Diesel engines are workhorses that are durable and powerful when treated properly. Whether used in a commercial truck, personal passenger vehicle or farm tractor, there are five important tips for maintaining your diesel engine.
Change the Oil
The engine requires proper lubrication to keep all of the parts moving and reduce wear and tear. Oil becomes dirty and begins to break down over use and time, so engine oil should be changed regularly based on the type of vehicle and manufacturer’s specifications.
Clean the Engine
Farm vehicles that are powered by diesel engines are especially likely to accumulate dirt and grime from continued use, but road dirt and debris can build up on other vehicles over time as well. Start by manually removing visible debris or try using degreasers for more severe buildup. Water and cleansers may not be safe for everything under the hood, however, so take care to cover anything that shouldn’t get wet. Check your owners’ manual or a trusted mechanic for more advice.
Check the Coolant
Clean, freely-circulating coolant keeps your engine from overheating, so make sure coolant filtration systems are in tip-top shape for optimal mechanical operation. Always check that fluid levels and appearance are consistent with manufacturers’ recommendations and add or change coolant accordingly.
Change Fuel Filters
Especially in modern systems, fuel free from most impurities is required to maintain optimal heat and pressure within the engine. Without proper filtration, contaminants can build up and create costly repairs, so replace filters regularly. Larger engines may have more than one fuel filter, so always change both at the same time.
Replace Air Filters
Diesel and gasoline engines alike need fresh air to create the combustion that drives the engine. Change air filters that are dirty or obstructed, always taking the added precaution in diesel-powered vehicles of shutting off the engine before replacing the air filter.
A diesel engine will treat you as well as you treat it. Taking the proper steps to maintain it now will allow you to reap the benefits for years to come.