Whether you choose to buy a vehicle with a diesel engine for personal use or for business, proper maintenance can increase its overall lifespan. Because these engines are built specifically for heavy-duty work, such as towing and hauling, they may require more attention than non-diesel vehicles. Learning to spot the signs of trouble in your personal or commercial truck engine may prevent breakdown or costly future repairs.
1. Humidity Knocking
If you drive your truck in areas with a humid climate, you may want to avoid allowing the engine to idle or sit in the rain for more than a few days. Water can have a detrimental effect on diesel-fueled vehicles when the engine’s lubricants become watered down by condensation or rainwater, When too much water enters the engine, this may result in repeated knocking during an idle or after engine shutdown. Keeping your truck covered on rainy days or parking under a carport may prevent this issue.
2. Fuel Injector Problems
When your vehicle is in motion, the diesel fuel moves within the tank and may create air bubbles that enter the fuel injection system. Over time, your vehicle may not accelerate as it should or damage the fuel injectors. Upgrading your diesel engine with an Airdog fuel hose can keep impurities out of your system and may extend the life of your fuel injection system.
3. Black or Foul Exhaust
While diesel-fueled trucks tend to create thick or acrid exhaust fumes, black or foul-smelling fumes may indicate an issue with clogged fuel injectors, an elderly air filter or an uneven air-to-fuel ratio. Because some states have stringent air quality and exhaust noise laws, you may want to look into this issue or risk an expensive fine.
4. Slow or Difficult Starting
Diesel engines are typically larger than those found in gas-powered vehicles and may require a bit more cranking before they catch. However, if you notice that your truck is slow to start or does not start on the initial turn of the key, you may have an issue with fuel delivery. An injector may be clogged or no longer working, or the fuel injectors may require cleaning. Arranging a twice-yearly cleaning of this system may help prevent slow starting and avoid fuel wasting.
Diesel-powered vehicles can be an asset to your family farm, towing or construction service. Understanding what a diesel engine requires to operate properly may allow you to catch problems early on and avoid repair bills that could have a serious impact on your budget.