Top 5 Diesel Engine Maintenance Tips

Sticking to a maintenance schedule can go a long way toward extending the life of your commercial vehicle’s diesel engine.

Find the Right Diesel Engine Fuel

Several factors determine which type of diesel fuel you should use, including:

  • Type of hauling application
  • Driving environment
  • Ambient temperature
  • Emissions regulations

Instead of adding a few gallons intermittently, top off your fuel level whenever you’re at the pump. Poor-quality diesel also causes excess wear on fuel injectors, so consult your engine manufacturer for fuel recommendations.

Check Filters

The primary and secondary diesel engine fuel filters catch debris and particles before they enter the engine. Dirty fuel filters reduce commercial vehicle performance and may eventually clog, preventing the engine from turning over. Replace both filters every 10,000-15,000 miles.

Inspect your air filters whenever you look at your engine. A clogged air filter prevents proper airflow to the engine, reducing fuel economy and acceleration. Air filters should be changed every few months or 10,000 miles.

Diesel particulate filters should be swapped every two years or 30,000 miles to manage emissions.

Oil and Fluid Changes

Your commercial vehicle’s diesel engine won’t run smoothly if there isn’t enough oil to lubricate the moving parts. Oil can become contaminated and acidic over time and needs to be changed every 5,000 miles or six months. Depending on the application and hauling conditions, your vehicle may require more frequent oil changes.

Checking your coolant level lowers the risk of overheating. It’s important to stick to a flushing schedule to ensure the coolant hasn’t turned acidic, which can damage the engine.

Keep the Engine Clean

Grime builds up over time and can cover cracks and leaks in the engine. Those issues may become more serious problems that require expensive repairs if they aren’t addressed immediately. Spray down your engine regularly to wash away chemicals and other debris that accelerate wear and tear.

Pop the hood and run the engine for a few minutes. Turn off the engine, and cover the alternator, power steering filter, air intake and any sensors to protect them from water damage. Apply an engine degreaser from the bottom to the top of the engine and let it soak for 5 minutes. Scrub the engine and rinse with a non-pressurized water hose or sprayer.

Save Time for a Cool Down

Your engine needs to idle in neutral to cool off after a drive or haul. That allows the turbochargers to dissipate built-up heat, preventing unnecessary damage. The longer the drive, the more time your commercial vehicle will need to idle.

Diesel Engine Preventative Maintenance in the Midwest

Bauer Built Tire & Service offers mechanical maintenance and repair services for commercial fleets. Find a Bauer Built location near you and schedule commercial service.

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