If you have a diesel truck or car, you probably know that the maintenance is critical to ensuring that your vehicle will go the distance. At Gulf Coast Alignments we perform a variety of maintenance services on diesel vehicles, and we understand the importance of proper care. Not only are we Houston’s most recognized wheel and front end alignment professionals but we are also your one-stop-shop for preventative maintenance. We understand cars and trucks from bumper to dipstick and have made it our mission to keep our customers on the road. So without further ado we will dig deep into diesel vehicle maintenance.
Diesel is most commonly the most misunderstood of the vehicle fuels. Most of us think of them as dirty and loud but that is not necessarily true. In fact, diesel engines are capable of being cleaner than any gasoline engine out there and they are the most highly regulated. Diesel engines have gone through a metamorphosis in the last 25 years, making them cleaner and more efficient than ever before. The reason for this is the way combustion occurs in a diesel engine. In a gas engine you have air and fuel mixed and a spark introduced to ignite the mixture. This combination generally burns more completely with minimal emissions. Diesel, on the other hand, is ignited in a completely different manner.
To start diesel is not as volatile as gasoline, although we would not recommend handling it with any less caution as regular gasoline, it needs more than a spark to completely combust. To begin, air is sucked into the cylinder through either a turbocharger or natural aspiration. Once the fuel is in the cylinder, the piston compresses the air to an extremely hot temperature. Theoretically, once the air is heated to its peak, the injectors spray atomized diesel fuel into the superheated air, causing an explosion. This pushes the piston down just like in a gasoline engine and produces power. Now, when you see diesels blowing tons of black smoke, that is essentially unburned fuel and not an ideal burn. Normal diesels are much more efficient and will burn the fuel completely, making them ideal for producing exceptional fuel mileage and power.
The Diesel Fuel Filter
The diesel fuel filter is one of the single most important maintenance items on a diesel engine. As you probably know, fuel is not clean by any means and if suspended dirt invades the fuel system it could damage fragile components. A diesel fuel filter is designed to filter much better than a gasoline filter, meaning that they have a tendency to get plugged and restrict fuel flow. This means that fuel filters must be changed with regularity in order to keep your engine healthy and happy. While this may seem excessive, changing the fuel filter at each oil change will keep your diesel fuel system in pristine shape for years to come.
The Diesel Air Filter
Similar to the air filter on a gasoline engine, the diesel air filter is for the purpose of filtering air from the atmosphere which can be quite dusty and dirty at times. Aside from creating efficient combustion, clean air is essential to protecting the turbocharger. As most modern diesels utilize a turbo for intake air and the internal tolerances are extremely fine and a good amount of dust will wreck a turbo in no time. As a result the air filter is another maintenance component that should be taken care of regularly.
Diesel Engine Oil
You may get a bit breathless when you realize that diesel engines take massive amounts of oil compared to gasoline engines. This is perfectly normal and the advantage is that diesel engines can outlive gasoline engines buy hundreds of thousands of miles. So an oil change may cost a bit more, but you are doing the best possible thing for your engine.
Come In For Diesel Maintenance Today
While there is much more to maintaining diesel engines the big three are oil, air, and fuel filters. If you need routine maintenance on your diesel car or truck please contact us today for more information. Make an appointment with our experts and we will have you back on the road in no time.