Simple upkeep tips for the modern diesel engine
THE STARTER - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - July 2, 2018 - 12:00am

Diesel technology has come a long way in the recent decade with the advent of the highly efficient common rail direct injection system matched with the latest turbocharger technology and the introduction of the low sulfur diesels and the biodiesels. All of these innovations are pushing the boundaries of the diesel engine in terms of getting more out of a liter while getting more than decent power.

Generally, these diesel engines are built to withstand the rigors of the modern road.  But while most of us are familiar with the maintenance sheet of the gasoline engine, the modern diesel engine has a set of different steps to keeping it running at peak performance.   Here are four distinct ones that you should follow:

1. Oil and filter change is vital

•This is the most vital maintenance item on a diesel engine. Diesel oil changes are critical – these engines are high heat running motors, thus, demanding on the efficacy of the lubricants.

Engine oil is the lifeblood of the engine.  Its life all depends on how often the vehicle is driven and to what conditions it is driven in. It is crucial to follow OEM recommended oil change intervals in order to keep your engine in tip top shape.

•While oil filter seems to be the only filter you should have to worry about, it's not! Diesel fuel filters need to be changed as well as air intake filters. These should be done at the manufacturer's specified time intervals.

2. Turbochargers  –  Turbochargers play a huge part in making the modern diesel run efficiently.   In order for you to get the maximum life and performance out of your induction system there are a few simple ways to make sure this part does not fail prematurely.

•First off always allow your vehicle to start up and idle for at least 30 seconds. Allow time for oil to circulate inside the engine.   The turbo is one of the major parts this oil needs to reach.

•Have your turbochargers serviced at around the average of 50,000 km.  Turbochargers work by utilizing exhaust gases and these parts operate at very high temperatures.  This constant heat makes these parts dirty with grime and sludge which will hamper lubrication. The only way to clean them is to have them serviced by a proper Turbo Specialist Shop.

3. Watch where you buy diesel

•Diesel is less refined compared to Gasoline.  Some diesel may have contaminants like water than can easily destroy your engine.  It is essential you get your diesel from a reputable brand as these companies do more to constantly maintain the quality of their diesel from formulation to storage.

4. Keep the engine cool

•Diesel Engines operate at high temperatures.  It is essential that you follow the manufacturer's guide in coolant specifications.  Tap water is bad for the engine as it contains minerals that will build up in the cooling jackets of the engine.  Putting the wrong coolant can also damage the engine as some of these contain corrosive chemicals that eat up the internal parts of your engine.

To summarize it, strictly follow the Preventive Maintenance Schedule especially the oil and filter changes.   Take note of the turbocharger and remember the start-up procedures.  Watch where you buy your diesel and make sure the coolant is up to spec.  These four tips will ensure that your modern diesel engine will be running healthy for a longer period of time.

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