The diesel engine is arguably the greatest invention in automotive history. From the humble diesel engine, so many technologies have been developed and the internal combustion engine has come a long way since then. Unfortunately, like all mechanical equipment, there’s a chance that diesel engines can become worn and damaged, eventually requiring diesel engine repairs. In this article we’re answering six very common questions about repairing a diesel engine:
- What causes diesel engine damage?
There are three major causes of diesel engine damage, and most engine repair jobs are required thanks to one of these. The first is misfuelling, or putting the incorrect fuel into your petrol tank. The second is water in the fuel, when water drops (from condensation inside the tank or external water sources) mix with the diesel. Finally, a common cause of diesel engine damage is neglecting to appropriately and regularly service the engine.
- How do you know if a diesel engine needs repair?
Looking for telltale signs your diesel engine is in need of some tool TLC? There are many, but we’ll tackle the most common here. The first is oil sludge, which can be spotted accumulating on the dipstick or the oil cap. Second is finding metal shavings in your engine’s oil, which is caused by improper lubrication. If your engine is consuming way more oil or coolant than it usually does, this is also a sign of diesel engine issues. Finally, knocking sounds and excessive exhaust are two more indications that a diesel engine needs attention.
- Which part of a diesel engine gets damaged?
There are four diesel engine components that get damaged more often than any others. This is often because of inner city driving, where the engine doesn’t get the chance to heat up and run at optimal temperatures. Injection systems on diesel engines are prone to trouble, and should be checked once a year. Second are the particulate filters, which can’t burn off solid particles from exhaust fumes and the buildup causes loss of engine performance. Finally, timing drive issues are also common on diesel engines, most commonly caused by driving in metropolitan areas without waiting for the engine to warm up before driving off
- How does a diesel engine repair begin?
Every diesel engine repair project begins with a dismantling of the engine, and a thorough cleaning of each component. Forget a sponge and soapy water! A specialised auto machinist device called an ultrasonic cleaner uses cleaning chemicals and high-frequency sound waves to completely clean each engine component of oil and other debris. Only once each part is completely clean can the automotive machinist effectively assess them for damage.
- What’s the most important phase of diesel engine repair?
Rebuilding a diesel engine is arguably the most important step of diesel engine repair. There are many critical phases that must occur before a rebuild, like reskimming and possibly reboring the parts to manufacturer specification. However, none are as important as ensuring that the diesel engine is reconstructed carefully and accurately, and that it is thoroughly tested before being put back into operation.
- Can you avoid requiring diesel engine repairs?
Luckily, diesel engines are serviced and repaired often, so there is an ocean of best-practice information that diesel engine owners can draw on to get the most out of their engines. To avoid requiring diesel engine repairs, consider these pointers: stick with factory components when replacing any engine parts. Don’t delay replacing oil and fuel filters when they are due to be swapped out. Maintain regular oil changes, and be sure to clean your air filter with every oil change.
Accredited diesel engine repairs in Durban
Eagleharm Engineering is a Durban-based specialist automotive machinist workshop. Our 50+ years of engine repair expertise makes us the preferred large diesel engine repairs provider in KwaZulu-Natal. Book a diesel engine repair in Durban by contacting Ryan or Todd Harmsworth, we look forward to being of service!