There are a number of reasons to go with a diesel engine for your truck. While only one in ten trucks sold in the United States has one, they have amazing gas mileage. One tank of fuel can go between 400 and 800 miles. This is an mpg of 45 on the highway. If you have one, you probably want to keep it running well, you will be happy to hear that there are. From keeping your diesel lift pump to checking the air filters, there are things you can do for your engine.
- Keep an eye on the gaskets. Your diesel engine gaskets need some care and feeling in order for the engine to run properly. These are prone to damage from vibration. You should make it a point to keep the mounting bolts tight as ignoring this can be the cause of leaks. If you do have a gasket that is leaking, you should just replace all of them. When one is leaking, it means the others are about to start.
- Keep an eye on your air filters. It is important to check your air filters on a regular basis and change them as you need to. The good news is that if you are used to changing air filters in a gas engine, you should have no problem changing a diesel one. There are differences you should know about, however. Diesel air filters are most often found in the cold air collector. Another big difference between diesel air filters and the ones in a gas engine is that the entire engine needs to be shut down before you change out the filters. The powerful air intake system in a diesel engine can pull in just about anything around it. Shut it all down to be safe. Remember, it is a lot less expensive to replace an air filter than a diesel engine so do not skip this step.
- Keep an eye on your diesel fuel filters. In most heavy-duty engine setups there are two separate diesel fuel filters. Your primary filter can be found in between the engine itself and the fuel tank. Your second filter lives closer to the engine. This is responsible for cleaning the fuel before it is able to reach the fuel injectors and diesel lift pump. Again, the process to change out fuel filters in a diesel engine is similar to the one used in gas engines but it is always advisable to check your owner’s manual.
- Keep an eye on the fuel system. Diesel fuel systems need to be primed and bled from time to time. The fuel lines have to be properly bled of any air bubbles before you even think about changing the fuel filters. The fuel lines need to be clear. This can be done by using the manual primer pump. You can also check the diesel fuel pump. You will know when you have all of the air out of the system when the air-bleed screw stops hissing. Also, keep an eye on your diesel lift pumps at the same time.
- Keep an eye on the water separator. It is common for diesel engines to have a water separator. This is important for getting any water that has condensed out of the fuel itself. This happens all of the time. This lives oftentimes around the primary fuel filter. This can be drained manually by using the petcock valve. If you always keep the fuel tank at near full, you will prevent water from condensing in the first place.
- Get your truck ready for the colder months. If you live in a region with a real winter you will need to help it perform at its best. Cold weather can wreak havoc on a diesel engine. By adding an electric heater to your diesel engine, you can help it work better in very cold conditions. Adding starting fluid (only a tiny bit) to the combustion chamber can also help.
Owning a truck with a diesel engine can be a great value. When you pay attention to your diesel lift pump, filters, and other basic parts of the system you will keep it happy.