Diesel engines are the practical choice for heavy and light vehicles, from tractor trucks to regular sedans and trailers to family vans. They provide excellent gas mileage and often require less maintenance than other types of engines. However, they have their own specific set of problems, just like everything else.
The key to preserving a diesel engine is to address issues as early as possible. Here are the most common ones that every diesel vehicle owner should know.
Faulty glow plugs
If you have a model diesel engine kit, you will find it easier to identify a diesel engine’s most critical parts. That includes glow plugs responsible for creating the heat that pumps the engine’s pistols to move the vehicle. When your glow plugs are faulty, it can cause hard starting or even damage to your engine’s piston-cylinder valve.
The best way to avoid this problem is by installing high-quality glow plugs in your engine instead of cheaper ones prone to swelling and breakage.
Loss of power is one of the most common problems for diesel engine vehicles. Many possible culprits, such as fuel delivery issues, a loose throttle linkage, or dirty fuel filters. To diagnose the issue, check the fuel injector system and the main fuel filter. But if you’re not sure what to look for, it’s better to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.
Incorrect engine lubricants
Using incorrect engine lubricants on a diesel engine can lead to hard starting, loss of engine life, or worse, major safety hazards to the vehicle’s passengers. This is why it is essential to use the right type of oil depending on the humidity and weather. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations about what type of oil to use for different seasons of the year, and while you’re at it, get a mechanic’s professional opinion.
Emitting black smoke is more common among diesel vehicles. Apart from trailing a plume of black behind you (which can lead to a violation), you may also experience unpleasant smells inside the cab and have difficulty breathing.
An imbalanced air to fuel ratio is the typical cause of black exhaust, and this imbalance may be due to a bad air filter, injector, injector pump, or EGR valve. Get the problem sorted out right away to avoid being a nuisance on the road and having to pay hefty fines.
Diesel fuel has a higher susceptibility to contamination than gasoline because of its increased viscosity. Common contaminants include soot, glycol, water, debris, and even microbes. When these contaminants get into your fuel system, it can lead to costly engine problems that may even be impossible to repair in worst-case scenarios.
Avoid fuel contamination by ensuring your vehicle has no broken caps, seals, or gaskets. Moreover, check your fuel purity regularly if you plan to store your vehicle for long periods of time.
When lead-acid storage batteries malfunction or become damaged, your engine’s starter system can start to experience problems. If this is the issue for your vehicle, you may have to get your batteries either repaired or replaced.
Diesel engines are generally louder than other types of engines. However, if you start to notice inconsistencies in your vehicle’s noise, it could indicate a problem in your engine.
As with other types of engines, the root causes of weird noises are challenging to pinpoint. Take your car to a mechanic if you hear unusual noises coming from under the hood, especially if it’s a distinct knocking noise. A knocking noise can indicate faulty fuel injectors, compression issues, and failed bearings, among many others.
Excessive oil consumption
Diesel engines are known for their good fuel economy. Hence, when your car starts to use more fuel than usual, you could be looking at an engine issue.
An engine leak is the first thing you should look for. If that is not causing the problem, it may be due to your engine’s age, failed turbo seals, or faulty piston rings. Address this problem as soon as possible to avoid causing worse damage to your engine and prevent further waste of fuel.
Diesel engines are powerful, but that doesn’t make them immune to problems. Needless to say, these problems can lead to major and extremely costly repairs.
You can avoid these issues by keeping a lookout for them. On the first sign of a problem, take proactive measures to ensure that the problem doesn’t worsen and causes major engine failure.