When you own a diesel-powered car or truck, you need to have it serviced just like you would a gas-powered car and while there are some common parts that they both share, the service procedure for the diesel is different. Understanding the differences is important so you know that your vehicle is being serviced properly. Servicing and maintaining your engine and chassis can greatly increase the lifespan of that car or truck by many years.
Letting the Engine Breathe
One of the most important parts of servicing your diesel engine involves changing the air filter. A diesel engine operates on compression and needs a lot of free flowing air coming into the engine to operate correctly. A Dirty air filter can make a huge difference in the way your diesel runs and should not be overlooked. If your filter is dirty, change it. The price of the filter is low enough that skipping it and damaging the engine doesn't make sense. If your service center is not checking the air filter regularly, request that they do.
Changing The Engine Oil
Just like gasoline-powered engines, the engine oil in your diesel engine needs to be changed regularly. The interval for the change will vary from manufacturer and with the oil type used but it should not be overlooked. The engine oil is the one thing that lubricates the internal components of your engine and if it starts to break down, the lubricating properties become less and less effective. Dirty, neglected, and old oil is one of the most common reasons for engine failures in gas and diesel engines. Changing it regularly is critical to keeping your engine running properly.
Changing The Fuel Filter
Diesel fuel is dirtier than gasoline and therefore must be filtered before it gets to your engine. While gasoline engines also have fuel filters on them, diesel engines have very large filters, similar to what you would use for oil and it needs to be changed regularly. Again, the type of filter, the quality of fuel used, and the manufacturer's recommendation dictate the intervals but if you think it needs to be changed, ask the shop to check it.
Belts, Hoses, and Other Underhood Parts
Since a diesel engine does not use spark plugs, you do not have to worry about changing them but the belts and hoses on your car or truck should be inspected regularly. Take the time to look at them, inspect them for damage, and replace them whenever they start to become worn or if something looks damaged. Breaking down on the road because a belt or hose got overlooked is inconvenient and the damage that could occur by the engine overheating could be catastrophic.
Talk to a diesel repair shop for more help.