The Devil's In the Details: The Top Diesel Engine Maintenance Tips

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As more Americans turn to SUVs and pickups, the demand for diesel engines is increasing. 

This is because diesel engines are reliable, fuel-efficient, and cheaper to run than gasoline vehicles.

A good diesel engine can serve you well for many years if you look after it. With proper diesel engine maintenance, your engine can provide you with great service for a long period.

Read on as we look at some practical diesel engine maintenance tips to help keep yours running smoothly.

1. Keep It Clean

One of the biggest threats to your diesel engine is getting clogged up with gunk and impurities.

Keeping your engine clean is one of the best ways to extend its lifespan and keep it running smoothly. In the first instance, brush off any debris that's got trapped under the hood. Cover up things such as the air intake and alternator, and then apply a degreaser.

Scrub the engine down, and then rinse off. Be sure not to use a powerful spray; just a normal hose will be fine.

2. Check Your Fluids

Your engines fluids are its lifeblood. You need to make sure that they're always in prime condition.

Change your oil according to your vehicles schedule as well as your driving usage. Make sure that you use the best oil for your particular engine, ideally one that's recommended by the manufacturer.

Engine coolant should also be regularly checked. If this becomes too acidic it can seriously damage your engine by rotting through parts. Regular coolant changes will stop this from becoming an issue.

3. Change Your Filters

Fuel filters help keep your engine free from impurities. But they don't last forever.

If you neglect your fuel filters, they could clog up or allow gunk into your engine, leading to damage in the long term. Always replace them with high-quality filters; this isn't an area where you want to be trying to save a few cents.

Air filters also help protect your diesel engine. You may find that if you drive through dusty conditions, they need changing more frequently. Keep an eye on them and change them out as soon as you spot a problem.

4. Check Your Gaskets

Gaskets are vital for the efficient operation of your diesel engine. The head gasket is the seal between the engine block and the cylinder head and it's a seal you don't want to be broken.

If your gaskets wear out or get damaged, they can start to leak. Once this happens, you'll need a replacement. This isn't a job that we'd recommend doing yourself; it's best left to the professionals. 

5. Try a Diesel Fuel Treatment

We've already talked about the importance of keeping your engine free from impurities. One way to help with this is by using a diesel fuel treatment.

These additives can offer a number of benefits. Not only will they help to clean your fuel system and keep your engine protected, but they can also increase performance and fuel economy, as well as extending the lifespan of other components in your engine.

There's a wide range of additives to choose from, so be sure to do your research before you buy.

6. Steer Clear of Performance Upgrades

It's always tempting to try to make upgrades to your diesel engine, in an effort to improve performance.

But making modifications to your engine can actually put it at risk of having a shorter lifespan. The manufacturer of your vehicle's engine has put a lot of time and money into developing it and testing it with the exact components that come as standard. If you start switching out these components, you're unlikely to get an engine that will run as efficiently or effectively.

If you really do want to upgrade, try to opt for parts from the same manufacturer, which are more likely to work well with your engine.

7. Cut Down on Idling

Diesel engines like to work. They're happiest when being put to good use at reasonable speeds and for reasonable durations.

Short, stop-and-start journeys put far more strain on your engine and will have an impact on its lifespan. And idling can be even worse for both your engine and the environment.

When you're idling you use up a lot of fuel. It's also much harder for your engine to maintain a good temperature balance without any real inflow of air. Idling also puts more wear and tear on your parts.

It's actually better to stop the engine and restart it than to idle for long periods at lights or junctions.

8. Take Immediate Action

One of the worst things you can do for your engine is to do nothing.

If you see a warning light flash up, or notice a change in your engine's performance, take action. If you leave it until further down the line, you may cause much worse damage.

Once you know there is a problem, take a look at your engine. If you can't see the problem yourself, take it to a professional and get it checked out. It's far better to pay for some new filters or an oil change than it to fork out for a brand new vehicle.

Looking for Help to Keep on Top of Your Diesel Engine Maintenance?

If you're looking for support with your diesel engine maintenance then you're in the right place.

Our highly qualified technicians are here to help you with everything from oil changes to transmission replacements. We provide exceptional service in a timely manner, to help you keep your diesel engine running smoothly for as long as possible. 

Schedule a service with us today!

Categories: Car Care Tips, Parts, Service
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