NEWS | July 30, 2019

M88A2 Recovery Vehicles: Fight Engine Fires with PMCS

Regular PMCS will go a long way toward reducing M88A2 engine fires. It keeps your vehicle combat ready and you and your fellow crewmen safe.

Here’s a couple of things to pay particular attention to in the motor pool:
Oil Levels

Keeping a close eye on transmission and engine oil levels and staying vigilant for leaks are an important part of reducing engine fires.

Too much oil in the engine or transmission can cause as many problems as too little oil. Operating the engine or transmission with the oil level over the full mark pushes oil into the breather systems.

At the next startup, that excess engine oil is forced up through the crankcase ventilation pipe and into the turbocharger. The turbocharger’s extreme heat ignites the oil and flames shoot out the right-side exhaust stack.

That’s dangerous!

Here’s the right way to check the engine oil:
Always wait at least two hours after shutdown before checking the engine oil level. That allows time for all the oil to drain back down from the engine. Sometimes operators check it too soon. Since the reading is low, they assume more oil should be added to bring the level up.

There’s only one time it’s OK to check the engine oil without waiting two hours after shutdown. That’s during extended operations, when it’s not possible to shut down the engine for that long. In that case, you can check the oil level after the engine has been idling for at least five minutes and is at normal operating temperature.

As long as the level is no more than one gallon low or one gallon high, your engine is good to go. Then do a cold check as soon as the mission allows, making sure the engine has been shut down for at least two hours.

If the oil level is too low after doing a proper check, be on the lookout for leaks. Running the engine without enough oil will do serious damage.

Ensure oil fill caps are installed and tight. Also, make sure the engine oil fill caps have rubber gaskets installed.

Check the transmission oil like it says in the -10 TM. If the oil level is low, inspect for leaks. The same goes for the auxiliary power unit (APU).
Inspect the battery box and remove any debris. Look closely for broken or corroded supports, trays and retainers.

Make sure the battery cables don’t have tears, frays or evidence of arcing such as burned areas or melted terminal boots.

The terminal connections should be good and tight, too. Finally, check the battery retainers for damage and make sure they’re fastened tight.