Did you know that 43% of all trucks on the road in the USA are powered by diesel engines? Diesel is a key part of the backbone of one of the most important industries in the world.
If you are thinking of switching to diesel, or have made the switch and want to get the best out of your diesel truck, what do you need to know?
Why not take a few minutes to learn about some great habits that can help you get the best out of your truck.
1. Genuine Parts
Whether you are changing a timing belt or head gasket, your truck is only as strong as its weakest part. If you take a cheaper option from a questionable manufacturer, you could be headed for trouble.
When searching for parts, picture yourself trying to start your truck on the coldest day of the year in a remote location. You will be glad that you chose parts that you can trust in all circumstances.
2. Frequent Oil and Filter Changes
Knowing when to change the oil is important information for all vehicle owners. However, this is especially important for diesel vehicle drivers.
Each model will have a different maintenance program, however, most diesel engines need an oil change between 3000-5000 miles. Again, ensure that you choose good quality oil and a filter that is at least OEM recommended.
3. Diesel Treatment
Nothing will reduce the longevity of your car like dirty fuel. Unfortunately, if you use your truck for work and travel a lot, there is no guarantee that the fuel you pick up along the way will be clean.
Avoid damage from dirty fuel by using fuel additives such as diesel treatment. This will ensure that any impurities in the fuel will not reach your engine and do damage.
4. Avoid Idling
When a diesel engine idles for more than a few minutes a layer of soot builds up inside.
This not only increases wear and tear on the engine but also increases the emissions level of the engine as much of this is expelled when you drive away. Avoid this by ensuring that your diesel truck does not idle for more than 5 minutes.
5. Drain the Engine’s Water Separator
Water can easily enter your fuel tank when you fill it with fuel. In other situations, condensation can build up in the tank and drip into your fuel. This leads to your tank actually holding two liquids.
Avoid this by installing a water separator and having it emptied on a regular basis.
6. Change the Gaskets
Gaskets are often exposed to very changing conditions. They can drop to very low temperatures in winter and yet rise to high temperatures when the engine is used for a long period of time.
If you notice that you have a leaky gasket, you may find that it is best to check all of them and even replace all of them. If one is wearing out it is probable that you will need to change the others soon.
Not changing the gaskets, particularly the head gasket can lead to dangerous overheating in the engine space. Avoid this by checking your gaskets frequently.
7. Heat Your Engine
Changing temperatures can bring real challenges to a motor. If you want to add some years of life to your engine and its parts, investing in a block heater can help you. This will slowly heat up engine parts and the liquids that are contained within them.
If the temperature really drops in the area where you live you may also want to consider investing in a heated dipstick. This can heat the oil in the engine directly. It will allow the oil to travel more freely around engine parts on cold days.
8. Glow Plugs
Glow plugs are an important part of the ignition process in a diesel engine. Essentially glow plugs heat up the elements required for combustion in an engine – air and fuel. This means that they combust more efficiently and quickly.
If you are having issues starting a diesel engine this would be a good place to start. In many modern trucks, a light on the dashboard will indicate if your glow plugs have a problem.
9. Watch your Coolant Content and Levels
As the months pass by, the coolant in your diesel engine will slowly become acidic. While this is a natural and expected part of its lifespan, it will become acidic enough to cause a problem for your engine. The acid can even begin to erode internal engine parts including the radiator.
The result of this is that “topping up” the coolant level during maintenance programs will not be enough. You will need to actually remove the existing coolant, flush the system, and replace it with new coolant fluid.
Your vehicle’s manual will likely be able to tell you how to do this. If you want to stretch your coolant a little to save money you can have it tested after removal. As you do this after each replacement, you will be able to determine whether you can leave the coolant in for a longer period of time.
Getting the Best Out of Your Diesel Truck and Much More
Owning a diesel truck can give you major advantages such as longevity and efficient running. However, to keep your diesel truck in good shape, you will need to give it some special consideration. Applying the suggestions we have discussed today will help you to keep your truck running in all conditions for a long time to come.
If you would like to learn more about diesel trucks and how to get the best out of them, then we are in a position to help. We leverage our years of experience as users and experts in diesel truck maintenance to provide premium services and advice.
Why not check out our blog or contact us to find out more.