Common Diesel Engine Repairs

Common Diesel Engine Repairs

Diesel engines contain unique components and operate differently from other vehicles. Only an experienced technician can diagnose issues correctly and determine the best repair. Scheduling regular maintenance is also important because it helps prevent complications and further damage, allowing you to save money on extensive repairs.

Common Diesel Engine Repairs

Diesel engine repairs are essential when a truck malfunctions. Seeking professional repair services as soon as you notice a potential complication maintains your truck's safety and prevents further damage. Consider the following complications and common diesel engine repairs your vehicle may require.

Failed Bearings

Unusual engine noises or knocking can indicate failed bearings. Individuals often overlook this issue and diagnose it as a fuel injector complication. Engines require adequate lubrication, so bearings receive oil. Without adequate oil, bearings begin to fail. You can identify failed diesel engine bearings by uneven wear patterns. If left unrepaired, failed bearings can cause more serious issues within an engine.

Unresponsive Throttle

Your diesel truck's fuel delivery system could have a damaged component if you press your gas pedal to the floor and have no power output or response. An engine block's cylinders depend on fuel, air, and spark to operate properly. An engine produces little to no throttle when the fuel delivery system lacks any of these components. Unresponsive throttle can be challenging to diagnose without the proper training and experience, so contacting a diesel engine specialist is crucial.

Glow Plug Replacements

Glow plugs warm fuel in diesel engines, allowing the fuel to combust easily. Glow plugs work in a diesel engine in place of the spark plugs other engines contain. Manufacturers design diesel engine glow plugs to last 80,000 to 100,000 miles, and they typically only require replacement if one of them causes complications.

The following signs indicate a diesel engine needs new glow plugs:

  • Excess exhaust smoke
  • Misfiring engine
  • Hard starting

Oil Viscosity Corrections

Viscosity weight is an important factor when changing a diesel engine's oil. Diesel engines require a different oil weight viscosity depending on the season. In hotter temperatures, an engine requires single-weight oil. In colder temperatures, it requires a multi-viscosity oil. A hard-starting engine may require an oil viscosity correction.

Oil Oxidation

Diesel engine oil can oxidize if your truck sits or the engine remains dormant for an extended time period. It can also oxidize in humid conditions. Oil oxidation creates air bubbles, hindering lubrication by reducing the oil's effectiveness. It can also damage engine components, so it's important to change the oil anytime an engine is out of operation for a long time.

Fuel Injector Replacement

A worn or damaged injector pump or fuel injector imbalances a diesel engine's air-to-fuel ratio, delivering excessive fuel and inadequate air to the engine. Diesel engines typically emit more exhaust than other types of engines, but black exhaust or a sulfur smell can indicate an engine requires an injector pump or fuel injector replacement. This type of repair is crucial for health and safety, and it prevents drivers and fleet managers from violating clean air ordinances.

Higher fuel consumption is another sign of a failing fuel pump. A malfunctioning pump allows more fuel to the injectors, which increases the pressure and allows more fuel into the engine. If you notice a knocking noise and higher-than-usual fuel consumption, you should contact a professional to check your fuel pump and injectors.

A diesel engine's fuel pump injector system can also clog. Low-quality fuel can cause debris and residue to build up and clog the fuel system. The injector pump's spray tip is the most common component to clog, and it can cause an engine to sputter during acceleration. Using high-quality fuel helps prevent fuel injector systems from clogging.

Black Exhaust

While a faulty fuel injector system is a common cause of black exhaust, other complications can imbalance the air-to-fuel proportion and produce black exhaust. If your diesel truck emits black exhaust, but your fuel injector is in good condition, you may need to inspect and replace your air filter, exhaust gas recirculation valve, or turbocharger.

Storage Battery Malfunctions

A diesel engine depends on its starter system, and storage batteries are a crucial part of this system. A diesel engine's starter system contains lead-acid batteries, and the batteries' active material gradually depletes as drivers use the engine. Declining batteries can offset an engine's compression ratio, making it challenging to start. A diesel truck typically requires at least one storage battery replacement during its life span.

High or Low Compression Ratio

A diesel engine's compression ratio is crucial because the proper ratio allows it to operate smoothly. Most diesel engines operate with a 20:1 compression ratio, but some operate well at higher ratios. Falling below a 20:1 ratio can complicate steering control, and a ratio that rises too high above a 20:1 ratio can damage the fuel injector or cause engine knock.

Fuel System Contamination

Diesel fuel has a higher viscosity than gasoline, making it more prone to contamination. Engine complications can result if diesel fuel degrades, dilutes, or collects any of the following contaminants:

  • Soot
  • Glycol
  • Water
  • Metal particulates

If your engine produces low power, fuel system contamination may be the problem. However, contacting a professional is important because other complications, such as improper lubrication, a clogged injector, or loose throttle linkage, can also cause low power.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

While repair services can resolve diesel engine complications, regular maintenance helps prevent them. Regular maintenance is essential for diesel trucks because it allows technicians to replace worn machine parts and correct potential issues before they cause extensive damage. A regular maintenance schedule is one of the most beneficial ways to keep your truck or fleet operating in top shape while saving money.

Contact Thompson Truck Source for Big Rig Maintenance

Several complications can affect a diesel engine. Diagnosing the correct source of an issue and making the right repairs requires training and experience. You should seek a reputable diesel engine repair service any time you hear unusual sounds from your engine or notice your truck operating below its normal performance.

Thompson Truck Source offers high-quality diesel engine repair services to keep your truck or fleet operating effectively and efficiently. We also perform particulate filter cleaning to protect your engine and ensure your truck is always ready to hit the road.

From preventive maintenance to emergency repairs, you can depend on Thompson Truck Source. Our skilled technicians diagnose issues correctly and perform repairs quickly to reduce vehicle downtime. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you maintain and repair your diesel trucks.