Proper diesel truck maintenance is essential for securing a long life for your diesel truck. Average use can create wear and tear on any engine. However, there are a few tricks for extending the life of your truck using regular and diligent truck maintenance processes.
Diesel engines do not use spark plugs in igniting the fuel; rather the piston compresses the air quickly and forcefully causing it to superheat. In so doing, the fuel ignites spontaneously upon entering the cylinder chamber. Gasoline engines allow air and fuel to enter into the chamber together producing only a compression ratio of 8:1 to 12:1 while diesel engines compress at a ratio of 14:1 to 25:1, making diesel a more efficient engine. For this reason, diesel engines run much hotter than gasoline engines and are noisier. Diesel engines are therefore built stronger and heavier. However, they do not have as many parts (spark plugs, ignition systems and spark wires) and so do not break down as often and last longer.
Lubricants help in extending an engine’s life. Diesel fuel is a natural lubricant that lubricates the cylinder walls during the combustion cycle, thereby automatically extending an engine’s life.
Diesel engines require frequent routine maintenance: more frequent fuel filter changes, more frequent air filter changes and more frequent oil changes at every 3,000 miles. It is also important to monitor engine coolant and exhaust temperatures in order to see the engine’s efficiency. Excessive smoking, a decrease in engine power, or decrease in boost or oil pressure indicates the start of a problem.
Driving habits also determine the longevity of an engine. Drivers who rabbit-jump every stop light or race from place to place with frequent starts and stops produce more wear and tear on an engine. Instead, gradual changes in speed use less fuel and produce less wear and tear, especially with a diesel engine that needs time to warm up to fuel efficiency.