Write a note and keep this preventive maintenance reminder handy before the day’s run at the worksite.
Open the access door to the engine compartment and take a look at the exhaust pipe. You’ll want to eyeball where the pipe is welded to the muffler.
Over time, condensation can build up and rust the area right next to the weld. In some cases, the metal rusts away completely, creating open cracks that allow exhaust into the engine compartment.
That exhaust is then sucked right into the nearby air cleaner/filter assembly. Eventually, the air filter clogs up, resulting in severe engine performance issues.
Another way to find this problem is when you pull the air cleaner filter elements to check for buildup.
If they’re clogged with soot, a rusted exhaust pipe is the likely source. Call in your mechanic to have it checked out.