The diesel engines used in today’s commercial vehicles and semi-trucks are more complex, in part due to advances in technology. Computers, computer chips, electronics, and other such things are used to help provide better fuel efficiency, torque, and horsepower. As such, regular fleet maintenance diesel service is necessary to keep the engine running and operating correctly.
Signs Diesel Service Is Required
Diesel engines will provide several early warning signs diesel service is required now, not later. If you ignore these warning signs, you could be looking at a costlier diesel engine repair service.
- Noticeable Exhaust Smoke: If you see smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes, there is a problem that needs to be fixed. The color of the smoke can help pinpoint what is wrong. Let your diesel mechanic know what color smoke you saw.
- Reduced Performance: If you notice that going up hills seems more difficult or getting up to speed takes longer, this indicates a reduction in diesel performance. One cause for performance problems is one or more filters need to be replaced because they are dirty and clogged.
- Rough Idling: If the engine idles roughly when stopped, it often indicates misfiring in the engine. This could be caused by a faulty glow plug or issues with fuel injectors. The problem won’t clear up on its own and can also affect how the engine runs when driving.
- Difficulties Starting the Engine: While most of the time you won’t shut off your truck, there are times when you will. When you go to restart it, if it takes longer than normal or seems like it is struggling to get the engine started, you need to schedule service.
- Engine Knocking: As diesel engines age, some knocking is normal and expected. However, if your truck or engine is fairly new, this is never a good sign. There could be issues with fuel injectors, compression ratios, etc.
At What Intervals Should I Schedule Diesel Service?
For more commercial vehicles, the best way to track when diesel service is needed is to keep a log of service hours rather than mileage. There are times when you will be stopped for the night and the engine is still running to provide heating, cooling, and electricity.
Your diesel mechanic can provide you with a service schedule based on service hours and what types of fleet maintenance are required for your commercial vehicle or semi-truck. You will want to log the service hours in a logbook or record them on an app on your smartphone. You want to track the number of hours the engine is running.
What Types of Diesel Service Do I Need?
Fluid changes and filter changes are the most common types of diesel service you will require. Eventually, you will also need to replace glow plugs and fuel injectors. Other types of maintenance are also needed at set service hour intervals, such as fan belt replacement, cooling system flush and fill, exhaust system inspections, and so on.
By staying on top of your diesel engine maintenance, you can avoid unnecessary diesel engine repair service. Not to mention, your engine will run better, provide optimal fuel efficiency, and last longer.
For information on East Coast Diesel’s fleet maintenance plan and to schedule an appointment click here .