

Dolce points out that fuel filters don’t have a bypass built into the fuel system like oil filters in the oil lubrication system.

“Plugged fuel filters will restrict the fuel flow, plus allow water or particles into the fuel system, causing premature deterioration and failure,” Dolce says.

A road call to replace a fuel filter could cost $200, and up to $2,000 if a tow and injector replacement are required, Sass says.

How to prevent

• Include checking fuel filter as part of your regular trip inspections.

• Carry a spare with you to make a change. If you replace the filter, prime the system to restart the truck. n

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.