A busted truck engine can bring your business grinding to a halt. That’s why diesel engine maintenance is so important. If you’re one of Canada’s 170,000 truck drivers, you need to keep your wheels turning. Especially if you’re an independent operator who doesn’t have a trucking firm supporting you.
Don’t risk shouldering the cost of a brand new engine. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Bring your soaring repair costs down to earth with our diesel engine maintenance tips.
Learn How Your Engine Sounds
As a professional driver, part of your job is getting the best performance out of your rig. That means learning how your engine responds as you drive is really important. Listen to that old girl roar.
You’ll start to figure out how it should sound in different circumstances. Pay close attention while you’re accelerating or slowing down, pulling to a stop or idling. When you know what your engine should sound like, you’ll start to realize when something has gone wrong. Picking out different sounds from an engine takes some skill, but experienced drivers often develop a second sense for when something isn’t right!
Always take some time out during your driving day to turn down that radio for a little bit, and listen to your engine growling.
Plan out a Maintenance Schedule
We get that it can be a bit more boring, and you’d rather be hanging with your friends, but taking twenty minutes to plan out a good maintenance schedule is a great idea.
It’s easy to forget to do things when you’re busy. Driving and running a business is very time-consuming. While it’s understandable that we’re all human, your diesel engine will be less forgiving. If you forgo or forget maintenance, it could give up the ghost much sooner than you might expect. A schedule will help to jog your memory so that you keep giving your truck the care it deserves after hauling.
Never forget to get your truck checked regularly by a specialist garage. A breakdown can cost you earnings and reputation, so it’s always worth paying for these. Think of it as an investment in your business. As well as getting a professional opinion at least once or twice a year, take the time to do monthly visual inspections by yourself.
Since temperature regulation is so important for big rig engines, pay close attention to the radiator. If there are any wet patches, take a closer look for leaks. And top up any of your fluids if they look like they’re running low. Regular cleaning can help you to spot problems, so don’t neglect this task either.
Change Your Oil
Don’t hit the gas so hard and so long without an oil check. A lack of oil could kill your engine. Regular top-ups and full changes are a necessary part of your diesel engine maintenance routine if you want your engine to have a long and useful life.
Write yourself a dashboard note to remind yourself to check and top off the oil on the evening before each trip. Don’t forget to do a quick check on transmission fluid while you’re doing it.
It’s not a hard job and could save you a real headache. Without enough oil, the wear and tear on your engine will dramatically increase, and it could overheat. If the filter also needs changing (which it will periodically), get your truck checked in at the local garage as soon as you can.
Use The Right Fuel
Obviously, don’t use regular gas in your diesel truck, but we don’t think we needed to say this. We all know how serious misfuelling can be.
For those who don’t, if you misfuel and then start to drive, it can absolutely ruin your engine. Never do this! You need to give your truck the right juice – and only the right juice. What we really mean by the ‘right juice’ here, though, is the right blend of fuel for your engine. Consult with the manufacturer if you’re unsure, as this can be different from truck to truck.
Is the Battery Okay?
Your truck’s battery will need to be replaced every few years. But during that time, you should also pay close attention to its condition. If patches of discolouration start to appear, it may be leaking acid, which is serious. You’ll need to swap it out for a fresh battery right away.
Also, while your head is under the hood, take a close look at the wiring. If wires are frayed or damaged in another way, those will need to be changed too.
Fit a Temperature Sensor to Your Exhaust
Attaching a temperature sensor to your exhaust can be very useful for professional drivers. It’s not like you’re going to do this with your hands. Gadgets like this help you find out when things are going wrong. They’re much faster at spotting problems than the naked eye.
Diesel Engine Maintenance in Winter
Diesel engines are sensitive to temperature, so pay close attention to yours in the colder months of the year. During winter, always use your block heater (switch it on before letting the engine cool down) to keep your truck’s engine at a reasonable temperature overnight. Even if it seems mild in the winter months, the temperature could plummet overnight while you’re sleeping.
While we’re talking about winter, don’t forget to get your tires and brakes properly checked out.
Your Truck Needs Professional Attention
Overdrive Heavy Duty Services Ltd specializes in servicing heavy-duty vehicles like commercial trucks.
If your truck is in need of work, or you want to come in for diesel engine maintenance, contact us today. You can book an appointment right now with our handy online form. It’ll only take a few moments, and we’ll get back to you shortly to confirm your booking.
We look forward to making your driving smooth and comfortable.