Important Tips for Protecting and Maintaining a Diesel Engine

24 August 2016
 Categories: Automotive, Blog

A diesel engine is built to be rough and rugged, as people often choose a diesel engine for heavier vehicles or towing heavier loads. However, they're not indestructible, and while they don't need the standard tune-up you would get for a petrol engine, they do need regular maintenance. If you have a vehicle with a diesel engine, note a few tips for protecting it and maintaining it properly.

Never rev the engine

As your diesel engine warms up in the morning, you want to avoid revving the engine. A diesel engine converts heat to energy and running it cold means that it's working harder; revving the engine doesn't get it any warmer but just forces it to work harder while it's still cold. You're also simply wasting fuel when you do this. To let your diesel engine warm up, just let it idle for several minutes before driving it, and this will avoid that added wear and tear.

Change the glow plugs

A diesel engine doesn't work with spark plugs, so it doesn't need to have these changed as you would need to do with a standard petrol engine, but diesel engines usually have glow plugs. These are tiny plugs that create a small bit of heat that is used by the diesel engine to start on cold days. As said above, running cold means added wear and tear on the engine and if the glow plugs fail, your engine works harder to start without that heat. Note the expected lifespan of the glow plugs or plug in your vehicle and when they should be changed, and be sure you do that before they fail so that you protect your engine.

Keep the fuel tank full

Moisture in a diesel engine can dilute the fuel and also make the engine cooler than it should be, so it's working harder to operate. It's good to keep the fuel tank as full as possible so that you don't allow condensation to build up in the tank. This can allow that moisture to make its way to the engine. This moisture can also be caught in the fuel filters so they don't work as effectively as they should. A fuel tank may also have a breather vent to allow moisture to escape, and you need to ensure this vent is operational and clean. Your owner's manual can tell you when the vents should be checked and cleaned so that condensation doesn't build up in the engine or fuel lines.