If you drive with a diesel engine, it may seem like it can withstand anything. However, there are a few common mistakes that people make that can do more damage than you might realize. Avoiding some of these mistakes can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. In this article, we’ll cover some of the biggest mistakes that can damage your engine and decrease its performance. Here are five things you should absolutely not do to your diesel engine! These tips can help guide you through the process of maintaining your diesel engine and avoiding costly errors.
Letting Your Fuel Get Too Low
One of the fundamental mistakes diesel engine owners often make is letting their fuel get too low. Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines rely heavily on the fuel within the tank to not only power the engine, but also to cool and lubricate the fuel pump.
When the fuel level gets too low, air can get into the fuel system, which can potentially damage the fuel pump due to overheating and insufficient lubrication. Furthermore, low fuel levels can stir up sediment from the bottom of the tank, causing clogged fuel filters and dirty injectors. To avoid these problems and keep your diesel engine running efficiently, it’s recommended to always keep your fuel tank at least a quarter full. You may need to spend a little extra time and money at the pumps, but it more than balances out with the cost and effort that goes into maintenance on an engine that regularly runs too low on fuel.
Putting Off Oil Changes
Another thing that you absolutely should not do to your diesel engine is put off getting your oil changed. Neglecting timely oil changes is another common mistake that can lead to serious damage to your diesel engine. Oil plays a crucial role in your engine by providing lubrication, reducing friction between moving parts, and helping to keep the engine cool. Over time, however, oil can lose its viscosity and effectiveness due to continuous exposure to high temperatures and accumulation of dirt particles.
This causes it to become thicker and less efficient at lubricating the engine parts, leading to increased wear and tear. Additionally, old oil can lead to the buildup of sludge that can clog the oil filter and engine’s passageways. To prevent these issues, it is crucial to change the engine oil and oil filter as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Regular oil changes not only extend the life span of your diesel engine but also ensure optimal performance.
Ignoring Filter Maintenance
Overlooking the maintenance of filters is a detrimental misstep for diesel engine owners. The air, oil, and fuel filters play pivotal roles in safeguarding the engine’s components from debris and contaminants. The air filter prevents dust and debris from entering the combustion chamber, while the oil filter traps particles that could cause wear and tear on the engine’s moving parts. The fuel filter, on the other hand, safeguards the engine from potential damage by trapping contaminants present in the fuel.
If these filters become clogged or too dirty, they can drastically impact the engine’s performance and fuel efficiency. A clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, leading to reduced power and increased fuel consumption. Similarly, excessively dirty oil and fuel filters can lead to poor lubrication, increased engine wear, and even engine failure in worst-case scenarios.
To help maintain and prolong the life span of your diesel engine, regular inspection and replacement of these filters is crucial. When in doubt, you can refer to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your diesel engine runs smoothly and efficiently.
Using the Wrong Fuel Additives
The use of inappropriate fuel additives is another misstep that diesel engine owners should avoid. Fuel additives are often used with the intent to enhance the performance and lifespan of the engine. They aim to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and clean the fuel system. However, not all additives are created equal.
Some products may not be suitable for your specific engine type and could, in fact, lead to more harm than good. The wrong additives can alter the fuel’s combustion characteristics, leading to engine knocking. They might also react negatively with the fuel or engine parts, causing corrosion or buildup of unwanted residues. It’s also worth noting that the use of unnecessary additives could lead to an overconcentration, which could potentially damage the fuel system components.
Therefore, it is essential that you use good judgment and select additives that are specifically designed for and compatible with your diesel engine. Always follow the usage instructions and avoid overuse. If in doubt, consult with a trusted mechanic or your vehicle manufacturer to confirm the suitability of a particular additive for your engine.
Disregarding Warning Lights
Ignoring the warning lights on your dashboard is a grave error for any vehicle owner, more so for those with diesel engines. Warning lights serve as a vehicle’s way of communicating potential issues that may impact the performance or safety of your engine. These can range from engine malfunctions and overheating to issues with your braking or electrical system.
Diesel engines, in particular, have a series of unique warning lights such as the glow plug indicator and diesel particulate filter warning. Ignoring these warnings can lead to serious engine damage and costly repairs. For instance, a glow plug warning light might indicate a malfunctioning pre-heating system, which could result in difficult starts, especially in cold weather. Similarly, a diesel particulate filter warning light could signify a clog in the filter, leading to reduced engine performance and increased exhaust emissions.
Naturally, it’s crucial to take any warning lights seriously. It’s a good idea to seek professional advice as soon as any unfamiliar or concerning warning light pops up on your dashboard to ensure the longevity and efficient performance of your diesel engine.
Don’t let your diesel engine troubles ruin your day. Seek expert help from ATL Diesel, your trusted partner in diesel engine repair and maintenance. Our experienced technicians use only the best in class parts, such as the Detroit 60 series rebuild kit, to ensure your engine performs at its peak. Our online store can help you use your engine’s serial number to ensure that you get the right parts that you need every time! Contact us today to schedule your engine service. Remember, regular maintenance and timely repairs can significantly extend the life of your diesel engine. Invest in quality, invest in ATL Diesel.