There are many reasons why you should buy a diesel truck. In addition to representing better fuel economy, it releases fewer emissions, and maintenance checks are cheaper and less frequent than gasoline-powered vehicles.
However, the fact that these diesel engine maintenance checks are less frequent causes many drivers to lower their guard and fail to take proper care of their diesel engine.
If you want to give your diesel truck the correct preventive maintenance to last longer on the road, follow the following tips that International Trucks has for you.
Cleanliness is important
Since diesel engines tend to have a longer life than their gas counterparts, they benefit greatly when cleaning becomes more frequent. After all, when a truck travels longer distances and performs more challenging tasks, dirt and dust accumulate inside it.
When dirt builds up on your truck’s diesel engine components, its life is shortened, and even its fuel efficiency decreases. Additionally, if you work in really cold areas, your engine parts wear out faster due to contact with road pollution, intensifying rust, and corrosion.
Proper cleaning is an easy and essential way when learning how to care for your diesel engine. You should consult your cargo truck’s owner’s manual before you start cleaning. However, you will most likely need:
- A metal brush to help you get into the corners
- A damp sponge to clean the engine compartment
- A specialized degreaser to safely dissolve dirt
- As always, make sure the engine is excellent before starting and wear the necessary protective gear like goggles and gloves.
Some engine components may not be waterproof, so check your manual to see if a hose is safe to use. You can use plastic bags to protect water-sensitive parts during cleaning.
Check the air filter while you’re under the hood; take advantage and check the air filter. In most vehicles, including diesel vehicles, the air filter is under the hood inside a cold air collector box near the front of the engine compartment.
A dirty filter can do a lot of damage to your engine, forcing it to use more fuel to get the power and acceleration it depends on. In general, you should replace the air filter every 30,000 km or have it serviced if you notice a decrease in engine power or weaker acceleration.
Take care of the radiator. Your truck’s radiator will keep the engine cool by transferring heat to the air. But how does this cooling process work? First, the coolant travels through the engine, collecting heat. The hot coolant returns to the radiator, which helps dissipate heat into the air. This freshly cooled fluid then travels back to the engine for the cycle to start over.
Since diesel engines tend to run warmer than gas engines, their radiators are subject to higher temperatures, leading to overheating.
Overheating can warp engine components such as cylinders and gasket seals, which can eventually lead to complete (and potentially irreparable) engine failure.
Maintaining an adequate cooling system and periodically checking the condition of the refrigerant concentration is an excellent way to help prevent overheating of your diesel engine.
During a radiator change service, you will notice that:
- A specialized cleaning fluid is pumped through the cooling system and radiator.
- Rust and impurities are removed in the antifreeze.
- The system is completed with a new antifreeze to help cool more efficiently.
Many manufacturers suggest changing radiator fluid at different intervals, but it is always best to consult the recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Replace the fuel filters
Gas vehicles have only one fuel filter, but most diesel engines have two: a primary fuel filter between the gas tank and the machine and a secondary filter between the transfer pump and the fuel injectors.
Due to diesel’s less refined nature, the fuel tends to absorb more water from the condensation process in the tank, leading many manufacturers to build diesel engines with two fuel filters.
When there are water particles in diesel, some problems can happen to your engine:
- You may notice a decrease in potency.
- It could be stopped.
- Fuel injectors could degrade their performance in the long run.
That is why you should not wait for problems with your cargo truck. Instead, help avoid them with a thorough inspection and proper preventive maintenance services.