Diesel engines are powerful and efficient machines, but if they get dirty, they will not be able to work at peak efficiency. Dirty in this sense refers literally to dirt—from the air, from the ground, from the diesel fuel itself—getting into the engine. This is why it’s important to maintain good diesel engine filtration.

Why is dirt so bad for diesel engines?

When dirt gets into a diesel engine, it can lead to extra wear on the engine. This can reduce efficiency as well as shorten the lifespan of the engine and its parts. Even microscopic grains of dust, sand and other particulates from the fuel supply chain can cause problems in a finely tuned machine like this.

How does dirt get into the engine?

While the outside of the engine may get some exposure to the elements, the internal parts of an engine are closed off pretty well. So, how would dirt, dust or other particulates get into the engine in the first place?

A diesel engine can get dirty from anything that’s put into it, including fuel and oil. For example, water may get into diesel fuel if it’s stored improperly, as can dirt or other particulates. This may get into your fuel tank when you fill it up at the gas pump, or it may get into the fuel supply at a different stage of the process.

Dirt can also get into your engine via oil. It can sneak in during an oil change, or bits of microscopic metal parts from normal engine wear and tear may even be carried off by the oil circulating in your engine.

Or course, dirt and dust in the air can get into the engine via air intakes as well. Whether you’re driving through the desert in a dust storm, or just on sunny city streets with beautiful, clear blue skies, the air around us always contains more than meets the eye.

How to prevent a dirty diesel engine

Fortunately, there are some effective ways to prevent a diesel engine from getting too dirty. The most important thing you can do in this regard is keep on top of regular diesel engine maintenance. For example, make sure to change your filters as needed and on a regular basis. This includes oil filters, fuel filters and air filters.

Diesel engine filtration helps keep the engine clean by removing contaminants like soot that are caused by oil breakdown and from burning fuel. No matter how much oil your engine requires, all the oil in a diesel engine will pass through the oil filter once every 12 to 15 seconds. It’s important to change the oil filter with every oil change to make sure the oil is getting filtered properly.

Air filters catch 99.99 percent of dust, but sometimes they catch other things as well, like twigs and leaves. An air filter that’s too full of dust or other contaminants will restrict airflow to the engine, which can reduce power and increase fuel consumption.

Contact Coastal Diesel Injection today for all your diesel engine maintenance needs.