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Avoid common mistakes with diesel engines

Date:20-09-2021 | By: Redlines Diesel

Diesel is a relatively cheaper option compared to other fuels. Diesel engines are therefore more economical and also give you better mileage for your vehicles at the same time. But that does not mean that diesel engines are invincible as they have their share of problems. Proper maintenance is more vital for diesel engines otherwise, they can develop several problems, both internal and external. If you are unfamiliar with diesel engines chances are that you may not know what to do when you start experiencing problems with your vehicle. This article will shed some light on common diesel engine problems and how to avoid common mistakes with diesel engines.

What is the main problem with diesel engines?

The main problem faced by diesel engines is the relentless overheating which occurs due to pushing the engine too hard. Overheating can lead to other problems including distorting, swelling, or breaking of cylinder heads, expansion of pistons, damage to crankshaft and bearings, and many other issues which reduce the life of the vehicle. Pressing the engine too hard is one of the many causes of overheating. Interfering with the working of the cooling system of the diesel engines to cause overheating include:

The coolant being leaked – The prime role of the coolant is to prevent overheating. Thus leakage of the coolant is easily the biggest cause of overheating.  Unlike other causes, coolant leakage is pretty easy to notice. Low coolant levels clubbed with excess bubbles than normal are sure shot signs of leaking coolant., and as a result, The gasket won't seal the coolant normally when excess heat causes the engine cylinder head to expand. Once this happens, it can only be fixed or replaced completely by a trained professional.

Faulty cooling fan – Cooling fans need to be in perfect condition since a damaged cooling fan can cause the engine to overheat quickly. Electrical problems are the leading cause of faulty cooling fans.

Clogged diesel injectors – Fresh fuel has to be supplied in designated quantities periodically for proper functioning. The engine has to work much harder if the injection system can’t release fuel as it should. This inevitably leads to overheating. Leaks and clogs in your diesel injector can result in the malfunction of the fuel injection system.

Damaged thermostat – The thermostat is like a valve that opens and shuts with changing temperature. Until a certain threshold temperature is reached, the thermostat isolates the engine from the radiator. If the thermostat gets damaged, it can’t sense when the engine is overheating as the radiator won't do its job of initiating cooling responses 

5 common mistakes to avoid with diesel engines

Many vehicle owners take their vehicles for granted and put off timely maintenance if they have not reached the recommended miles. The fact that the diesel engine produces more wear and tear, they require much more care and attention than petrol cars. Here are the 5 most common mistakes to avoid with diesel engines.

1. Not Changing the Filters
For your engine to perform well, both fuel and air filters have to be changed periodically. Fuel filters are usually replaced every 10,000 miles more or less, whereas air filters can be visually inspected without removal to determine whether they need to be replaced. The engine will become dirty and filled with debris if the air filters aren't changed. 

2. Oil Sludge
The engine oil ensures frictionless movement of the moving parts of the engine and when they are not changed in time, black oil sludge develops. The oil accumulates in critical areas after it forms into a thick, sticky sludge. Even if you add fresh new oil without taking care of the sludge, it can often block the proper flow of oil to various parts that need it, thereby causing the engine parts to overheat and severe damage over time. The single best thing you can do to avoid this sludge formation is to change your oil at the recommended intervals. If you approach experienced professionals, they can dissolve harmful sludge by using an engine flush treatment during oil changes. This enables the oil sludge to be removed and increases the engine life.

3. Lack Of Fluid
Lack of fluids can destroy an engine very quickly. While it won’t damage your engine as soon as it does when overheating, it will ruin your engine much faster than corrosion or sludge does since the damage is acute and catastrophic.

The fluids you must take care of include:

Motor Oil and Coolant - Both are equally important. Forgetting to check the levels of either can cause unwanted engine problems. Check your oil every time you fill up your tank and the coolant once a week and.

Clutch Fluid - The transmission is going to shift hard and you’re going to be mashing gears if your clutch fluid level is low. It is recommended to check the level once every month.

Steering Fluid- You will eventually destroy the steering pump if you continue to drive your vehicle without an adequate amount of steering fluid. Just like clutch fluid, it is recommended to check the level once every month.
Brake Fluid - By ignoring to maintain proper brake fluid, you’re unnecessarily putting yourself at risk. Check your brake fluid levels every month.

4. Trying to cold start 
Cold starts cause a lot of damage to your car. Ranging from the starter to the battery to your pistons to your alternator to your cylinder rods and heads.

If you reside in a place that has excruciating temperatures during the winter, consider getting an engine heater as they are easy to connect to your radiator and relatively cheap. Not only are they highly convenient, but they will also reduce the engine damage caused due to cold starts.

5. Poor Maintenance 
In general, poor maintenance of your vehicle will damage your vehicle as it includes almost everything we have discussed so far. Low fluid levels along with a spark plug that fires poorly, in addition to low tire air pressure levels and a timing belt that is off is a nightmare for any vehicle, whether petrol or diesel.  Throw in over-revving the engine and some bad shocks along bumpy roads, and low-grade adulterated fuel will surely take years off the life of your expensive vehicle if not properly maintained.

Diesel Engines are slowly being replaced by engines with alternate fuel due to the added work needed to properly maintain them. However, they have been a loyal companion to many across the world who know how to treat the vehicle properly. So are you one of them?

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