Did you know that the inventor of the diesel engine had initially intended to make the engine run off of coal dust? He also experimented with vegetable oil. The first diesel engine made its first successful drive in 1930. Today diesel engines are in everything from vehicles to heavy equipment. These rugged and durable engines are perfect for long term operation and abuse. But to ensure your engine lasts, you need to practice proper diesel engine maintenance.
Follow these tips to ensure your engine runs at peak performance.
1. Change the Oil
Just like a gasoline engine, the oil in a diesel engine needs changing. Check the engine’s owner’s manual to know what the recommended interval for changing is. Keep in mind that this time period can vary depending on how you use your diesel engine.
Engines that are used hard and put under a large amount of stress should have their oil changed more often.
2. Keep an Eye on the Coolant
The coolant in a diesel engine will become more acidic as time goes by. If you leave it like this, it will eventually rot and corrode the other parts away.
Create a schedule to check the coolant acid levels regularly. When it’s time, replace the coolant. This will prevent rotting and keep engine operating temperatures down.
3. Change the Fuel Filter
Gas engines typically have a single fuel filter, while diesel engines have two. You’ll find the primary filter between the gas tank and the engine. The secondary fuel filter is between the transfer pump and the fuel injectors.
Diesel fuel is less refined than gasoline, so it tends to pick up more contaminants like water. The two filters help prevent the extra contaminants from damaging the engine.
Your owner’s manual will tell you how often the manufacturer recommends you change the fuel filter.
4. Clean the Air Filter
Look for a rectangular-shaped box that houses the air filter. It’s usually located near the front of the engine. The air filter cleans the air that enters the combustion chamber.
You need a clean filter that can effectively clean the air flowing through it. A dirty air filter will slow down the flow of air, which means not enough will enter the chamber. This will choke the engine and cause it to use more fuel than necessary to power your truck.
Use an air filter cleaner on yours to remove the dust, dirt, and debris.
Perform These Diesel Engine Maintenance Tips
By following these tips, you can ensure your diesel engine stays clean and runs smoothly. Diesel engine maintenance is the key to extending the life of your engine.
Create a schedule and reminders to ensure you don’t forget to perform these tasks. This is especially important if your diesel engine powers equipment where it’s tougher to track usage.
Many of these same maintenance tips can also be applied
to the diesel engine on your boat. A Viking 46 Billfish, for example,
has twin Cummins 715 hp diesel engines that can propel the vessel to
speeds over 35 miles per hour. The oil should be changed out for every
50 hours or so put on the engines.
Check out the trucks section of our blog for more helpful articles to keep your diesel running smoothly.