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Your Guide to Common Diesel Fuel Delivery Problems, and How to Fix Them

Did you know that there are approximately 7.4 million diesel cars on US roads, out of roughly 250 million vehicles? This figure might not sound like a lot in retrospect, but a good percentage of the world, including the US, still relies on diesel-powered vehicles. with so many advancements in electric vehicle technology, many people think that diesel is a dying technology.

The reality is that diesel is here to stay for many years to come. With that said, knowing your diesel fuel delivery system is crucial to ensuring your diesel vehicle is running smoothly. Read on below for some common fuel delivery problems and how to fix them.

No Throttle Response

The cylinders in your engine block need three components to run properly – air, spark, and fuel. If either component is languishing, you will have a problem. When you put your foot fully down to the floor and you get no response or power output, it is very likely that you have a component in the diesel fuel delivery system which is faulty. 

Unresponsive throttle isn’t that easy to diagnose so the best course of action is to take the vehicle to a diesel expert, who will test the entire system and be able to tell you exactly what the issue is. 

Can’t Start Your Vehicle

A diesel engine needs quite a bit of diesel and pressure to start the engine. If you have low pressure in your system, your vehicle will either struggle to start or not start at all. 

When your vehicle starts getting a little sluggish to start, you might want to be proactive and have your system checked and overalled if necessary. The fuel delivery system on a diesel engine will slowly deteriorate and you will be able to see signs that it is failing, long before it actually fails. 

By being proactive, you will find the root cause of the issue and ensure that you won’t have to spend more money on a costlier repair because you took too long to sort the original problem out.

Engine Light Comes On

Most diesel vehicles on the road today, are equipped with a variety of sensors that can detect that your fuel system has a problem. When the sensors detect a problem, the engine light on your dashboard will illuminate. 

Other sensors on other vehicle systems can be the cause of the engine light coming also. To diagnose the problem, the workshop that you take your vehicle to, will plug your vehicle into a computer program and be able to read which fault is active. 

Engine Stalling

Serious issues in your fuel delivery system can cause your vehicle to immediately stall. A sudden drop in pressure in the system is the culprit. If one or more components in the system have a problem, the pressure can drop suddenly and no fuel will enter the combustion chamber.

No fuel in the system will cause the engine to stop turning and stall. This can be a serious problem if you are driving on the open road as you have no power to get the vehicle to safety. 

A severe drop in fuel pressure should be immediately checked out by a professional, as your vehicle could be in need of a big repair.

Rough Idling

Sometimes the revs on your diesel may fluctuate but if the vehicle constantly does this then you should be worried. When your vehicle idles rough, it can mean that there is a problem with either your diesel pump or your injectors.

The diesel pump and injectors are responsible for regulating how much diesel gets injected into the cylinders. If too much or too little goes in, your vehicle won’t be able to keep its revolutions constant, while the vehicle is idling. 

The way to sort this problem out is to remove the faulty component and have it overhauled and recalibrated. Once this is done, your vehicle should be sorted.  

Removing either the injectors or the diesel pump isn’t too difficult of a task but overhauling them requires experience and specialized tooling. Putting the components back requires knowledge of engine timing and should rather be left up to the professionals. Get it wrong and you could potentially ruin your engine.

Reduced or No Power

Once again, if your engine isn’t getting the right amount of fuel delivery, but it is still enough to keep it running, you will either have a reduction in power or no power at all.

The symptoms become very clear when you try and ride up a steep hill and the vehicle doesn’t make it. Once again it could be a problem with the injectors or fuel pump. 

Another culprit could also be a problem with your engine management system or airflow. This type of problem can be tricky to diagnose correctly and a backyard mechanic should stay away from this repair as much as possible. 

Higher Fuel Consumption

A failing fuel pump can also add more diesel into the injectors thus increasing the pressure and more diesel will find its way into the engine. Usually, this will be accompanied by other symptoms like an unusual knocking noise in your engine that is referred to as a diesel knock. 

If you have no other symptoms but your fuel consumption has increased, then your diesel fuel pump might be on its way out. In this case, it is best to go to your nearest qualified workshop and have them run tests on the system. 

Protect Your Diesel Fuel Delivery System

For the functioning of your engine in a diesel vehicle, the most important components are involved with the diesel fuel delivery system. Your diesel pump, injectors, and all components involved should be properly maintained and the correct PPM of diesel used!

Are you looking to repair and maintain your diesel truck? Not sure who the true professionals are? Head on over to our diesel services page and see what our workshop can do for you today! 

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