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Diesel pickup truck owners know, maintaining a diesel engine is not the same as maintaining a gasoline-powered engine. There are multiple differences between the two. For example, diesel engines don’t use electrical parts in the ignition, nor do they have moving parts -such as distributor rotors- that are easily worn down. These differences make it slightly less expensive to maintain a diesel engine.

A man looking under the hood of his vehicle with caption “The Top 7 Diesel Maintenance Tips”

However, like gasoline-powered engines, diesel engines need regular maintenance. The following is a list of the top seven most important diesel pickup engine maintenance tips.

1.Get regular oil/oil filter changes. In a gasoline powered vehicle, being indolent with oil and oil filter changes will prematurely age the engine. However, it can quickly destroy a diesel-powered truck engine. Old, dirty oil can clog your engine and cause unnecessary and harmful friction and heat. Most vehicles require an oil change around every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for intervals specific to your vehicle.

2.Inspect the glow plugs regularly.  Properly functioning glow plugs are critical to the well-being and performance of your truck’s diesel engine. It relies on glow plugs to help produce enough heat for a successful ignition. Glow plugs require inspection regularly, especially during the winter months.

3.Monitor the gaskets. The gaskets on a diesel truck engine operate under extreme conditions and should be closely monitored. To avoid leaks and further complications, all the mounting bolts should be inspected regularly. If you find you have a leaking gasket you should replace them all at once. If one is leaking, then it is likely the others are not too far behind.

4.Use diesel treatment. Whenever you fill your diesel tank you should consider adding a bottle of diesel treatment. Diesel treatment helps to keep the impurities that are found in the fuel from reaching your engine and possibly causing damage.

5.Watch your coolant. Over time the coolant in your diesel truck’s engine will become more acidic. When it is left this way, the acid can begin to rot out parts of the cooling system, such as the radiator; this results in very expensive repairs. Make sure you are taking time to check the coolant, and have it flushed per the intervals described in your owner’s manual. You can also ask to have the acidity levels tested so you know where you are at.

6.Change the air filter. Air filters prevent harmful particles and debris from reaching your engine. A dirty, clogged air filter will allow some of these dangerous elements to pass through and reach parts of your engine that are meant to remain dirt free. Depending on the environment in which you drive you may need to change your air filter a little more frequently. Don’t clean and replace a filter as they are less effective this way. Always use a new one.

7.Have the fuel filter changed regularly? Your fuel filter needs to be replaced on a regular schedule. Usually around every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations specific to your truck model. Most newer model diesel trucks will have a primary and a secondary fuel filter. You should have both replaced at the same time.

When maintained properly, diesel pickup truck engines are extremely reliable. For help keeping your truck’s engine running in optimal condition call on the experts at Gem State Diesel. We specialize in the repair and service of light, medium and heavy-duty diesel pickups. We were established in 2010 and have maintained a reputation for superior diesel pickup repair and service in the Boise area. Our team has ASE Master Certified diesel mechanics with extensive experience in the service and repair of diesel pickup engines. Call 208.957.6106 or schedule an appointment online.