Maintenance Tips for Diesel Engines

Maintenance Tips for Diesel Engines

When you drive a semi-truck cross country and you need to meet delivery deadlines, you should bring some extra items with you. Just in case you run into any issues in the middle of nowhere and are fifty miles from the closest town, you can take care of the problem yourself.

Some useful items you should bring are the following: extra oil, coolant, washer fluid, and DEF fluid, a fuel filter, and a fuel filter wrench. But remember when changing your fuel filters, you need to install the new fuel filters full of diesel fuel.

As a professional diver, you will also want to keep an eye out for your engine overheating, oil leaks, and coolant leaks, and keep up with your preventative maintenance. Keeping your engine well maintained will help you make that delivery on time and help prevent other breakdowns. The last thing you want to deal with is a premature engine failure that would require an engine overhaul. That would be a major expense and a time-consuming repair that would delay your delivery time. Preventative maintenance and taking note of your engine performance changes should be on the top of your list, to keep you on truckin’!

Make sure to carve out some time to schedule and perform these basic tasks, as they will save you time and money and keep you out of the repair shop. Keep in mind that Speed Wrench can help you out with all your preventative maintenance and other miscellaneous repairs. Follow these maintenance tips for diesel engines to prolong your engine’s life and increase efficiency. 

Clean Your Engine

Diesel engines tend to have a longer life than their gas counterparts so it is important to clean your engine. With the longer lifespan, there will come longer distances traveled and more challenging tasks, dirt, and dust have more opportunities to collect on the engine.

The collection of dirt on your engine will contribute to a shorter lifespan and can even decrease fuel efficiency. Plus, living in an area with harsh winters, your engine’s pieces and parts can wear quicker due to road salt which intensifies rust and corrosion.

Some handy items to have with you to properly clean your engine are:

     – An old toothbrush to help you get in tough nooks and crannies
     – A moist sponge to wipe down your engine bay
     – A specialized degreaser to safely remove gunk

You’ll want to make sure your engine is cool before you start to clean and wear protective goggles and gloves. Some engine components may not be waterproof, so make sure to check your owner’s manual to see what’s safe to hose down.

Check Your Air Filter

While you are under the hood, check out the condition of your air filter. For most vehicles, including your diesel one, the air filter will be under the hood inside a rectangular cold air collector box that is up near the front of the engine.

A dirty filter can “choke” your engine, forcing it to use more power and gas to accelerate your vehicle. Generally speaking, you should replace your air filter every 12,000 miles, or have it checked out when noticing decreased engine power, weaker acceleration, or increased engine water.

Take Care of Your Engine's Radiator

A car’s radiator helps keep it cool by transferring heat from the engine to the air. Since diesel engines tend to run warmer than gas motors, their radiators are subject to higher temperatures, which can lead to overheating. Overheating can warp engine components such as cylinders and gasket seals, eventually leading to more complex and expensive problems.

A great way to prevent overheating is the ensure proper cooling system maintenance such as regular coolant and radiator exchanges are taken place. Many automobile manufacturers suggest getting radiator fluid exchanges every 40,000 to 60,000 miles, but always a smart idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your diesel truck.

Go to your nearest diesel mechanic to look at your cooling system and radiator if you notice:

     – Orange or green-ish fluid leaking from your engine
     – A maple syrup-like smell coming from the engine
     – Steam coming from the hood

Replace Fuel Filters

Most diesel engines have two fuel filters- a primary fuel filter that is between the gas tank and engine, and a secondary filter between the transfer pump and fuel injectors. Because of the less-refined nature of diesel, the fuel tends to absorb more water from condensation in the tank which leads many manufacturers to build diesel engines with two fuel filters.

When water particles combine with diesel, there are a couple of things that can happen to your engine:

     – Notice a decrease in horsepower
     – Your engine could stall
     – Your fuel injectors could explode.

To avoid these issues, don’t wait for these problems to pop up! Instead, routinely complete vehicles inspections and schedule preventive maintenance services. Most diesel engines require fuel filter replacements every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Keep in mind that you should replace both the primary and secondary fuel filters at the same time to maximize efficiency and lifespan.

Speed Wrench Can Help!

Whether you are driving your diesel truck for work, play, or both- it’s important to schedule preventative maintenance services to increase lifespan and efficiency. Help maintain its reliability by taking care of your diesel engine. Schedule your appointment today!