Common Diesel Engine Problems


The economic sense of having a diesel engine has made it more appealing to vehicle and motorbike owners. Knowing how to maintain your diesel engine and identify common vehicle problems will give you the upper hand in caring for your machine, allowing it to serve you for a while longer.

Here are some things to look out for if you think your diesel engine might be having problems.

  1. Engine oil oxidation

If you leave your car for long periods without using it, air gets in the engine oil. This creates bubbles that affect lubrication, and in turn, damages the engine. Parking your vehicle for long periods in a humid area increases oxidation as well. The best way to deal with this is by changing the oil after the idle period and avoid parking in humid areas to avoid overhydration.

  1. Black exhaust

Black soot is not an issue but rather a sign of other underlying issues. If you have ever driven close to a diesel vehicle, you must have noticed that they emit much more smoke compared to other cars or trucks. However, if your diesel truck emits an excessive amount of black smoke, that’s an indication of a problem in the engine. Due to the excessive soot emission, you may be found guilty of ignoring the law, and you may be slapped with hefty fines. Excessive emission of black soot can be caused by a faulty turbocharger, fuel injector pump, or air filter. 

  1. Overheating

This is probably the most common diesel engine problem. The main cause of overheating is pushing the diesel engine too hard. It can lead to other issues, which include breaking of the cylinder heads, distorting cylinder heads, and damaging the crankshaft, among other problems. Transmission and engine problems may lead to an accident, and you may find yourself requiring the services of an experienced car accident attorney such as this one

Apart from pushing the engine too hard, overheating can also be as a result of interference with the cooling system. Possible causes include coolant leak, clogged diesel injector, damaged thermostat, or a faulty cooling fan. 

  1. Hard start

Fuel delivery problems and low compression are the main causes of a hard start, and this is experienced mostly during cold weather seasons. Diesel engines use air compression instead of the spark plug that’s used in petrol engines for combustion, which generally tends to take time to ignite. Get your diesel engine checked if the engine takes more time than usual for the engine to start.

  1. Power failure

A diesel engine is more susceptible to failure because it is a more powerful engine compared to petrol, with a compression ratio of 20:1 vis-a-vis 8:1 ratio, respectively. Some of the causes of loss of power are too little or excess lubrication, faulty oil injectors, and dirty oil filters.

You need to have a high maintenance capacity in order to enjoy the efficiency, power, and swift output of a diesel engine. 

Tips for maintaining your diesel engine

  • Change air filters regularly.        
  • Keep an eye on and care for the radiator.
  • Always check the engine fluid.
  • Change the fuel and oil filters periodically.
  • Keep the engine clean at all times.
  • Perform routine checks on a regular basis

As you have already figured out, keeping tabs on all that is happening to your diesel engine is essential. It guarantees you a safe and smooth trip. Fix or replace damaged engine components as soon as possible to keep the engine in top condition. 

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