As a tractor-trailer owner/operator it’s inevitable that you’ll need to take your diesel engine to be serviced. While having a certified diesel engine technician perform regular maintenance can help your truck run longer and more efficiently, it’s commonplace to experience diesel engine problems resulting from normal operation of the vehicle. The positive news is that your diesel service company should be able to easily fix several common diesel engine problems. Knowing the signs of these common issues can help you and your technician more easily identify and diagnose the diesel engine problem and find a fast and affordable solution.

Diesel Fuel Injector Issues

Because newer diesel engines utilize common-rail fuel injectors, which fire more often than older diesel engines, your newer rig is more likely to have worse wear and tear on injectors over time. A fuel injector that is worn out or tired can be difficult to diagnose, as your engine may still run fine. A common way to pinpoint a worn or cracked fuel injector is an extended period to crank your engine caused by weaker combustion. Additionally, some customers with bad fuel injectors may notice fuel dilution in their oil represented by a rise in oil levels. This derives from fuel draining from the fuel lines and rails back to the tank after engine shutdown.

Decrease in Power

Experiencing issues with decreased power at start-up or when accelerating is a common diesel engine problem. A lack of power can be caused by several issues such as a loose throttle linkage, dirty fuel filters, or fuel injector problems.

Bad Glow Plugs

Your diesel engine relies on glow plugs to ignite the fuel-air mixture, but if they go bad or you happen to install a defective on—your engine will have difficulty starting, especially when it’s cold outside. Outside of hard starting, having more than one glow plug go bad will make it even harder to start and cause extremely rough operation. Ensure that you buy premium glow plugs when replacing them, as the cheaper aftermarket glow plugs have been known to swell or even break causing costly piston-cylinder valve and/or head damage.

Fuel Contamination

Diesel fuel can become contaminated far more easily than gasoline due to its higher viscosity. Common fuel contaminates include water, soot, dilution, glycol, debris, and even microorganisms. Contaminants can find their way into your fuel through damaged caps, seals, or gaskets. Storing your diesel engine for long periods of time can also cause contamination, as will the weather. When contaminants penetrate your fuel system, it can lead to major engine problems and should be fixed as soon as possible.

Black Smoke

Heavy-duty, diesel engines are almost synonymous with smoke, as anyone who has driven by a diesel truck on the interstate can attest. While your diesel engine emanating black smoke can be simply a sign of over fueling, it can also be signs of more serious problems. If your diesel engine is continuously emitting black smoke, you should have your fuel injectors, air filters, valves, valve stem seals, and cylinder liners all checked to make sure there isn’t excessive wear and tear to these components. Having a technician perform regular preventative maintenance on your diesel engine will typically prevent these parts from failing.

Diesel Engine Repair and Maintenance

These are only a handful of the more common diesel engine problems that an owner-operator can experience while keeping a fleet on the road. At Certified Diesel Solutions, we service all makes and models of tractor-trailers from engine overhauls to drivetrain services and everything in between. If you experience any diesel engine problems, contact us today to schedule a certified diesel engine technician to diagnose and fix the problem. Give us a call at 865-964-6598 or contact us online HERE.