Five most common repairs on diesel engines

The durability of diesel engines is well established, especially when compared to gas engines. The design of the engines guarantees that they can last up to five times longer before needing any repairs. The fuel itself also acts as a lubricant that helps oil the engine parts.

However, like all machines, diesel engines eventually need repairs. Repairs happen as a result of wear and tear, which are normal results of prolonged use. However, if proper care is of the diesel engine is not taken, repairs can happen more often. In this article, we will look at the X most common issues that diesel engine owners face: 

Overheating engine

All engines overheat when they are put through more work than they should be doing. If you are not overusing your car and you find it overheating, it is a symptom of something wrong elsewhere. Leaks within the cooling system, radiator issues, and mineral deposits are just some of the reasons overheating happens.  

If you notice your engine overheating, the first thing you want to do is stop moving. This is because overheating may be symptomatic of a serious issue in your engine and can lead to dire consequences. Do not open the car’s hood until it has completely cooled down. 

Due to the sheer range of issues that cause overheating, you might need to refer to a mechanic to get the car fixed. 

Lack of power

Once you’re finding it difficult to start your car, that’s indicative of a loss of power from the engine. There are a number of factors that could affect it including dirty fuel filters, fuel injector problems, too much lubrication, loose throttle linkage, and bad weather.

During winter, diesel engines are notorious for being hard to start. However, there are ways to keep your car running even in the cold weather.

If you’re constantly dealing with a stop-start engine, you might want to try changing your fuel provider. Low-quality fuel usually contains impurities that get into the engine. Fuel containing glycol, soot, or water can cause serious engine problems. Also, check on your fuel filters, and engine oil.

Black exhaust

Contemporary cars are designed to produce colorless gas from the exhaust. If you’re getting colored soot from your exhaust, it means there’s a challenge in your engine. 

The color of the smoke can be indicative of the kind of problem. White thin smoke is likely to be steam that has condensed in the exhaust system. After warming up the engine for a while, the white smoke should clear up.

Darker white smoke might mean there is coolant in your car’s combustion chamber. You should have your car checked for a leak.

Black smoke means there is incomplete combustion of fuel in your engine. It can be a factor of your air filter, fuel injector, or EGR valve. You can easily get this fixed for cheap.

Blue smoke means your motor oil is getting into the combustion chamber. It’s not a major issue and can easily be fixed. 

Loud Noises

The diesel engine is by nature louder than the gasoline engine. However, when this noise level gets uncomfortable sometimes. 

There’s also the familiar knocking sound that every diesel engine driver knows. That sound may indicate a problem with your fuel injectors.

Some of the things you can do to reduce the sound of your car’s engine include : 

  • Using additives with your oil can help you with internal friction in the engine.  Reducing the friction leads to less noise in the engine.
  • Padding the engine hood can help decrease the noise coming from there. These pads help to absorb the sound coming from the engine.
  • Adding an engine cover or shield if your car doesn’t already have one

Defective Glow Plug

Glow plugs are the spark plugs of diesel engines, albeit they function a bit differently. Glow plugs are typically used in diesel engines to help with ignition during cold weather. Unlike spark plugs, they are only used during ignition. 

They can go bad due to a number of reasons, including using the wrong plug for your car, an overheating engine, or too high voltage in the engine. Symptoms of a defective glow plug include hard starting, a misfiring engine, poor fuel efficiency, and rough idling. 

You can simply replace your bad glow plug at stores like Goldfarb INC. They’re usually inexpensive and can be purchased for less than $50. If you don’t want to do it yourself, it should cost less than $200 to get a mechanic to help you with it. 

Taking care of a diesel engine

Taking proper care of your diesel engine is crucial to extend its lifespan. Better car care results in less wear and tear and, by extension, fewer repairs. Here are some tips you should always keep in mind: 

  • Replace your coolant regularly: Coolant helps keep the engine from overheating during work time. However, it becomes oxidized and acidic over time too. If you don’t replace your coolant regularly, it can become acidic enough to wear out parts of your car engine. Typically, you should change your engine coolant every 30,000 miles. Avoid replacing your coolant with water.
  • Replace your air filter regularly: Fuel filters help keep out dirt in your fuel; however, they wear out over time. When worn out, these filters allow particles that can affect the engine’s performance to go through. You should replace your fuel filter every 15,000 miles. 
  • Take extra care during winter: Diesel engines are harder to start during cold weather because they rely on compression to create high temperatures. Some of the extra care you can take during adverse weather conditions include: using winter-blended fuel, changing the fuel filter just before winter, using lighter-weight engine oil, and allowing the engine warm-up before driving.
  • Change your motor oil often: Although diesel is a natural lubricant, you still need motor oil to keep your vehicle working fine. It is essential to change your motor oil every 5000 miles or less, depending on how often you use the car.
Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.