Turbodiesel vehicles have established a loyal customer base in North America. Follow these sound maintenance practices to extend the life of these powerful and expensive engines.
Allow the Engine to Warm and Cool
Upon startup, allow the engine to warm up before revving it or driving off. This is especially important in cold weather. Hot and cold engine parts expand at different rates, which could cause gaps that lead to leaks or gasket failure. It is equally important to allow the engine to adequately cool down before shutting it off, especially if the vehicle has been under heavy load for a prolonged period of time.
Address any changes in smoke color. White smoke is often a sign of coolant in the combustion chamber or injector malfunction, and blue smoke is usually a sign of oil in the combustion chamber. If your vehicle has exhibited changes in smoke, it’s important to correct the problem quickly before it leads to further damage.
Don’t Overheat the Engine
Don’t allow the engine to overheat. Maintaining a proper cooling system is vital to the longevity of your vehicle. Follow the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendation on cooling system maintenance. When making engine modifications, be sure to keep track of engine, oil, coolant and exhaust gas temperatures.
Engine problems often originate in the fuel tank. Water can find its way into the tank either from the fuel station or through condensation from heating and cooling. It’s important to drain off that water regularly or when the vehicle indicates your fuel/water separator is full. Because today’s diesel technology cycles so much fuel back to the tank, and carbon particles can separate from the fuel and collect in the tank and fuel filter, it’s important to use a premium fuel additive like AMSOIL Diesel Injector Clean to minimize these effects. Ensuring you have fresh fuel is also important, so when the temperature drops, you can be confident your vehicle will start.
Diesel fuel injection systems rely on fuel flow to keep the pump and injectors running at safe operating temperatures. Clogged fuel filters restrict flow, which can lead to damaged pumps and injectors or filter failure. Make sure you follow the OEM recommendation for fuel filter changes.
Clogged air filters decrease fuel economy and reduce horsepower. If contaminants are allowed through the filter, catastrophic engine damage can occur in minutes. Regularly check the filter minder (if equipped), or follow the OEM change recommendation. If you frequently drive in dusty conditions, consider changing the air filter more often.
Bypass oil filtration systems feature a secondary filter with the purpose of eliminating nearly all contaminants from the oil. They draw approximately 10 percent of the oil pump’s capacity at any one time and trap the extremely small, wear-causing contaminants that full-flow filters can’t remove. This continual process eventually makes all the oil analytically clean, reduces long-term wear and can extend oil drain intervals. Consider adding an AMSOIL Bypass System to your vehicle.
Turbodiesel vehicles produce a number of challenges for lubricants, and the importance of using premium-quality synthetic diesel oils cannot be overstated.
Turbochargers can spin over 100,000 rpm, creating intense heat and shearing forces that can cause lower-quality lubricants to lose viscosity and their ability to reduce friction, wear and heat, putting critical engine components at risk. Not only that, but turbodiesel vehicles suffer a certain level of fuel dilution, exacerbating viscosity loss and creating an environment more susceptible to engine wear. Lubricants that provide maximum protection and performance under extreme heat and loads are essential to maximizing equipment life and minimizing downtime. And because one of the primary benefits drawing customers to turbodiesels is fuel economy, it is important lubricants also do their part to maximize fuel economy benefits.
In addition, maintaining a clean engine promotes proper engine operation. Turbochargers have small orifices that must stay clean in order to properly lubricate and remove heat from the bearings.
New Diesel Oil Specs
Coming in December, the new API CK-4 and FA-4 diesel oil specifications focus on drastically reducing emissions and improving fuel economy, while providing increased engine-protection benefits through improvements in oxidation stability, shear stability and resistance to aeration.
- Designed for current model-year and older diesel engines
- Backward-compatible with API CJ-4 (and prior) oils
- Offers traditional viscosity grades of 15W-40, 10W-30, 5W-40 and 5W-30
- Designed for certain 2017 and newer diesel engines
- Not backward-compatible
- Designed to further improve fuel economy and reduce emissions
- Primarily features 10W-30 viscosity grade
AMSOIL Prepared for Change
AMSOIL customers can be well-assured that we will be ready for the implementation of the new diesel specifications with top-performing synthetic formulations. Details will be unveiled in the coming months.
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