There are many different benefits that come with owning and using diesel-powered vehicles. They’re generally more economical, and they’ll provide you with better power. But there are some differences in the engine design that can lead to unique maintenance and repair issues. So, if you decide to purchase a diesel vehicle instead of a standard gas-powered vehicle, you should know about some of these issues.

Here are a few examples of some of the most common problems with diesel engine performance that we regularly deal with at our shop in Corpus Christi, TX:

  • Humidity-related problems: Moisture and diesel engines don’t mix. The lubricant in a diesel engine can be contaminated by humidity, resulting in some negative reactions, especially if the truck has sat for too long in a humid area. Over time, a buildup of moisture can result in engine knocking. Water also increases oxidation, damages fuel and oil additives and can interfere with engine lubrication, resulting in significant engine damage.
  • Oil oxidation: If you let a diesel vehicle sit in one place too long without regular use (a common problem for vehicles that are only used seasonally), there’s a chance you’ll experience oil oxidation, which occurs when air gets into the oil. This process results in bubbles that can prevent proper lubrication of the engine, which could result in engine damage. Oil should be changed as soon as possible after a vehicle is idle for a long period of time.
  • Excessive noise: The noise that comes from a diesel engine is usually louder than the noise from a gasoline engine, but there can be times when that noise becomes excessive even by the standards of a diesel vehicle. If you hear inconsistencies in the noise or a clear knocking sound, this could indicate a problem with the fuel injectors. Fuel injector issues can result in the compression balance being thrown off and overall performance being hurt.
  • Hard starting: Another common problem for diesel engines is having a difficult time starting. This generally occurs when there is low compression or a problem with fuel delivery. There are some diesel engines that may need to crank a bit to get started, but if an engine seems to take an excessively long time to start up, you should make sure to have the problem looked into by an experienced mechanic.
  • Black exhaust: Diesel trucks do release more smoke than traditional vehicles, but that smoke should not be excessive or black. Black smoke can result in a very unpleasant odor that can seep into the cab, and it can also result in you being fined for violating clean air regulations in your area. Black exhaust generally signifies and imbalanced air-to-fuel ratio, meaning you’re getting too much fuel and not enough air. You should investigate possible issues with injectors, injector pumps, EGR valves, air filters or turbochargers, all of which could be causing the problem.

For more information about some of the most common diesel engine problems in Corpus Christi, TX, or to schedule diesel engine repair, reach out to Coastal Diesel Injection today.