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Essential Diesel Engine Maintenance Checklist

Regularly maintaining your engine is a good way to keep your vehicle healthy and clean. As a preventative measure, it allows you to identify and correct smaller problems before they manifest into harder-to-fix ones.

This essential diesel engine maintenance checklist will give you a rundown of the components you should be frequently checking, changing, or cleaning.

Replace the Oil

Regularly replacing the lubricating oil in your vehicle’s engine will keep its components operating smoothly and prevent metal damage or built-up carbon deposits.

You should replace the oils in your vehicle at set intervals — every few months, or after you’ve hit certain mileage milestones. Coolant and transmission fluids, in addition to regular oils, should be frequently monitored and replaced.

Clean the Engine

Scrubbing dirt and grime from your engine will prevent the build-up of rust and other harmful contaminants which can shorten your vehicle’s lifespan and decrease its overall fuel efficiency.

Suit up with some gloves and protective goggles and start cleaning. Old toothbrushes are ideal for reaching into small, cramped spaces, while sponges are suitable for wiping down the engine bay. If your engine isn’t waterproof, a leaf blower can help dust things off.

To dissolve and eliminate any stuck-on grime, used specialized degreasers.

Change the Filters

Another thing that should be on your essential diesel engine maintenance checklist is the vehicle’s filters. Air and fuel filters should be frequently checked and, when necessary, maintained or replaced.

A dirty air filter forces your vehicle to use more fuel. If you’re noticing a weaker acceleration and decreased engine power, or if it’s been over 12,000 miles since your last replacement, get your filters checked.

Some diesel engines have two fuel filters — a primary and a secondary one. If they absorb too much condensation, you can run into problems like a stalled engine or decreased horsepower.

They should be replaced every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. For the sake of efficiency and lifespan, both filters should be swapped out at the same time.

Maintain the Radiator

Diesel engines are prone to overheating, which makes regular maintenance on their radiators essential. The frequent replacement of coolant or radiator exchanges are good ways to mitigate the risk of temperature-related engine damage.

Radiator fluids should be exchanged every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. If you notice any leaking, peculiar smells, or steam emitting from your engine’s hood, get your radiator inspected as soon as possible.

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