Do Diesel Cars Need Different Care Than Gas?

Did you know that in the world vehicle market, 29% of vehicles are diesel-powered? With lower road tax and fewer emissions, diesel engines have grown in popularity, and sales of them don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. What kind of maintenance do diesel cars need compared to gas vehicles you may ask?

Well, check out this guide below to find out how to keep your diesel engine running smoothly through all weather conditions!

Difference In Engine Types

Spark plugs! That’s the difference between a diesel engine and a petrol engine. Although there are other differences that can be vast, with the correct knowledge, you can keep your diesel engine ticking along for years to come.

The main difference between the two is, of course, the type of fuel used but it goes further than that and a diesel engine uses high pressure to deliver the diesel into the engine to create combustion. Petrol engines use spark plugs to create a spark, it’s all about burning the fuel inside the combustion chamber.

Therefore, because of this difference in fuel delivery, the maintenance and care techniques used are different. These few tips below are what is advisable to regularly maintain your diesel engine.

Oil Change Intervals

The intervals between changing engine oil on the two types of vehicles are different and you want to change the engine oil in diesel at fewer miles than petrol engines. On a diesel engine, you should change the oil every 5 000 miles or 6 months whichever comes first. 

If your diesel engine is working hard day in and day out, you might even want to lower the miles or hours between changing the oils. Engine oil is the single most important maintenance component that will ensure the longevity of your engine. The correct type and viscosity of oil should also be used. A simple bit of research will tell you what is the best grade of engine oil to use for your type of vehicle.

Air Filter Replacements

It’s no secret, diesel engines are built to take a pounding and are used in a variety of applications throughout the world and in the toughest conditions. Most manufacturers ensure that the air intake system is robust and can handle dust, mud, and snow. 

An air filter will filter out all those harmful airborne particles that if were sucked into the engine would destroy the engine. Changing or cleaning out your air filter regularly is therefore very important to keep your diesel engine healthy. 

Once again, if your engine is running in tough conditions, especially where there is lots of dust, then changing your air filter every 5 000 miles or 6 months is the way to go.

Diesel Cars Radiator

Most cooling on a diesel car’s engine is done by the way of the radiator. The radiator is filled with coolant and pumps this coolant throughout your engine. The coolant then passes through the radiator where it is cooled by the vehicle’s natural airflow and once again cycles through your engine.

If your radiator is blocked or damaged this cycle won’t happen efficiently and your diesel car’s engine will overheat. It is important to remove the radiator every 10 000 miles and have it flushed to prevent this from happening. At the same time, a new coolant can be added. 

Remember that tough working conditions, especially, mud and sand will block your radiator easily and you will have to flush your radiator and engine regularly.

Fuel Filter Replacement

Petrol engine vehicles mostly have one fuel filter, after the fuel pump before the fuel enters the engine. The best diesel cars go one further and have two. One after the diesel tank and one after the diesel pump before the injectors. 

A fuel filter removes any sediment in the diesel before it enters the fuel system. Because a diesel engine makes use of high pressure, any abnormalities on the diesel can cause premature wear to o-rings or seals in this closed system and without their removal, the system will slowly break down and leak. 

Diesel is less refined than petrol so tends to have more water that needs to be removed. The fuel filters remove both sediment and water. Changing your fuel filters at regular intervals will keep the diesel in the system clean and ensure no premature failures occur. 

Cleaning Your Engine

When you’re driving your vehicle, it will pick up all kinds of dirt and grime. It can get so bad that you can barely see your engine. This soot will make it difficult to notice any engine oil or water leaks. 

Properly cleaning your engine with a pressure washer and de-greaser will keep it clean and not get clogged up. If you live in an area with snowfall and frost, the salt used on the road will be picked up into the engine and cause it to rust. 

Clean Exhaust System

Exhaust systems on diesel engine cars need to be robust to get all carbon monoxide out of the engine as quickly as possible. Before those gases are removed they need to be cleaned for any contaminants and this is where your catalytic converter comes in. 

The Cat purifies these gases in a way and once expelled from the vehicle doesn’t cause as much harm to the environment. A cat, like any purification system, can get blocked and cause the engine to perform less, eventually causing premature wear. 

Keep on top of this and clean your cat out regularly with a diesel additive that can be added to your fuel and clean it from the inside. 

Diesel Engine Care Professionals

Taking care of diesel cars can be a time-consuming process. With so much to look out for, experience and know-how are important to keep your engine performing at its best.

Leave the maintenance and care up to the professionals. Here at we fix diesel trucks, we will take care of all your diesel needs. From repairs to services, we do it all. Contact us to find out more!

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