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​Celebrate Car Care Month: 5 Ways to Care for Your Diesel Car

Sep 22nd 2023

Happy Young Man Hugging His New car / Ground Picture

It’s Car Care Month, here in the U.S., which means it’s time to give your diesel engine a thorough once-over. The event is held annually twice a year in April and October, which happens to coincide with the changing seasons, the most crucial time for repairs. The holiday is designed to encourage drivers everywhere to maintain their vehicles as a way of making the roads safer. Cold weather brings ice and snow, which reduces traction. Around 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes every year due to snow or sleet. So, what can you do to celebrate? Use these diesel car maintenance tips to help your vehicle get through the winter.

Maintain Your Fluids

Your vehicle needs a constant supply of fluids to maintain efficiency. In addition to having enough fuel, use this opportunity to change out your motor oil. The oil loses its lubricating properties every time it gets recycled through the engine. Most drivers change the oil every 5,000 – 7,000 miles, but you might want to do it more often if you regularly tow heavy loads or take short trips. Take your truck for longer rides from time to time to give the oil time to circulate throughout the engine. If your truck doesn’t have enough oil, the vehicle will slowly lose efficiency. It lubricates the fuel injectors that pressurize the fuel before inserting it into the combustion chamber as a fine mist. Replace the fuel system parts if you’re going through more oil than usual or don’t seem to be getting as many miles per gallon.

The engine can still overheat even though the temperature is dropping. Keep your coolant levels high to avoid damaging crucial parts and components. Diesel engines use coolant to reduce the temperature of the exhaust gas before it reenters the engine. Without enough coolant, the excess heat could damage the exhaust and overwhelm the radiator.

Closeup Hands Auto Mechanic Using Wrench / Eakrin Rasadonyindee

Check the Brakes

Slick surfaces can be a cause for concern in many parts of the U.S. despite the warming climate. If you regularly deal with ice and snow, have your brakes inspected by a professional to make sure the linings, drums, and pads are up to snuff.

Upgrade Your Tires

Having the right kind of tires will help you get through the winter. Inspect the treads on your tires to see if they need to be replaced. If the rubber grooves start to fade, swap them out for a new set before the worst of winter arrives. Use all-weather or snow tires to reduce sliding in slick conditions.

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Man Checking Front Wheel Tire Car / norgal

Replace Broken Parts

Some drivers put off replacing crucial parts until there’s a leak in the crankcase, but avoiding the problem will only make it worse. Find out if you need to make any changes under the hood based on how long it’s been since these items were last replaced. Pay attention to crucial warning signs that something may be wrong with your vehicle, including the fuel pressure, fuel efficiency, blue or gray smoke coming out of the exhaust, potent smells, and clanking or grinding sounds. If you’re burning through more fuel than normal or you regularly lose power, there may be a problem with the injector pump that sends fuel to the injectors. Replace the injector pump every 100,000 to 150,000 miles to avoid wasting precious fuel.

Learn What to Do in an Emergency

Snowy weather can increase the risk of accidents, so make sure your vehicle has everything it needs to reach its destination. You might have trouble finding a mechanic or getting a tow if your car breaks down on the side of the road. You should have a way to contact the authorities for help if you get stuck along the way. Bring plenty of food, water, and survival gear to get by until help arrives. A faulty crankshaft position sensor can easily throw you for a loop in the middle of a long trip. Use this temporary fix for a crankshaft position sensor to hold you over until you can get to a mechanic. Keep emergency contact information and the number of a good mechanic handy in case you run into trouble.

Car Care Month is about giving your vehicle the love and attention it deserves. Make sure your engine is up to the task at hand before the seasons change.