Better fuel economy, more power, and durability are the three top reasons why most people prefer diesel-powered vehicles. Diesel engines are best known for their durability and ruggedness. Without regular engine maintenance, the fuel injection system will clog up over time, increasing the chances of downtime and expensive repair costs.
While it’s essential to take your diesel vehicles for routine servicing, it’s always better to know some daily maintenance tips. These maintenance tips won’t only keep your engine running at peak levels, but will also prolong your vehicle’s lifespan.
Oil and filter changes
Regular oil and filter changes are the foundations of a prime operating diesel engine. You won’t get far with dirty or clogged filters the same way you’d cause widespread internal damage to your entire engine system when driving with low, stale, or old oil stores.
What’s more, diesel engines usually operate on higher heat than their gasoline counterparts, which further creates the need for regular oil changes, quality inspections, and liquid additives during and after winter to keep things in top shape.
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You can replace your fuel filters around every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Newer diesel engines tend to have two fuel filters, so you should ensure the two filters are replaced simultaneously.
A dirty air filter will choke your engine, and this will cause the engine to use more fuel to get the power it needs to accelerate. Ensure that you check to see how clean your air filter is. You should change the air filter after every 12,000 miles if you notice your engine losing power, has poor acceleration, or an increase in your engine’s wear.
Clean your engine.
Since diesel engines tend to be more durable than their gasoline cousins, they may benefit from frequent cleaning. After all, when a vehicle travels through longer distances and has more challenging tasks, dust, oil, soot, and grime have more opportunities to collect on the engine.
When dust collects on your engine components, it will shorten the engine’s lifespan and can even decrease fuel efficiency. If you also live in areas with harsh weather conditions, your engine parts may wear faster due to contact with the road salt, which may intensify corrosion and rust.
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It’s easy and also essential to take care of your diesel engine. Ensure that you consult your owner’s manual before cleaning your engine. You may find that some of your engine’s components aren’t waterproof.
Take care of your engine’s radiator.
The purpose of your engine’s radiator is to keep the engine cool by transferring air from the engine to the atmosphere. It works when the coolant travels through the engine, picking up the heat. The hot coolant then circles back to the radiator, which releases the heat into the air. The freshly cooled coolant travels back to the engine, and the cycle is repeated.
Since diesel engines usually run hotter than gas engines, their radiators are subject to higher temperatures, which can cause overheating. Overheating may ruin engine components such as gasket seals and cylinders, eventually leading to complete and sometimes irreparable engine failure.
Proper cooling system maintenance such as a radiator is an excellent way to prevent your diesel engine from overheating. Most manufacturers recommend changing the radiator fluid every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. Ensure that you get your cooling system checked out if you notice steam coming out from under the hood, orange or greenish leaks from the surface or under your car, or a maple syrup-like smell coming from your engine.
Inspect your coolant.
Inspecting the coolant in your diesel engine is an essential task. The coolant prevents your diesel engine from overheating. Ensure that you avoid mixing coolants because you risk causing severe damage to your engine. Different coolants boil at different levels, and the chemical reactions from two different formulas can create a stew in your engine, clogging and damaging the entire engine system. Ensure that you match the coolant quality in your engine, and if you’re planning to use a different coolant, make sure that you flush out the existing coolant in the engine.
Remember that coolant also turns acidic over time. Overly acidic coolant will have the opposite effect on your diesel engine as intended. It will cause rotting and damage to the engine’s cooling system. Use annual servicing to check your coolant levels and replace them when needed.
Check your fuel injection system.
Fuel injection mishaps can happen anytime when it comes to diesel engines. They can happen because the injector parts or the structure itself has been compromised, or when the quality of the fuel you’re using is tainted.
Fuel injectors aren’t cheap and are more prone to damage, so you want to avoid frequently replacing them; use the best diesel for your engine. The best way to check if you have a faulty fuel injector is to check the fumes coming from your exhaust. If they are white or grey fumes, you should take your car to a professional to check. If you need to replace your injectors, click here for high-quality fuel injectors and other diesel engine parts.
The high heat levels and direct energy conversion of the diesel engine system make them more susceptible to moisture damage. While filters and built-in parts cushion water control, it’s essential to check and preserve these components to prevent engine failure.
Ensure that you always keep water out of your fuel tank, and check for any leaks that may cause water build-up. Make sure you also check the fuel caps to ensure excess moisture isn’t seeping through inappropriate parts of the engine. Regularly swap air filters to make sure water vapors and air don’t mix. Lastly, keep your automatic water separator in excellent condition or periodically empty an older non-automatic one.