The year 2020 saw a boost of 28% in diesel sales. As diesel trucks continue to grow in popularity, learning good diesel truck care has never been more essential.
Many drivers fail to realize that routine services for diesel engines have several notable differences from gasoline engines. Assuming they’re the same can be detrimental to your vehicle and shorten the lifespan of your engine.
In this article, we discuss some of the most important maintenance tasks for your diesel truck. These include brakes, transmission, undercar services, and more. Continue reading to ensure you get the most out of your diesel engine.
Keep an Eye on Oil
Routine services such as checking and replacing your diesel’s oil are essential parts of diesel truck care. This includes engine and transmission oil changes.
If you don’t schedule regular oil changes, you may experience reduced mechanical performance in your engine. This can also lead to reduced gas mileage.
In order to keep your engine and transmission running smoothly, you should keep track of your mileage. You should plan for an engine oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. You will need to change your transmission oil every 50,000 miles.
Check Your Glow Plugs
Where vehicles with gasoline engines rely on spark plugs, diesel’s use glow plugs. These glow plugs help the truck’s engine start by igniting a combination of air and fuel. They provide the necessary heat for the process.
Unlike spark plugs, glow plugs don’t have a specific service schedule. In fact, they only need to be replaced if they stop working. If your truck is having trouble starting, glow plugs will be one of the first checks during 4×4 services.
Minimize Idle Time
While some diesel drivers believe that their truck needs to idle, especially on colder days, this is a myth. Manufacturers recommend keeping idling to no more than 3 minutes before driving. They also suggest turning off the engine instead of allowing long idle times.
Idling results in an accumulation of carbon in the engine due to a temperature drop in the cylinder. This means that the fuel isn’t burning as it should. Allowing idling can result in up to double the amount of wear on your truck’s components.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid idling as much as possible. If you need to pull over or are stuck in traffic, try to turn your engine off instead. Turning off and restarting your engine are less harmful to your engine than idling.
Utilize Fuel Additives
Gasoline is a highly refined fuel source, meaning that it is less prone to contamination. Diesel is more prone to contamination because it’s not as refined as gasoline. This makes fuel additives an important part of diesel truck care.
Preventing the contamination from running through your engine can help with performance and longevity. The additives prevent the fuel from reaching the engine. You should add these fuel additives at least quarterly.
Keep Your Engine Warm
Keeping your engine warm is important for the various part and liquids inside of it. Cold weather can be a detriment to your engine’s performance. However, since idling is harmful to your truck, consider alternative heating methods.
One option is to invest in a block heater. These are electrical heating elements that are attached directly to the engine block. You can use these prior to starting your truck in colder climates or during cold weather.
Replace Brakes on Schedule
When seeking out 4×4 services or even undercar services, be sure to have your brakes checked. Keeping an eye out for signs of worn brakes can help you maintain safety as well as good diesel truck care.
Some common signs of worn brakes are reduced response by your brake pedal, screeching brakes, and vibrations when pressing the brake pedal.
Brake pads last approximately 50,000 miles and should be replaced at this point. However, there are factors that can lengthen or shorten this lifespan such as how frequently you use the brakes or how hard you press them.
Use the Right Parts
Whether you’re seeking electrical services or 4×4 services, using the right parts can contribute to the longevity of your diesel truck. While using cheaper parts from illegitimate sources may be tempting, it can have a negative impact.
Your best option is to seek professional care when it’s time for part repair or replacement. Companies that specialize in diesel truck care should use quality parts that keep your vehicle running at its best.
Change Air Filters
When a diesel truck’s air filter becomes too dirty, it can’t do its job properly. These filters create a barrier between contaminants and your vehicle’s engine. This can allow dirt and other debris into your engine’s inner components, causing damage.
Dirty filters can result in reduced power, greater pollution, and overall poorer performance. Your engine has to work harder to pull air into the engine, which causes it to wear down over time.
The best practice for your diesel engine air filter is to change it on a set schedule. Typically, every 30,000 miles or every three years is appropriate. However, you may need to replace it sooner if you travel on dusty roads or in heavy traffic.
Maintain Engine Coolant
As your engine coolant ages, it becomes increasingly acidic and can cause problems for your engine’s components. If you don’t routinely change your engine coolant, it can wear down your engine’s cooling system.
In order to keep your truck functioning as it should, you’ll need to drain the old coolant and flush the entire cooling system. This should be done every 30,000 miles or every two years. Extended-life coolant may last up to 100,000 miles or five years.
Start Practicing the Best Diesel Truck Care
If you want to maximize the lifespan of your truck, its engine, and its components, you need to practice good diesel truck care. Take note of your mileage and a guide as to when to seek routine 4×4 services, undercar services, and electrical services.
Schedule your next service on your website today.