How to Select Diesel Engine Fluids for Affordable Maintenance

Posted on: 16 May 2017

The massive competition in the trucking industry has eroded profit margins and forced some owner-drivers of diesel trucks out of business. However, you can carefully select the diesel engine fluids that you use in your truck in order to cut maintenance costs. This article discusses some of those tips and tricks that you can use to cut diesel maintenance costs and stay profitable. 

Use Low Sulphur Fuel

Many jurisdictions have regulations governing the magnitude of emissions that heavy goods vehicles can emit. Those regulations have led to the installation of exhaust gas recirculation systems (EGR). The challenge with EGRs is that they cause more soot to form in the engine because exhaust gases aren't removed quickly enough to allow fresh air and fuel to enter the combustion chambers.

That soot compels truck operators to replace the diesel particulate filters very frequently due to the risk that the filters will get clogged and affect truck performance. The replacements increase maintenance costs. You can lower that cost by only using low sulphur diesel in your truck. Such fuel will form less soot when compared to regular diesel. Consequently, your filter change intervals will increase.

Stick to One Coolant

Manufacturers are constantly bringing new engine coolants on the market in response to the challenges that the existing varieties face. Truck operators often find themselves mixing different coolants in order to reap the benefits that the new products offer. However, this habit can increase truck maintenance costs in several ways.

For instance, the coolants may degrade sooner due to the interaction between their incompatible ingredients. Operators then spend more to replace the coolants at shorter intervals. Secondly, mixing coolants may neutralize the beneficial corrosion-protection attributes of each of the coolants in your mix. As a result, the engine will develop problems, such as damaged gaskets, due to the impact of corrosion within the unprotected engine. Such repairs can be costly. Avoid this problem by sticking to one coolant type for your diesel engine.

Choose Fuel Additives Carefully

Diesel fuel additives can help to stabilise the fuel in case the truck is being used in cold weather. They can also protect the fuel from oxidation in case it stays in the tank for extended durations. However, some additives may not be compatible with the components of some diesel engines. For instance, some truck manufacturers may prohibit the use of alcohol-based additives in their engines. Warranty coverage can therefore be lost in case the engine develops problems when such a prohibited additive was used in the fuel. Avoid incurring high repair costs that could have been covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Use additives that your manufacturer recommends for your diesel engine.

Talk to diesel engine service experts in your area for additional measures that you can take to keep the maintenance cost of your diesel engine affordable so that you protect the profit margins of your trucking business.