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What Maintenance Does Your Diesel Truck Need?

Many consumers have driven gas-powered trucks to get around, but there is an even more rewarding truck on the market that provides better fuel economy, more torque, and holds more value. These benefits are only possible if routine diesel truck maintenance is the top priority.

What is a Diesel Truck?

A diesel-powered truck takes air, compresses the air, and then injects fuel into the compressed air. The heat of the air initiates the fuel to create the vehicle start-up process. Since diesel engines start ignition in such a unique way, it requires special maintenance compared to gas-powered trucks, where there are fewer filters and fluids—maintaining all vehicles, whether gas or diesel, is essential for their health and longevity. Although diesel trucks go longer between maintenance visits, each visit is much more complex and requires specialized technicians and attention. In addition to coolant, air filter, and oil, diesel trucks require diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that are both in place to cater specifically to the health of the atmosphere. DEF is a mixture of urea and water that lessens the production of harmful emissions that spew from the exhaust muffler of a diesel truck. A DPF is a filter that traps damaging particulates before they place themselves into the atmosphere. These two components make up some of the most significant differences between diesel-powered and gas-powered trucks and the complexity of diesel truck maintenance.

What is Diesel Truck Maintenance?

The purpose of maintenance is to decrease the likelihood of part failure by staying on top of wear and tear before it turns into the destruction that will require outright replacement. Expert technicians highly recommend routine maintenance on all fluids, filters, and parts because they can get under the hood and see premature faults before they create a domino effect of failures. Preventative maintenance on diesel trucks is much more intricate and timelier than on gas-powered trucks because there are more things to monitor. Diesel truck maintenance consists of monitoring fluids and filters similar to those of a gas-powered vehicle and parts only involved in diesel trucks. Here is a list of things that diesel truck maintenance technicians monitor during routine servicing: 

  • Regular oil and oil filter changes
  • Glow Plug inspection
  • Monitoring Gaskets
  • Use of Diesel Treatment fluid
  • Monitoring Coolant
  • Air Filter Change
  • Fuel Filter Change

This list consists of the most critical elements of a maintenance procedure that technicians must monitor thoroughly during every visit. Since diesel engines are designed somewhat differently than gas-powered engines, any lack of nurturing of their components will result in irreversible damage. Oil changes are vital for a diesel engine because, without on-time changes, diesel engines are easily destroyed. Glow plugs are a part that only diesel trucks possess. This component is in the combustion chamber, producing the heat necessary to start, run, and maintain the diesel engine optimally. Technicians will monitor the gasket regularly to ensure there are no leaks. Gasket leaking should be observed and fixed immediately. If a leak is discovered in either gasket, technicians should replace the part. If one has failed, all of them are on their way to failure. Another valuable component that works strictly for diesel engines is diesel treatment fluid. The driver should incorporate this into the tank to keep impurities from attacking the engine. Coolant works as it would in a gas-powered engine. The radiator relies on this fluid to work as a cooling mechanism, but if not closely monitored and flushed out, it can create an acidity that can destroy the radiator in diesel trucks. The air filter in any vehicle is in place to protect the engine from harmful particles. In a diesel engine, it is pivotal to replace the air filter to stop dust that can create engine failure over time proactively. The final filter specifically designed for diesel engines is the fuel filter. This filter consists of a primary and secondary filter that protects the diesel engine from extremely small particles that can create damage. Professionals highly recommend that both filters be changed every maintenance visit. 

Diesel truck maintenance has similarities to gas-powered truck maintenance, but the differences involved are some of the most extremely important components that can negatively affect the diesel engine. Diesel trucks only benefit the driver in terms of fuel economy, the ability to haul heavy loads with limited to no wasteful force and their reliability on the road and long-term are only possible with vital up-keep. With a diesel truck, routine visits to the shop are much less, but every visit counts towards its health.