5 Important Maintenance Tips For Your Pickup Truck’s Diesel Engine

Written By Dieselmatic on Jul 07, 2022

If you are planning on heading out on a long, cross-country trek in your pickup truck, you might want to consider bringing some extra truck supplies just in case you get in trouble along the way. If you have a problem in the middle of nowhere, fifty miles from the next town, you can address it yourself. Extra oil, coolant, washer fluid and DEF fluid. In addition to these, there are some things that you can do on a regular basis to help maintain your pickup truck’s engine. Here are some of the essential maintenance tips for your diesel engine:

1. Maintain a clean truck and engine

Dust, debris, and soot can make your vehicle seem unkempt whether traveling across town or across the country. Keeping your truck clean enables you or your service professional to see any potential problems before they become significant concerns. For example, on a clean truck, you may see fresh oil leaks, damaged hoses, coolant leaks, etc. Furthermore, filthy engine components like radiators and intercoolers will impact your engine performance. As a result, take precautions to keep everything clean.

2. Pay attention to your fluids

Your vehicle would not be able to keep rolling and racking up miles if it weren't for engine oil, and it would die a natural (likely quick) death. Engine oil lubricates the engine's working components. However, it gets corrosive and polluted with time and must be replaced regularly. If you don't replace your oil, your engine's performance and longevity will suffer.

Engine coolant is equally as important as engine oil, so keep an eye on it. Engine overheating, coolant freezing, and engine-damaging electrolysis in your cylinder liners may be avoided by keeping your coolant topped up and balanced with the right chemicals. Poor coolant maintenance may cause holes in your cylinder liners, allowing coolant to leak into the cylinders.

Finally, window washer fluid must be included on the list of fluids to monitor. When flying by someone on a wet or snowy road, it's easy to have a filthy windshield, and bugs may muck up your windshield rapidly in the summer. Dirty windshields can be a safety risk which is easily fixed by ensuring that you have a full windshield fluid reservoir.

3. Replace filters regularly

Your fluids, like your vehicle, need to be clean, and all of your filters are an essential element of preventative maintenance. Diesel filters must be replaced on a regular basis to guarantee that your engine receives clean fuel. Fuel flow to your engine will be restricted or stopped if your fuel filters are dirty. Reduced fuel flow will decrease engine performance, and severely clogged filters will result in an engine that will not run properly or may not even start.

By eliminating particles that might cause engine wear and damage, oil filters keep your oil clean. You should replace your oil filters every time you change your motor oil. Your engine breathes clean air thanks to a clean air filter. Air filters must be replaced regularly, and the frequency depends on the environment in which you drive. Airflow will be restricted, and engine performance will suffer due to a filthy, clogged air filter.

4. Take good care of the exhaust system 

The exhaust system of your truck is critical to its overall health. These exhaust systems are becoming more complex, with diesel particulate filters (DPF) and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) systems all being designed to fulfill EPA emissions criteria.

You should keep an eye on your DPF regeneration, which occurs when particles in the filter heat up to the point of combustion and are converted to ash and CO2. Regen may occur in three different ways: passive, active, or forced. If regen occurs regularly, you should have a service specialist examine your truck to pinpoint the reason why. In addition to regen, you should clean your DPF filter regularly to eliminate any ash left over after DPF regeneration. Finally, keep your DEF tank topped out since running out can result in error codes and your engine failing to start.

5. Inspect the radiator

The radiator in a vehicle transfers heat from the engine to the external environment and also allows for cool, clean air intake, which works to prevent your engine from overheating. Diesel engines generate a lot of heat when running, and a faulty radiator might limit heat transmission and, as a result, cause overheating. Overheating may lead to irreversible motor failure.

It's critical to maintain the cooling components in good working order. Radiator cleaning, coolant testing, and, on rare occasions, radiator replacement are all part of routine coolant maintenance. Coolant freezing temperature and the strength of the chemical components that safeguard your engine and allow for adequate cooling are all part of a complete coolant test. After testing, you may add coolant, treat the system with additives, or replace the coolant.

Final words

Now you know how to take care of the diesel engine in your pickup truck. Maintaining your engine will allow you to avoid problems. A premature engine failure requiring an engine overhaul is the last thing you want. This is a costly and time-consuming repair. Preventive maintenance and keeping track of engine performance changes should be a top concern to keep you on the road.

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