How to keep your Diesel Engine in tip-top shape


Diesel engines need three vital components to function at its peak.

Firstly, it requires clean air coming into the engine. Air with dust and other impurities could do serious damage to your diesel engine in the long run. To avoid this, it's best to replace your air filters as specified by the diesel engine manufacturer.

Secondly, you need pure oil. The engine oil is the equivalent to blood in the body of humans (or animals). Similar to how our blood needs to be made as clean as possible, engine oil needs so too. The periodical changing of oil filters as well as the engine oil itself will have tremendous effect on the performance of your diesel engine.

And finally, supply of clean diesel into your tank is a must. You should manage to obtain unadulterated and impurity-free diesel going into your fuel injection pump and fuel injectors. Here again, regular replacing of your diesel filter as specified by the engine manufacturer will help and lot.

Warming-up

Your engine should be given a little more time to warm-up before you start revving it. A minimum of five minutes to idle is recommended.

This is especially crucial in relatively colder climates like British Columbia. Without warm-up there is a greater chance of engine failures. In colder environments, the viscosity of your oils tend to increase. This in turn causes a hindrance to oil circulation.

The hydraulic pressure may get adversely affected as well due to this. A good way to warm-up your hydraulic oil is to run your engine at 50% of the rated load.

Filtration

The importance of diesel fuel filtration cannot be stressed enough. The fuel injection pumps as well as fuel injectors are manufactured to a micro-scaled precision. Certain components in the unit are given very clear cut tolerances in the micro-scale. If even a foreign particle as tiny as a grain of sand (roughly 100 microns), could get caught into these components, there could be no telling on how much of could go wrong inside. Regular replacement of these filters ass mentioned above will be able to prolong the lifespan of your diesel engine.

The diesel filter’s primary and secondary should be regularly replaced. An approximation of every 5000km is recommended. It's also highly advisable on replacing them rather than cleaning and reusing old filters.

Lubrication

If you are in possession of an inline diesel pump, lubrication is required. The drive shaft, bearings, etc, require regular lubrication. Furthermore the oil is recommended to be topped up twice a month. Topping up of your oil to as far up as the drain pipe level, will allow for the overflowing of oil that is diluted by diesel.

However if you own a VE or Distributor pump, lubrication isn't required.

Other Tips

  • Draining the filter bowl every month will remove water and dust remaining in the fuel. This can be achieved by removing the air screw, and should be done once a month.

  • Stay away from diesel pumps (or even gasoline) if you’re in an area that experiences a lot of rain. This could result in water seepage.

  • Avoid using the last 15cm of diesel when stored in tanks. There is a greater chance of sediments and water at the bottom of the barrel.

  • If many chemicals or fuels are used in one location, never share the same sucking pump for use with diesel as well. This could adulter the diesel and may result in negative effects on your diesel engine.

  • Do not use plastic containers to store or transport diesel. There may be some chemical additives or residues remaining in the container that wouldn’t go away when washed with water.

  • Cleaning of the diesel tanks periodically (though not very often) is preferable.

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