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What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

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civic minded
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What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby civic minded » March 26th, 2012, 6:15 pm

I have noticed a good bit of post in this forum of problems that people are experiencing with their Diesel Vehicles. Most of them are lack of proper maintenance. Servicing your Diesel van not only includes changing oil filters and air filters but bleeding your fuel separators , check your gaskets and hoses, regular greasing. Cooling is very important as well.

Taking your van to regular mechanics will do more harm than good. These mechanics are familar with regular petrol cars and not with the different design of Diesel. Thats why its so important to take it to experts if you not sure what to do.

Here is an excerpt i pulled from a website( http://www.automotivetroubleshootingsec ... enance.htm ),

feel free to add below;

Top ten basic diesel engine maintenance secrets

With the rising cost of gasoline, a lot of drivers are contemplating switching to diesel engines for fuel economy. What is the basic maintenance required for diesel engines?




When you need an engine with steady torque and pulling power without sacrificing fuel economy, diesel engine is the preferred choice. It has a fuel efficiency of roughly 40% more than gas engines and as such, a good source of reliable power. However, the engine is massive and heavy to offset the stress of high compression which makes this engine a bit pricey compared to gasoline engines.

When it comes to maintenance how do diesel engine compare? Shown are some important highlights below.

1.) Unlike the gas engines, diesel engine has no electrical ignition parts like plugs, wires and moving part like distributor rotor which is subject to wear. These parts have a limited life and have to be changed on regular basis. Because of this, this is one chore we don’t have to worry about.

2.) Diesel engines run at higher compression pressure than gasoline engines. Where the highest compression for most high performance gasoline engines is close to 200 psi, diesel runs almost 3 times that pressure. As a consequence, more heat is generated putting extra demands on the engine cooling system. Study shows diesel engines usually fail 50% more on cooling related problems because it cannot stand prolong overheating. This is why the cooling system is a high maintenance issue.

Tips on basic diesel engine maintenance:

Do you notice that when your gas engine overheats, you can stop it and rest the engine for a few minutes? Later you can re-start and the engine will be fine. If similar situation happens with your diesel engine, the engine is almost always damaged beyond repair.

On some diesel engines, the cooling system uses a coolant filter to control the acidity (or ph value) of the coolant. This filter ensures that the cylinder block does not have a build up of corrosive particles inside.

3.) Gaskets on diesel on engines must be monitored closely since they are exposed to extreme operating conditions. If possible, all mounting bolts must be re-torque at regular intervals to prevent leaks especially in the combustion mounting areas. This is also true for coolant hoses which can deteriorate quickly if not secured properly. A lot of this is also caused by engine vibrations which is common on diesel engines. Always replace a leaky gasket as a set. If one starts to leak, the rest is not far behind.

4.) Since diesel engines use a lot of air, greater attention is paid to the engine air filtration. A common practice among truckers is to install a tell tale plastic indicator on the side of the air filter housing. The indicator changes color as soon as the engine filter element becomes dirty. Cooling this air is also critical especially if the engine is turbocharged. On some high end diesel engines they are fitted with after coolers to cool the air from turbo charger.


5.) The oil filter selection is very important on diesel engines because of the bad elements of sulfur residue and carbon created when fuel is not burn completely. The filter used must meet or exceed the OEM filter recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. This will ensure that all corrosive particles are removed from the oil. Using synthetic oil will also help because the additives in the oil will resist premature breakdown.

6.) Since the cooling system is critical on diesel engines, it is important that an early warning system should be in placed. Located in the dash panel, the early warning device must be easily seen and heard. If the engine has already overheated and it was not caught on time, the engine could be damaged. Most trucks have this feature in their dash and must be checked regularly to see if early warning system works.

