Maintaining a diesel engine can be tricky if you’re a first-timer. Learn a few simple steps to keep your diesel engine running as smoothly as possible.
1. Keep a Clean Air Filter
Generally, an air filter should be changed every 12,000 miles for optimal performance. Dirty air filters can cause your engine to “choke” meaning the engine will need to utilize more fuel to operate. Slow acceleration and decreases in engine power are signs that your air filter needs changing.
2. Change the Oil Regularly
Regular oil changes are needed for the basic maintenance of any engine, and diesel fuel systems are no exception to the rule. Oil changes should be performed at least every 5,000 miles, but may be needed more frequently for your specific diesel engine.
3. Perform Regular Coolant Checks
Coolant keeps engines from overheating, so this is one task you must ensure to complete at regular intervals. In addition to keeping coolant at the appropriate level, you must have it flushed and replaced at least once every 60,000 miles on a diesel engine.
4. Keep a Clean Engine
Keeping a clean engine is of the utmost importance when caring for a diesel engine of any sort. Diesel engines become especially dirty and grimy, so you must be sure to clean the engine frequently. A clean engine will enable you to more readily spot any oil leaks or other issues should they arise.
5. Maintain Your Radiator
Your engine’s radiator is responsible for sending coolant throughout the engine, so it is vital to ensuring the engine doesn’t overheat. Radiators are especially important for diesel engines because they run at higher temperatures than gas engines, making diesel engines more likely to overheat.
6. Properly Maintain Fluid Levels
Keep a careful watch on all of your diesel engine’s fluids. This includes oil, coolant and washer fluid. If you fail to maintain proper oil levels, your engine could seize up. Similarly, if you fail to maintain proper coolant levels, your engine could overheat. Running out of windshield washer fluid won’t be as catastrophic, but it will leave you squinting to see through a bug-splattered windshield.
Following a few basic maintenance steps for your diesel engine will enable you to get the most out of your vehicle. All engines require maintenance, and ensuring you follow the appropriate guidelines for your vehicle is your best bet for getting the mileage you need out of it.