Although proper maintenance is critical for gas powered vehicles, diesel engine maintenance by a qualified diesel tech is almost more important. This type of engine has a unique design and while it provides unique benefits not found with standard cars and trucks, proper upkeep is imperative. Now, the good news is that when scheduled diesel engine maintenance is provided, this type of vehicle can easily last twice as long as what a person would get out of a vehicle running on regular gasoline.
Because proper diesel engine maintenance is the key to enjoying all the benefits that come from this kind of engine, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide information about some of the specific things that would need to be focused on. Whether having maintenance work performed at the dealership, a local repair shop, or an individual doing the work, taking the time to keep to a schedule would be critical.
When purchasing lubrication oil for a diesel powered vehicle, only a top brand should be chosen. Even if high quality lube cost more, it would be much better on a diesel engine. The primary reason for this is that just recently, lubrication oil for diesel engines underwent change, something that some people are still unaware of, even those who own a diesel engine vehicle.
Normal diesel engine maintenance for lubrication is set at 100-hour intervals because of the volume of carbon ending up in the oil. Unless lubrication is changed more this often, a buildup would occur, causing lubrication to be compromised. In addition, heat transfer would be blocked by the carbon in which the oil’s cooling ability would change. A third reason for 100-interval lubrication of a diesel powered vehicle is that sulfuric acid can build up in the engine oil, which would cause serious damage to the bearings.
Of all components of diesel engines that get damaged the most, the cooling system sits at the top of the list. Following good diesel engine maintenance practices for the cooling system is imperative since this engine design involves operation under piston compression between 350 and 550 psi, which is as much as four times greater than that of a gasoline engine. As a person could imagine, tremendous strain is placed on the engine so if the cooling system is not operating properly, heat buildup could occur in as little as one minute.
Compared to gas powered engines, the proper diesel engine maintenance of the cooling system is much more important. Although gas engines can also overheat, engines do not experience significant damage but again, when a diesel engine overheats, even on a minor level, significant damage would be possible. Sadly, the main reason this happens is because of poor diesel engine maintenance.
As part of diesel engine maintenance an individual would also need to be considered with the system’s gaskets. Over time, gaskets erode, which leads to leaks. For this reason, gaskets should also be checked on a scheduled basis. After all, if a leak were to develop, coolant leaks out, the engine overheats, and as mentioned above, serious damage would likely occur. A huge problem could be avoided by regularly checking gaskets, as well as coolant level.
Problems with Vibration
A vehicle’s engine vibrates on occasion, something caused by a number of things. In a gasoline operated vehicle, an individual would typically have adequate time to get the vibration checked and fixed. However, with a diesel engine, once the engine vibrates it would be essential to have it checked immediately. If not, the entire engine could be severely damaged. The reason is that with an engine of this type, any vibration could cause hoses to loosen or gaskets to break or crack. With this, fluids would begin to leak, causing damage before the problem could be fixed.
Another aspect of diesel engine maintenance considered a high priority has to do with the fuel system. Although an engine would not usually experience damage because of a fault within this system, the fuel system itself could be damaged that would lead to an array of serious problems. One of the main reasons that a fuel system becomes damaged or contaminated is from getting dirty.
As part of diesel engine maintenance, only a high quality filter should be used. In addition, an individual should pay close attention to the type of fuel being put into the vehicle, making sure it is the cleanest and purest available. During scheduled diesel engine maintenance if contamination were found within the fuel dock and the vehicle had an open filter, cleanup would be easy but if water were to get in the tank, professional repair and maintenance would be essential.
Water can get inside a fuel tank of a diesel engine vehicle because of a leaking filter cap. This would be an easy thing to identify and fix during scheduled maintenance. However, a vent line that had been installed incorrectly could be a reason for water in the fuel tank, as well as condensation associated with regions with high humidity levels. No matter the cause, conducting regular diesel engine maintenance could identify problems, giving the vehicle owner an opportunity to get things taken care of prior to damage being done.
Remember, a schedule should be established for diesel engine maintenance every 12 months but also for seasonal changes. Below are some of the other aspects of a diesel powered vehicle that should be checked during schedule maintenance.
- Aspiration System
- Engine Alarm
- Exhaust Temperature Alarm
- Vent Filters