Keeping up with the general maintenance of your diesel engine is so important to ensure your engine remains in optimal condition. It is less common for diesel engines to incur problems compared with gas engines, which means general maintenance won’t cost you anymore, saving you money over time in repairs and replacements. This guide on how to maintain a diesel engine contains a few handy tips alongside some simple steps you can take in order to make sure your engine is kept in a good condition.
1. Choose Your Fuel Wisely
When you’re filling up at a fuel station, be sure to choose the best quality fuel as possible and when you do buy fuel be sure to fill up as much as possible, instead of just a few litres.
This is because the lower quality the fuel, the more of an impact it will have on the fuel injectors. The injectors are expensive to replace and are often prone to damage. As there are four injectors in one car, replacements can easily inflate the overall cost of repair. The easiest way to tell if injector damage is present is from the exhaust fumes appearing either very white or very dark.
If you are experiencing noticeable problems with your diesel engine and are unsure what to do, read our previous post that covers common diesel engine problems and solutions, to gain a better understanding of what problems you may be having and how to solve them.
2. Let Your Car Cool Down
In order to keep your diesel engine in good shape, you need allow your turbocharger to cool down for at least 20 seconds after your journey; if you’ve been on a long journey then allow it to cool for as long as two minutes. Simply let the car run in neutral for the recommended times above once you have finished your journey.
Turbochargers can be quite pricey, depending on what car you have, so it’s in your best interest to keep yours in as good condition as possible. You’ll definitely be aware if it’s time for a replacement, with clear signs being whistling noises and clear loss of power and in some cases, exhaust fumes may appear a blue-tinted colour.
3. Take it Easy
In addition to letting the car cool down once you’ve been on the road, it’s important to make sure when you are driving that you keep your RPM (revolutions per minute) to a moderate level, not too high or too low. As well as damaging your turbocharger, ‘laying rubber’ can also lead to replacement of the dual mass flywheel, which is what protects the gearbox from vibrations. Unfortunately, replacement of the dual mass often leads to having to replace the clutch too.
4. Keep Your Filter Clean
Replacing your oil, fuel and air filters are a fundamental part of how to maintain a diesel engine. Specific filters have been incorporated into diesel cars in order to reduce emissions so when they are not cleaned properly, the ash can build up and therefore damage the filter. If the filter does get damaged then it can be quite a big fee to pay to get it repaired so it’s important they are properly maintained.
5. Take Extra Care in Winter
During winter, in particular, the above steps are essential for ensuring that your engine doesn’t become damaged. The tank needs to be full every time you leave the fuel station and it’s important you don’t leave your car out in the cold for too long without being driven, especially if there is a low amount of fuel in the tank. Make sure before winter comes that you replace the filter and check the condition of the engine, so that if any work does need doing its before the snow starts to fall.
Overall it’s very important to remember that every diesel engine is different with various factors to consider such as manufacturer, car type and age.
Contact us with your engine number if you are currently experiencing any diesel engine-related issues and our team of experts will be happy to assist you.
Foxwood Diesel is a national distributor of Cummins spares and engine parts, as well as Mercedes, Volvo, Perkins, DAF and all major diesel vehicle manufactures, with a wide range available for same-day dispatch. We have a dedicated team with over 70 years of experience between us, able to undertake highly effective reconditioning and rebuilding solutions. Please contact us to see if we can help you find the right part or solution.