Each year, an estimated 17 million vehicles are sold in the United States. That breaks down to approximately 46,575 passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks per day.
While most vehicles on US roads use gasoline engines, an increasing number of Americans are now embracing diesel technology. In 2020, the sales of light trucks and SUCs with diesel engines went up 28 percent.
A diesel engine delivers more power and fuel economy compared to its gasoline counterpart. And when you invest in diesel service, you can count on the engine to serve you for a long time.
So, how can you take care of your diesel engine to ensure peak performance for as long as possible? Read on to learn more.
1. Always Use the Right Fuel
One of the simplest yet important tips in caring for your truck’s engine is to ensure that you always fill up with the appropriate fuel. Your truck’s engine is called a diesel engine because it’s designed to use that type of fuel.
Even a few drops of gasoline in your diesel engine can depress the flashpoint of the diesel, which can prove dangerous. Gasoline will also affect your fuel injectors, fuel filter, and fuel pump. The damage could call for a full replacement of your fuel system, which can be quite expensive.
Be careful with the quality of fuel you use as well. Degraded or low-quality diesel can become acidic and corrode your engine and fuel system components. The diesel engine repair service necessary to fix these problems can set you back a small fortune.
2. Inspect Your Fuel Injectors Regularly
The fuel injection system is at the very heart of your truck’s engine. Its functions are to feed fuel into the engine, adjust the fuel quantity, regulate injection timing, and atomize the fuel.
A defect in the injection system can cause a bevy of problems. For instance, you may notice that the car won’t start or that the engine keeps misfiring. You may also notice that idling is rough, the gas mileage has tanked, or the RPM needle keeps dancing.
If you’ve noticed any of the issues above, choose a diesel repair service with the capacity to fix them promptly.
Taking preventive measures is, of course, much better than waiting till your fuel injectors are damaged. The best way to do so is by using top-quality diesel fuel at all times. You may also want to invest in a regular diesel fuel injection service so your mechanic can catch any potential problems as early as possible.
3. Clean Out and Replace the Filters as Appropriate
Besides investing in diesel injection service, you need to replace the air filter regularly to keep your engine running well. The air filter is usually located in the cold air collector box under the hood.
If you’re replacing the air filter yourself, one big precaution to take is to shut off the engine first. A diesel engine can produce extremely powerful suction, allowing air to enter directly into the engine. If anything drops into the engine during this suction, it could severely damage it.
B sure to clean out and replace fuel filters as well. Most diesel trucks have two fuel filters, with one located between the engine and the fuel tank and the other near the engine.
Replacing fuel filters is a simple affair. In most trucks, you simply need to unscrew the old filter, moisten the new one’s gasket with fuel, and screw it into place.
4. Note Any Strange Noises
A strange noise coming from under the hood can be a clear sign that it’s time for diesel truck service. Ignoring these sounds can mean lots of headaches down the road.
So, what noises should you pay attention to? A rattling sound could indicate that you’re using the wrong type of fuel. The fix could be as simple as simply switching back to the right type of fuel.
If you hear a diesel engine ticking sound, the oil level might be too low, causing insufficient lubrication of the valvetrain components. It could also be a sign of a faulty connecting rod or a bad lifter. See a mechanic right away.
Knocking and clicking sounds from your engine is a sign that your fuel injections aren’t lubricated sufficiently. Use the appropriate fuel to get the injectors lubricated. If the problem persists, you may need to replace the injectors.
5. Allow Enough Time for Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Diesel engines need to warm up and cool down before and after a trip.
Before you drive out of your garage, allow some time for the engine to warm up after you’ve turned it on. Even 20 or so seconds is enough. Warming up your diesel engine allows oil to flow around it better and lubricate it more quickly.
At the end of your journey, allow the engine another 20 seconds to cool down before you turn off the engine. Note that the longer the road trip, the longer the cool-down period required.
So, how do you help your car to warm up or cool down? Simply put the engine in neutral and wait for a while before you start or end your journey.
Invest in Diesel Service and Maintenance for Better Truck Performance
A diesel engine has many benefits, including unquestionable power and impressive fuel economy. However, you need to take good care of the engine to help it serve you well for as long as possible. Using the right fuel and inspecting the engine’s components regularly are just some of the ways you can keep your diesel engine in mint condition for ages.
Are you interested in professional diesel service? Contact us today and learn how we can help you.