Answering Some Important Questions About Maintaining a Diesel Engine

Posted on: 13 June 2017


A diesel engine is usually chosen for trucks and other larger vehicles because these engines are strong and powerful and a good choice for towing trailers and other heavier weights. However, while diesel engines are very durable, they will still need regular repairs and maintenance over the years. Note a few tips and answers to some questions you might have about maintaining a diesel engine so you know yours will always be in good repair.

Is all diesel fuel alike?

Don't assume that all diesel fuel is equal; as with standard petrol, you can easily find poor-quality diesel fuel on sale at a local petrol station. If you fill the truck's tank with a certain brand of fuel, or fuel from a certain station, and the engine then begins to sputter or doesn't start easily, this can signal that you've gotten poor-quality fuel. That fuel may be full of contaminants or even be somewhat watered down. Let the engine run until the tank is empty and try another brand of fuel to see if this addresses the problem.

Is it true you can't tune a diesel engine?

Diesel engines don't need tune-ups like petrol engines, as a diesel doesn't have spark plugs that need changing. However, tuning a diesel engine can involve increasing the ignition timing for more compression and more power from the engine. You can also improve the fuel pressure; this can create more heat, which the engine uses for power. This type of work is somewhat involved and not something that most truck owners can do on their own, but if you need more power and better performance from your diesel engine, talk to your mechanic about tuning it.

Is water or other cooling necessary with a diesel engine?

While a diesel engine does use heat for energy and power, this doesn't mean you can or should allow the engine's temperature to go unchecked. Oil temperatures need to remain constant and at the manufacturer's recommended setting so that this fluid doesn't become too thick or too thin and can circulate easily in the engine.

A turbocharger or other modification, as well as towing heavier loads, can also cause the engine to create more heat than it can use for combustion, so its parts suffer wear and tear, just like a standard petrol engine. Always check the water or coolant levels of your diesel engine and ensure it stays as cool as needed for proper engine support.