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.