Diesel Engine Repair: Specialized Diesel Knowledge is Key

Diesel engine repair is best done by mechanics who have experience and knowledge specifically about diesel technology. However, gasoline engine repair and diesel engine repair aren’t completely different. In fact, gasoline engines and diesel engines have more similarities than they have differences. When the diesel engine was patented in the late 1800s, Rudolf Diesel, the inventor, had used the basic technologies behind gasoline engines to make his more efficient invention. When Diesel, a German engineer, realized how inefficient gasoline engines were he decided to make an engine that worked much better. He came up with the idea of “internal combustion”, and soon after the diesel engine was born.

Internal combustion is the key difference between diesel engines and gasoline engines, which use spark ignition. Understanding this key difference it what is mainly essential for mechanics who plan to undertake diesel engine repair. The majority of gasoline engines and diesel engines use a “four-stroke combustion principle”, but in gas engines this cycle is known as the “Otto cycle”. To be able to successfully perform diesel engine repair, you need to understand the four-stroke “Diesel cycle”.

In a diesel engine, air is put into a combustion chamber, where it is highly compressed. This highly compressed air becomes extremely hot – up to 550 degrees Celsius (over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit). During the compression stroke, right about at the top of the stroke, fuel is injected into the combustion chamber, by a fuel injector. Not too much fuel, though: the fuel injector adds fuel to the combustion chamber in small, even droplets. The fuel is vaporized by the hot compressed air. Not long after the fuel is vaporized, the vapor combusts, ignited by the extreme heat. The ignition causes a chain of events, much like the spark ignition of a gasoline engine. In a diesel engine the power from the internal combustion reaches the piston which gives power to the crankshaft, and so on.

Diesel engines and the repair of diesel engines have changed a lot since their early days, though. Nowadays, in addition to ‘four cycle’ diesel engines, there are also ‘two cycle’ diesel engines. Mechanics who want to do diesel engine repair need to understand how both of these engines work. In addition to these two basic types of diesel engines, there are also three size groups of modern day diesel engines: small, medium, and large. You might find a small diesel engine in a lawnmower or even a small passenger car. Medium diesel engines are found in larger trucks and commercial boats. And large diesel engines are found, naturally, in very large vehicles or machinery, such as ocean liners and construction machinery. Diesel engine repair, then, could theoretically have a mechanic working on an Audi one day and a freight carrier the next!

Because of the large range in size of diesel engines, a mechanic that offers diesel engine repair has to have a large range of tools, from very small to very large. Some of the top tools for diesel engine repair include: basic hand tools (pliers, screwdrivers, etc.), pneumatic wrenches, engine analyzers, relief valves, injector timing tools, and diesel compression test adapters. Specialized diesel mechanic tools can be purchased online and also in large auto store chains.

For consumers or business owners who are seeking out diesel engine repair for their cars, boats, or heavy equipment, finding a local mechanic who does diesel engine repair shouldn’t be too difficult. You should focus your search based on what vehicle or machine your diesel engine is in. For example, if you need a motorboat repaired, seeking out a shop that specializes in marine diesel engine repair is your best bet. If you don’t know how to find one or don’t want to take it to a random mechanic, ask your friends or neighbors that also own boats where they receive diesel engine repair services. Likewise, if you own a fleet of tractors for your construction business and need some repairs or maintenance done, seek out a mechanic or a shop that has most of their experience in fixing heavy machinery and medium to large sized diesel engines. Ask other construction companies or even the manufacturer of your equipment if they can recommend a trustworthy diesel engine repair shop near you.

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