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8 Common Engine Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for Diesel Trucks

Did you know that diesel engines go 25 to 30 percent further on a gallon of fuel than a gasoline engine can?

It is no surprise that diesel engines are the choice for tasks like long-haul trucking. To maintain that level of efficiency, it is important that you get regular engine maintenance. It is the best way to avoid making engine maintenance mistakes that cost you a pretty penny.

The money you’ll spend on engine maintenance costs pales in comparison to what wholesale repairs will cost you when your engine breaks down. This is why it is vital for you to provide proper care for diesel engines.

Continue reading to learn about eight common engine mistakes that you should avoid with your diesel engine.

1. Allowing Debris Buildup

One of the most important things for keeping an engine running strong for a long time is keeping it clean. Over time, an engine will develop a buildup of grease, grime, and other debris inside of the engine bay.

If this debris remains unchecked it will start leading to additional wear and tear on the components of your diesel engine. This is why it is important that you’re regularly checking on diesel engines.

The best maintenance to avoid debris build-up and costly repairs is by making sure that your engine’s fuel, oil, and air are all clean.

2. Not Changing Fuel Filter

Diesel is different from gasoline in that it needs to run through a clean fuel filter in the engine as a way to make sure that it’s clean. If it is a newer diesel engine then it likely has two clean fuel filters as a way to give your engine extra protection.

An important component of engine maintenance is to know how many miles you’re able to go before replacing engine filters in your diesel engine. The best approach if you have two fuel filters is to replace both of them at the same time.

Taking this approach ensures the cleanest fuel possible is delivered to your diesel engine.

3. Running Engine With Low Coolant

One of the most important fluids for a diesel engine is the coolant. It is crucial for your diesel engine that you check your coolant level on a regular basis. Coolant in diesel engines tends to become acidic over time.

Using coolant in your engine that has become acidic will lead to extra wear and tear on your engine’s components. A good rule of thumb for proper maintenance is to keep your coolant tank filled and remove coolant when it starts to become acidic.

4. Not Warming Up Engine

When you have a vehicle with a diesel engine it’s important to remember to warm the engine up before using it. Warming up the engine helps the engine components function at the highest levels. 

Driving your vehicle before the engine has time to warm leads to issues like warping that cause additional wear and tear to your diesel engine. Let your engine warm-up for three to five minutes before you begin driving.

5. Towing Too Much

Another thing to be careful of when using a vehicle with a diesel engine is avoiding towing more than your engine is capable of handling. While one of the biggest strengths of diesel engines is their ability to tow heavy loads, there is a limit.

By towing more than your engine can handle you’re putting severe levels of strain on the engine and its components. This strain impacts your vehicle’s stopping power which makes your vehicle dangerous to you and everyone around you.

In order to maintain your engine, it is highly recommended that you stay below the recommended maximum weight that your vehicle is rated for towing.

6. Not Changing the Air Filter

While the fuel filter is important for ensuring that your diesel engine receives clean fuel, the air filter also plays an important role. You need to check your air filter and change it regularly in order to avoid engine maintenance mistakes.

Air filters experience the same issue that fuel filters face. Over time and with lots of driving, the air filter begins getting clogged with dirt and debris. A clean air filter is vital for allowing your engine’s turbo, pistons, and valves to function at optimal levels.

If you need help with changing your diesel engine’s air filter there are many great diesel service technicians that are able to help.

7. Not Doing Routine Oil Replacement

It is a great idea to sit down with your diesel mechanic after you’ve purchased your new vehicle and set up a maintenance schedule. Following a maintenance schedule will help you avoid problems related to a lack of oil in your diesel engine.

Knowing how long your vehicle should go before it requires an oil change is an essential part of owning a vehicle. This is especially true when you’re using your diesel engine for duties like towing heavy loads.

Activities like towing large and heavy burdens use a lot more oil than normal, everyday driving. Be sure to get your oil replaced in your diesel engine on a consistent basis.

8. Not Monitoring Diesel Engine Performance

It sounds obvious, but monitoring your diesel engine’s performance is something that a lot of owners forget to do. It is the most telling thing for determining the health and maintenance of your diesel engine.

If you notice changes in the gas mileage or acceleration of your vehicle, those are signs that your vehicle needs diesel engine maintenance. Keep an eye out for performance issues, as these signs will save you from high engine maintenance costs and repairs.

Don’t Make These Engine Maintenance Mistakes

The last thing that you want to do after investing a lot of money in a vehicle is to damage it from engine maintenance mistakes. Diesel engines are built for and tasked with heavy-duty tasks, but they need regular maintenance to stay up to the task.

Regular engine maintenance will keep your vehicle performing at peak levels for years to come. Luckily, the kind professionals at Diesel Performance Specialist are here to help. Click here to schedule your diesel engine maintenance appointment today.

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