It’s no secret that diesel engines differ from gasoline engines. Within gasoline engines, a mixture of fuel and air is compressed by pistons and ignited by spark plugs to create power. Diesel engines compress the air first instead, and the fuel is ignited when it interacts with the hot air. Additionally, within diesel engines, fuel is injected directly into the cylinder – whereas in gasoline engines, the fuel is injected prior to being transferred to the cylinder to compress. It’s also notable that diesel engines don’t use electrical parts within the ignition and have fewer moving parts than gasoline engines, making them less prone to malfunctions. However, it’s still important to know how to properly maintain diesel engines in order to maximize their performance.
If you’re considering a career as an automotive mechanic your ability to maintain diesel engines will enhance your success and save customers from expensive repairs down the road. Read on to discover some tips!
1. Once You Become a Mechanic, Make Sure to Change the Filters on Diesel Vehicles
Both the fuel filters and the air filters are important when it comes to ensuring that diesel engines are performing at their highest capacity. Air filters serve to keep dirt, particles, and debris from getting into the engine. However, when the air filter is clogged, these particles can reach the engine, negatively impacting its performance. Additionally, the fuel filter should be regularly replaced. In diesel trucks, there are typically two fuel filters, and both need to be replaced at around 16,000 kilometres. Fuel filters are essential in maintaining fuel efficiency and ensuring that the fuel going into the diesel engine is clean, so after you become a mechanic, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace them.
2. Keep the Exhaust System in Check
Exhaust systems are a crucial component of a diesel engine’s performance. When the engine is allowed to expel a greater amount of exhaust, the horsepower of the engine will increase, whereas a clogged or inefficient exhaust system can negatively impact the performance of the vehicle. When servicing a diesel vehicle, check the exhaust system to look for signs of corrosion or trapped debris, as these can hinder the effectiveness of the system. Additionally, check the position of the exhaust hangers, as these serve to keep the exhaust system attached to the vehicle itself. Lastly, examine the exhaust system closely for any signs of leakage, which could be indicated by the presence of rust on the exhaust pipe.
3. Maintain Fluid Levels
Adequate fluid levels are key when it comes to keeping a diesel vehicle’s performance high. Engine coolant levels and oil levels both play an important role in keeping the engine’s internal parts functioning well, and should be regularly monitored to check for contamination. Engine coolant keeps diesel engines from overheating, which is especially important in larger vehicles where the engine is working harder to propel the truck forward. On the other hand, oil keeps the engine’s different components from experiencing wear and tear by providing a source of friction. Keeping the oil levels high will reduce the need for part replacement down the line.
4. Recommend Regular Tune Ups
As professionals in auto careers know, there’s just about nothing more important for the health of an engine than regular tune ups. When conducting periodic maintenance on a diesel engine, be sure to check for signs of wear and tear, or any areas of built-up dirt and debris. Given the high pressure that diesel engines operate at, it’s important to catch any signs of strain early on in order to avoid larger problems down the road. During your career as a mechanic, check the status of your customers’ diesel engine regularly in order to ensure that the engine is performing at the highest capacity it’s capable of.
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