The Most Common Issues with Diesel Engines

August 8, 2018 4:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are a lot of benefits that come with owning diesel trucks, but it’s also important for diesel truck owners to understand some of the unique issues that can arise in diesel engines. Here are some of the most common problems we have to address while performing diesel engine repair in Wytheville, VA:

  • Oil oxidization: Diesel trucks that are not used frequently enough and sit in place for too long between uses tend to have issues with oil oxidization. This means air can get into the oil, which causes bubbles that can prevent proper lubrication and ultimately do some damage to the engine. While the oil isn’t technically dirty in such a scenario, it still needs to be changed as soon as possible to avoid potential engine damage.
  • Black exhaust: Diesel engines always produce more smoke and exhaust than other vehicles—the smell of a diesel engine in operation is quite distinct. However, there are reasonable limits to what you should experience with regard to the amount of exhaust and the blackness of the smoke. Black smoke will likely result in you receiving a clean air fine. The problem usually lies with the injector, injector pump, air filter or the turbocharger, any of which could cause an imbalance in the air to fuel ratio if not working properly.
  • Difficulty starting: Some diesel engines can be occasionally hard to start up. This typically indicates low compression or problems with fuel delivery. It’s normal for a diesel engine to crank up a bit when started, but it should not be extremely difficult to get the engine running.
  • Fuel contaminations: Diesel is significantly more viscous than other forms of gasoline, which means it is also much more easily contaminated. Some of the most common contaminants include soot, dilution, water and glycol. Any of these contaminants could cause major engine damage if they penetrate the fuel system.
  • Noise: Diesel engines are noisier than other types of engines, but a significant amount of noise (more than you typically experience) likely indicates some sort of problem in your engine. If you notice that noise is inconsistent or there is a knocking sort of sound in the engine, there is probably an issue with your fuel injectors. You will probably experience reduced performance until you have the issue repaired.
  • Higher compression ratio: Most diesel engines have a compression ratio of 20:1, compared to the standard 8:1 ratio in a gas powered engine. This higher ratio makes the engine more powerful, but can also cause some unique problems. There are circumstances, for example, in which this higher compression ratio can result in more engine knocking, causing some potential fuel injection problems.
  • Glow plug problems: Diesel engines don’t have spark plugs—they instead rely on glow plugs to ignite the fuel-air mixture in a high-resistance heating element. If you have a problem with a glow plug, it will make it almost impossible to start the engine.

For more examples of some of the most common types of diesel engine problems, contact Complete Truck Service Inc. about our diesel engine repair services in Wytheville, VA.

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