Service your Diesel – What to know about Diesel Trucks and Proper Maintenance!
As in all vehicles, consistent maintenance is the best insurance in keeping your Diesel truck running smoothly and reliably. However, Diesel engines have some special needs and considerations.
Diesel engines ignite their fuel (diesel) differently than gasoline engines and start and run with very high compression (as opposed to starting with a spark, as in a gas engine). Having the fuel filters changed on a regular basis is very important. Fuel filters not only filter out particles, sediment, and contaminants in generally “dirty” diesel fuel, they also have water separators on or near the fuel filter that separates water from the fuel. Most diesel trucks these days actually have two filters – a coarse one and a finer filter. The purpose of a diesel fuel filter is to ensure that fuel is clean before it gets to the injectors, thereby protecting the injectors by reducing premature wear and subsequent malfunctions.
Diesel fuel is naturally hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air or the storage tank at the gas station. Since modern diesel fuel injection systems are built with extremely tight tolerances and high pressures, any moisture in the fuel acts like a cutting torch and can destroy the injectors. Water separators which filter out the water save your engine from damage to the injectors and fuel pumps, which are expensive to replace.
What are signs that your diesel truck needs attention?
- Rough idle
- Engine sputtering or missing during acceleration
- Low power
- White smoke while running
- Difficulty starting your truck
- Poor fuel mileage
All could be signs of a clogged fuel filter, faulty glow plugs, injector(s) malfunctions, or other engine problems. Your truck should start and run smoothly. If you are experiencing any problems mentioned above, on of our experienced Diesel Technicians can pinpoint the problem, often preventing more complex and expensive repairs down the road.
So, how often should you service your Diesel truck? Older trucks should have their fuel filters changed every 10,000 miles, while newer trucks with dual fuel filters can go 15-20,000 miles between services. Remember, frequent oil changes and fuel filter changes are your best insurance against expensive repairs and will keep your truck running reliably.
If you are in the market for a used Diesel truck, be sure and have the truck you are considering buying inspected prior to purchase. We will provide you with a complete written report on the truck including maintenance or repairs that will be required soon, and information regarding whether maintenance has been done consistently over the years. Be an informed consumer and knowledgeable about the condition of the truck – you will then be able to negotiate an equitable price for the truck you are considering!