There are lots of reasons why diesel engines are great. Lower emissions, greater fuel economy, and less frequent diesel engine maintenance are all very popular reasons for choosing to own a diesel vehicle.

Just because you don’t need to carry out your diesel maintenance quite as often, doesn’t mean that you have to avoid it completely.

How often should you carry out a diesel engine service?

So, to prepare you for your next car service, we’ll look at ten top essential jobs that should be on your diesel engine maintenance checklist.

1. Clean Your Engine

When you’re driving your vehicle around, your engine will get covered in all kinds of grime and grease. You’ll find dirt from the road, as well as oil and soot. There’ll be so much on there that sometimes you can barely see your engine.

Keeping your diesel engine clean should be essential. The cleaner your engine is, the easier it will be to spot any potential oil leaks should any spring up.

In addition to this, if you live in an area where there are harsher weather conditions, your engine will pick up a lot of road salt. This could cause the engine to prematurely rust.

2. Get Your Fuel Filters Replaced

You should replace your fuel filters as part of your vehicle’s routine maintenance schedule. This should be at around every 10,000-15,000 miles.

Newer diesel engines will tend to have two fuel filters. You should ensure that both of these are replaced at the same time to ensure optimal cleanliness.

3. Look After Your Engine’s Radiator

Your vehicle’s radiator keeps it cool. It does this by sending coolant through the engine to pick up its heat. Once hot, this is cooled down in the radiator from the cool air blowing into the front grill.

The freshly cooled air then goes back to the engine, and the cycle continues.

Diesel runs hotter than gas engines. This means that the radiator in diesel will be subjected to greater temperatures and as such, they’re prone to overheating. This can lead to warped components and engine failure.

Looking after your cooling system is vital. This means using a cleaning fluid through your cooling system and radiator and filling up your system with new antifreeze. This should be carried out every 40,000- 60,000 miles.

If you notice orange or green fluids leaking from your vehicle, then you should get your radiator checked out earlier.

4. Check Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter can ‘choke’ your engine. This causes it to use more fuel to get the power that it needs to accelerate. Check to see how clean your air filter is.

On most vehicles, you’ll find the air filter under the hood inside a rectangular cold air collector box situated toward the front of the engine compartment.

As a rule, you should try and get this changed every 12,000 miles.

If you notice a drop in engine power, an increase in the wear on your engine, or poor acceleration, then it may be because your air filter needs replacing.

5. Check Your Coolant

Checking the coolant in your diesel engine is a vital task. As previously mentioned, the coolant keeps the engine from overheating.

Coolant is prone to become more acidic over time. When this happens, it can rot the rest of the cooling system; including the radiator.

In addition to ensuring your coolant is always topped up, make sure that you flush it out and replace the coolant every 60,000 miles.

If you notice orange or green fluids leaking from your vehicle, then you should get your radiator checked out earlier.

6. Carry Out Oil Changes

Oil in your vehicle’s engine prevents metal parts from grinding against each other. Without proper lubrication, the engine would get damaged very easily.

Every 5,000 miles, you should carry out an oil change. If you’re using your vehicle for harder driving, then you may want to consider increasing the frequency at which you’ll carry out your oil changes.

7. Look After Your Exhaust System

The exhaust system of your vehicle is essential to its health. Pay attention to the diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration. This occurs when particulates heat up and combust and turn to ash and carbon dioxide.

If regeneration occurs frequently, you’ll need to have your exhaust system looked at to find the cause. You should also periodically clean the DPF to ensure the ash is cleared out.

8. Watch Your Fluid Levels

In addition to carrying out periodic changes on your oil and coolant, you should keep an eye on the levels.

Without enough oil, your engine will seize up. Without enough coolant, your engine will overheat.

Also, don’t forget to top up your washer fluid. The last thing that you want is to run out of washer fluid when you’ve got a dirty window or on a snowy day.

You should check these levels on your vehicle every week.

9. Get More From Your Diesel Engine Maintenance With Tuning 

Diesel engine tuning will help you get the best out of your engine. If you’re unsure how to carry out any of the necessary specialist work to tune your diesel engine, book in your vehicle with your local garage and have a mechanic fine-tune your engine for you.

Tuning your engine will ensure you get the best performance from your vehicle. This will improve your power, speed, and fuel consumption.

Get in the Maintenance Habit

Diesel engine maintenance is a habit that you need to get into. Start off with routine weekly checks to ensure your fuel levels are correct, and ensure you keep an eye on your mileage for the less frequent checks.

If you look after your diesel engine, it will last for a very long time.

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