7.) The fuel system maintenance is handled in various ways. Always keep the fuel tank full to prevent condensation from building inside the tank which can end up in the fuel injectors. This also requires changing the fuel filters as recommended to prevent moisture build up. Some diesel engines use 2 types of fuel filters to control the presence of moisture in the engine. Some fuel tanks are also design with one way breather vents for the moisture to escape. This vent should be checked occasionally if there is a suspicion that it is restricted.

8.) Diesel engine has very little carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas common to gasoline engines. However, it produces a lot of black soot which is the result of incomplete combustion. Most of this is caused by dirty injectors and faulty injection timing that inject too much fuel. To ward this off, glow plugs are use to heat the combustion chamber to assist in burning the fuel. These glow plugs must be checked especially before winter season.

9.) During winter, diesel engines are normally hard to start and the best way to remedy this is to install an electrical heater to the cylinder block. Another way is to install a heater element in series with the heater hose. In extreme cases of hard starting, a starting fluid is sprayed on combustion chamber but use it sparingly to prevent scoring the cylinder walls at higher rpm.

10.) To prevent engine cylinder block scoring, avoid prolong idle of your diesel engines. A very common habit among drivers especially in winter... diesel engines are made to idle for long hours to keep the cab warm. When diesel engines are run longer in cold temperatures, insufficient lubrication to the piston wall is the result which might lead to piston scoring. It is better off shutting it down and having it plugged in to a coolant heater which is a common practice used for gasoline vehicles in Canada.

With the cost of fuel rising with no end in sight, diesel engine is a good alternative to gasoline engines that must be considered. Knowing the basic diesel engine maintenance is essential if you want to save money in vehicle operation and cost.


Here is another good read;
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/b ... nance.html

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby civic minded » March 26th, 2012, 10:46 pm

I know that there are other post here that basically says the same as what stated above - but i don't think the general members actually knows what goes on in a diesel engine. And how key it is for regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs.

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby lighthammer » March 26th, 2012, 11:42 pm

very, very good advice here man.

Diesels need a bit more love than gasoline engines, but by gosh, a well taken-care of diesel engine will take you soooo much farther than an equivalent gasoline engine.


Keep on truckin' guys....

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby Cooper » March 27th, 2012, 7:29 am

good post :!:

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby Rory Phoulorie » March 27th, 2012, 1:00 pm

civic minded wrote:...Thats why its so important to take it to experts if you not sure what to do.


Can you provide a listing of some of these experts in Trinidad who you can rely on to do what was recommended in your initial post?

Do the local dealerships actually re-torque the mounting bolts in combustion areas?

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby civic minded » March 27th, 2012, 1:59 pm

^^really dont know dude - i stick with the maintenance manual provided to you with your vehicle and tell MM what i want done when i send in my ranger for service.
They do a 20 point check on all seals etc i know of and adjust and tighten where needed.

Everyone need to do their own individual research of the vehicle they own cause you cannot rely on mechanics to check everything for you.

As for a list of diesel experts, I can't give you a full list but just the few i know off. Such as Jentons in Chase Village; Brown's Auto center ; James Moseley ; Sookhai Diesel .

There are alot more knowledgeable than me with regards to this on this forum and i am sure if they share their knowledge it will help us all.

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby lighthammer » March 31st, 2012, 12:15 am

James Moseley does everything from:

- basic servicing (oils & filters)
- major servicing (transmission/differentials/suspension
- troubleshooting
- engine rebuilds, both gasoline & diesel (one of the few in trinidad who can rebuild diesel engines).

- Can also do tuning of racing cars/street cars, with genuine performance parts like Haltech, AEM, Greddy, etc.


374-9339

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby black start » April 23rd, 2012, 2:10 pm

James is very very knowledgeable....

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby sliderz1 » April 23rd, 2012, 10:30 pm

^^^u got the pickup sorted out?

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Re: What every Diesel Vehicle owner should know.

Postby black start » April 23rd, 2012, 10:57 pm

^yea yea got it sorted out. Thanks for all the help sliderz. Changed the filters and a proper through serviced and that was that.

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