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One of the perks of owning a diesel engine pickup like a Ford Powerstroke or Dodge Cummings is that they do not require quite as much repair as gas-powered pickups. That does not mean, however, that they don’t need regular maintenance and care. When diesel engines are not regularly maintained, repairs will become necessary.

A white Ford F-350 with an open hood and under inspection in an auto repair garage

These are eight of the most common diesel problems:

1. Difficult start. As a diesel owner, you know that they may crank a bit when started. However, if starting your pickup becomes exceptionally difficult – or it won’t start at all – you will want to have it brought in for maintenance.

2. Lack of power. Lack of power in a diesel pickup is a common fuel-related problem. Dirty fuel filters, excessive lubrication, fuel injector problems, and loose throttle linkage can all cause problems in starting and accelerating a pickup with a diesel engine.

3. Contaminated fuel. Diesel fuel is thicker than gasoline and, as a result, is contaminated more easily. The most common contaminants include glycol, soot, and water. Should any of these contaminants breach the fuel system it could cause serious engine problems.

4. Faulty lead/acid storage battery. The lead/acid storage battery is a crucial part in the starter system of a diesel pickup.

5. Black exhaust. When there is an imbalance of the air/fuel ratio black exhaust may occur. Usually this means that there is too much fuel and too little air.  A clogged air filter, broken injector or injector pump, faulty turbocharger, or broken EGR valve all can cause this problem.

6. Oil oxidation. When a diesel truck sits too long and isn’t driven regularly it may experience troubles with oil oxidation. Oil oxidation occurs when air gets into the oil and makes bubbles that hinder appropriate lubrication, which could cause engine damage. If your diesel pickup has been sitting for an extended time, you should have the oil changed.

7. Incorrect weight viscosity. Often, hard starting is the result of incorrect weight viscosity of engine lubrication. The viscosity of diesel lubricants is a lot higher than that of gasoline, and many people will use the wrong weight when they maintain their diesel on their own.

8. An overabundance of noise. Diesel engines are louder than a gas-powered engine. That’s just a fact. However, there may be times when the noise becomes a bit excessive, signaling a problem. If you hear any unusual knocking or any other unfamiliar noise, it may indicate a problem with the fuel injectors. This could affect your compression balance and reduce overall performance.

Keep your diesel engine running in optimal condition by calling on the experts at Gem State Diesel. We specialize in the repair and service of light, medium and heavy-duty diesel pickups and have established a reputation for superior diesel pickup repair and service in the Boise area. Call 208.957.6106 or schedule an appointment online.