While trying to contain costs, it is still essential that commercial fleet owners maintain fuel injection systems to the requisite standards as this will ultimately reduce operating costs.
Those operators that are extending these critical service intervals as a cost reduction exercise are not doing themselves any favours, diesel service centre Reef Fuel Injection Services (RFI) director Andrew Yorke tells Engineering News, as this approach to fleet maintenance will prove to be costly in the long run.
“Fleet owners may see a reduction in operating costs in the short term by skimping on fuel system maintenance but will certainly pay the price with increased fuel consumption and additional wear to the entire engine.”
Yorke explains that, with the sophisticated fuel injection technology in vehicles today, it is critical that the systems are tested, recalibrated and when necessary remanufactured to original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications to ensure fuel efficiency and engine performance.
The caveat here is that the new-genera- tion fuel injection technology found in today’s vehicles requires specialised expertise and equipment, and the complexities of this should not be underestimated.
“It is essential that any work done on a fuel injection system is carried out by a competent, skilled and OEM-approved service centre,” Yorke says. “Many repairers have not kept up with the latest fuel injection technology and also not invested in the correct equipment to be able to undertake testing, calibration and remanufacture.”
Yorke further emphasises that the new-generation electronic fuel injection systems are specifically designed to be remanufactured, and this is where a company such as RFI plays an important role. “The best approach is to schedule recalibration of the fuel injectors as part of the ongoing fleet maintenance programme. This will allow the service provider to test the components and make an informed decision as to whether recalibration or remanufacture is necessary.”
He explains that remanufacturing of these components is considerably cheaper than simply replacing with new.
“Our major advantage is that, when a fuel injection problem is suspected, our technicians are able to accurately diagnose the cause; and importantly we can do this on site for the customer, and wherever possible provide service exchange remanufactured units reducing any further downtime,” he says.
RFI has invested significantly in the latest generation technology and new trim codes are produced by the test equipment for every injector that is recalibrated. The full benefit of remanufacturing the injector is realised as the engine control unit and injectors’ performance are optimised through the adjustments made by the trim codes. Yorke emphasises that not every service centre can offer this.
“Without the trim codes, the repaired vehicle will seem to run adequately, but it will not deliver optimal performance and the efficiency benefits will be lost,” he says.
RFI is an OEM-approved remanufacturer for Bosch, Denso, Delphi, Standyne and Zexel. Yorke says the company is also recognised as a leading remanufacturer of CAT electronic fuel injection systems. All RFI’s repairs are backed by an OEM warranty, and the company also handles warranty claims on behalf of the OEM dealers.
“We align ourselves closely with the OEMs in each of our diesel injector lines, so that we can offer a remanufacturing process that is officially certified and gives the customer the peace of mind that their remanufactured unit will last as long as a new one,” Yorke says.