7 Tips to Keep Your Diesel Engine Running in Tip-Top Shape

Maintaining your diesel engine is different from maintaining the engine in a gas-powered vehicle. Unlike gas engines, diesel engines don’t have electrical ignition parts like plugs and wires, or moving parts like distributor rotors that can wear down. Because of this, diesel engines are overall less costly to maintain.

They do, however, require regular maintenance, mostly in the form of frequent oil and filter changes. Getting lazy with oil changes can prematurely age a gas engine but it can kill a diesel engine. Filter changes are just as important. Dirty fuel can clog a diesel’s fuel injection system so it’s important to have the filters changed regularly.

Here are our 7 tips to keep your diesel engine running in tip-top shape:

1.       As mentioned, get frequent oil and filter changes. Check your vehicle’s manual for frequency suggestions but most diesel drivers agree on somewhere between every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on how you use your vehicle.

2.       Make sure the oil filters you use meet or exceed the OEM filter recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

3.       Whenever you stop at the pump for fuel try to add a bottle of diesel treatment. This helps keep impurities in the fuel from reaching your engine.

4.       Your truck is only as strong as its weakest link so make sure you invest in good diesel performance parts.

5.       Avoid idling for long periods of time.

6.       Have the engine’s water separator drained.  The water separator collects water from the fuel and is usually located near the fuel filter. If your diesel vehicle doesn’t have one, you can have one installed and save money on potential repairs. Airdog and FASS are two great manufacturers of Water/Fuel Separators.

7.       Gaskets are exposed to extreme operating conditions so make sure to check in on them. If you find a leaky gasket, replace as a set. Usually if one is leaky, the others aren’t far behind.

Follow the above 7 tips to not only aid in the performance of your diesel vehicle, but also to improve its longevity.

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19 Responses to 7 Tips to Keep Your Diesel Engine Running in Tip-Top Shape

  1. Diesel Racing Kits says:

    I agree with the gaskets. It is imperative to change everything even if you notice that just one is leaking. Like the article said, it is most likely that the other will soon leak as well.

  2. Quiana says:

    Way to go on this article, it helped me a ton.

  3. Senthil kumaar says:

    I learned a lot from this site this is very useful to me.

  4. Diesel Man says:

    Hi there!

    Thanks for the post “7 Tips to Keep Your Diesel Engine Running in Tip-Top Shape”. I found it very helpful and expect other will find it useful too.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  5. Tony Williams says:

    I have just purchased my first used diesel truck. Your tips will be very helpful to me. Thanks!

  6. wade burkhead says:

    I OWN A 2005 F-250 SUPER DUTY FORD 6.0 I REPLACED STOCK EXHAUST TO 4 INCH EXHAUST PIPE KEPT THE MUFFLER AND INSTALLED A COLD AIR INTAKE.I ALWAYS CHANGE OIL AT 3500 TO 4500 MILES AND OIL FILTER ALWAYS. THE AIR FILTER IS CLEANED EACH TIME. STILL HAVE GREAT POWER AND NO SMOKE. I RUN A FUEL ADDITIVE ALSO AND CURRENTLY HAVE 182640 MILES ON THE TRUCK. I WOULD PUT THIS 6.0 AGAINST ANY MOTOR OF SAME SIZE NO MATTER THE MAKE. THANKS FORD!

  7. Brian Buckley says:

    Quick question, if I am using performance oil like Royal Purple or Schaeffer’s, can I extend the life of oil changes?

  8. LYDIA says:

    I have had my 2011 Silverado 2500 Duramax diesel for ~ 6 weeks and I love it. I bought it to haul my trailer (a fifth wheel) and right now I am getting ~ 15 mpg, not hauling. This article is just what I needed, besides my owner’s manual, to help me maintain the truck in tip top condition. Thank you so much!

  9. Joseph Rossyion says:

    I never had a diesel before I want one but not sure if it’s for me can I get some feed back on should I get gas are diesel I also pull a bumper pull horse trailer

    • Diesel is the best option for anyone towing. A diesel engine is designed to do work and most people see significant fuel savings running a diesel vs a gasoline truck. Gasoline engines are not quite as efficient when towing plus diesel has 15% more energy per gallon of fuel. That is one of the reasons diesel is more expensive, it is a heavier fuel and costs a bit more to move truck around.

  10. Aaron says:

    I just bought my first diesel truck. It is a 95 gmc 1500 with 96,xxx miles. As far as im concerned it runs perfectly but i dont know anything about diesel engines or proper maitenance. These tips helped a lot but im curious as to what “tune ups” i should get done to make sure it is running at its best. Thanks

  11. Roger says:

    This is great tips. I’m picking up my 2006 Ford F250 Lariat diesel. This will be my first diesel truck.

  12. Daren says:

    This information has helped a lot towards my gas vs diesel dilemma. A friend claims there are different types of diesel fuel and I should get a truck that is a 2005 or earlier because that diesel fuel is easier to find. Any truth to this? I’m looking to buy a truck to haul a camper across the US and Canada. I’m currentlylooking at a 2005 F350 6.0
    Thanks

  13. Nick says:

    Planning on buying my first diesel the day after tomorrow! 1991 F-250 International 7.3! This is my first exposure to diesels. We pull horses all the time and I’ll be using it as a plow truck as well. All of the above is what persuaded me to go the diesel route. Any advice for checking this truck out? It’s got 70k miles on it, a little rusty (in Michigan), but sounds great. Could use a few words of wisdom for my first look at it though.

  14. Sahil says:

    This artical is amazing I dont drive a truck but i drive a hachback with 1400cc diesal engine its only done 30000 km i drive it very carefully keep cheking things what i find might be incorect . change my oils and filters on time clean the air filter my self when i get time or after a long drive. every thing is perfect but sometime i feel my engine gives me a lot of Knoking sound . and i dont know why . even i dont know is it good or bad . please help .

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