How Importance Of Diesel Engine Maintenance
Simple maintenance activities can help keep your diesel engine in good running order. For example, failing to maintain and/or replace your engines’ filters on schedule or using filters that don’t meet the manufacturers specifications can lead to unwanted debris getting into the engine. That can decrease performance and eventually cause premature failure of the fuel pump, injectors and other key components, resulting in costly downtime and repairs. Efficiency can drop up to 20 percent before you may notice a problem — equivalent to losing one day per working week.
Remember, dirt is your engine’s biggest enemy and regular maintenance is the best form of defense. Your engine will typically have three filters that need to be regularly maintained. The water separator is the first stage of the fuel filtration system and is sometimes referred to as the primary fuel filter. Regularly check and drain this to prevent excess water entering the engine because this can cause premature failure of injectors and compromise engine performance.
Fuel filters help to defend your whole fuel system. They remove microscopic particles that could damage your fuel injection pump leading to poor engine running or potentially a complete failure.
Oil filters, if not maintained, can result in a number of defects and increased wear on internal components. Engine lubrication is vital to continued performance. It is important to continuously provide basic maintenance. Even something as simple as an oil change and Lubricants label comes with a recommended procedure. In this case, make sure the engine is warm before draining the oil — this allows dirt particles to be suspended in the oil and drained out of the system. Thoroughly clean the area around the oil filter to prevent dirt from entering the system.
Most engine manufacturers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) provide maintenance guides and resource materials that should be used and followed. Because overhaul is often a vital part of the life of a diesel engine, many manufacturers offer packaged overhaul parts kits.
In addition to the necessary parts, an overhaul should include re-facing of the cylinder block to create a clean, flat sealing surface for the cylinder head gasket. It is very important to follow the manufacturers recommended procedures when making the “skim” cut on the block after disassembly, and the process should be discussed with your distributor prior to machining the block.
Removing too much material from the cylinder block can affect its ability to cope with the cyclic shock produced in the combustion process and other vibrations and stresses produced by the engine and application. This can lead to an unstable cylinder block, allow the piston to strike the valves in the cylinder head and ultimately result in engine failure. There is a second consequence. By taking off too much material from the cylinder block, piston movements and combustion process take place too close to the engine’s cooling system or water jacket. This means the engine is not able to cool itself sufficiently and conduct heat through the components properly resulting in piston seizure and ultimately engine failure.