Achieve Optimum Powertrain Performance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established standards to reduce fuel consumption and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions for the heavy duty trucking industry. These new standards have resulted in manufacturers developing every aspect of a truck’s powertrain to achieve optimum fuel efficiency. Part of this development includes calibrating engines to transmissions to maintain optimum powertrain performance (see figure 1 below).

Figure 1: ECU Communications

The vehicle’s electronic control system is programmed with specific vehicle parameters and calibrations to achieve these standards. But if the mechanical components are not maintained in peak condition, this efficiency will fall off, resulting in a loss of fuel economy and increased GHG emissions.

All OEMs specify required service procedures to be performed at specified intervals to maintain the drive train in top operating condition. Some of these service procedures include:

  1. Daily pre-trip and post-trip inspections
  2. Adjusting valves and engine brakes
  3. Changing engine oil, transmission oil, oil filters and fuel filters
  4. Changing intake air filters
  5. Inspecting and correcting intake and exhaust system leaks
  6. Maintain cooling and aftertreatment systems in peak operating condition

It’s vital to ensure the truck continues to meet EPA standards and reduce, if not eliminate, mechanical failures that may result in decreased fuel economy and increased GHG emissions. The TruckSeries product from Mitchell 1 provides service personnel with the information and specifications required to keep these major components in peak operating condition (see figures below – and click to enlarge to full size).

Figure 2: Engine Maintenance Specifications in TruckSeries

Figure 3: Transmission Maintenance Procedures in TruckSeries


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About the Author

Julius Hairston

Julius Hairston joined the Mitchell 1 commercial vehicle group in 2012 as associate editor and is currently a technical editor for the TruckLabor product. He is certified as an ASE Master Technician for medium/heavy truck and worked as a technician for three years prior to joining Mitchell 1. He holds an associate degree in automotive technology from Cuyamaca College and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Everest University.