Diesel engines offer great power and fuel economy in trucks, but there are some things that you need to pay attention to if you want to maintain the engine's performance. While some of the problems that can occur in gas engines may cross over to diesel, there are some unique things you should be aware of if you drive a diesel-powered vehicle daily that may result in a need for diesel repair.
The fuel used in diesel engines is dense and can collect contaminates before being put into your fuel tank. While in the vehicle, soot, glycol, and moisture can also become an issue and require a visit to the diesel repair shop near you. Keeping your fuel filters clean and changing them often is the best way to deal with diesel fuel contamination, but if some bad fuel gets through, you may need to have the fuel systems cleaned and flushed to restore performance.
Once contaminated fuel gets into the injector pump, fuel lines, and injectors, it can take some effort to clear out. In the winter, moisture in the fuel can be a significant problem, so it is critical that all the components used to keep the fuel clean and dry are in place and working on your diesel truck.
Diesel engines do not use a traditional ignition system, but instead they use glow plugs that heat up and fire the fuel to get the engine running. The glow plugs shut off once the engine is running, and the engine runs entirely on combustion inside the cylinders.
A diesel that struggles to start in the morning may have a glow plug issue or a fuel delivery problem, and you should take the vehicle to a diesel repair shop for diagnosis. Often the repair is relatively simple, but it is better to take your truck into the shop and get a definitive answer to the problem than to start changing parts and hoping you get the right one.
If the glow plugs are not heating up properly, you could have an electrical issue, or if fuel is taking longer to get into the cylinders than it should, there could be something going on with the injection pump, the fuel pump, or the injectors on the engine. A qualified repair shop's full diagnostic of the system is the best way to determine where the problem is.
Black Exhaust Smoke
The exhaust on your diesel is darker than gas engines, but if your vehicle produces excessive black smoke from the exhaust, you need to check it. Excessive black smoke can mean the air-fuel mix is off, the turbocharger is not functioning correctly, or the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve is not working. Your local diesel repair shop can help determine which it is and correct the problem for you.