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What are the common mistakes to avoid in diesel engine tune up?

Author: May

Mar. 07, 2024

160 0

Tags: Energy

If you drive with a diesel engine, it may seem like it can withstand anything. However, there are a few common mistakes that people make that can do more damage than you might realize. Avoiding some of these mistakes can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. In this article, we’ll cover some of the biggest mistakes that can damage your engine and decrease its performance. Here are five things you should absolutely not do to your diesel engine! These tips can help guide you through the process of maintaining your diesel engine and avoiding costly errors.

Letting Your Fuel Get Too Low

One of the fundamental mistakes diesel engine owners often make is letting their fuel get too low. Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines rely heavily on the fuel within the tank to not only power the engine, but also to cool and lubricate the fuel pump.

When the fuel level gets too low, air can get into the fuel system, which can potentially damage the fuel pump due to overheating and insufficient lubrication. Furthermore, low fuel levels can stir up sediment from the bottom of the tank, causing clogged fuel filters and dirty injectors. To avoid these problems and keep your diesel engine running efficiently, it’s recommended to always keep your fuel tank at least a quarter full. You may need to spend a little extra time and money at the pumps, but it more than balances out with the cost and effort that goes into maintenance on an engine that regularly runs too low on fuel.

Putting Off Oil Changes

Another thing that you absolutely should not do to your diesel engine is put off getting your oil changed. Neglecting timely oil changes is another common mistake that can lead to serious damage to your diesel engine. Oil plays a crucial role in your engine by providing lubrication, reducing friction between moving parts, and helping to keep the engine cool. Over time, however, oil can lose its viscosity and effectiveness due to continuous exposure to high temperatures and accumulation of dirt particles.

This causes it to become thicker and less efficient at lubricating the engine parts, leading to increased wear and tear. Additionally, old oil can lead to the buildup of sludge that can clog the oil filter and engine’s passageways. To prevent these issues, it is crucial to change the engine oil and oil filter as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Regular oil changes not only extend the life span of your diesel engine but also ensure optimal performance.

Ignoring Filter Maintenance

Overlooking the maintenance of filters is a detrimental misstep for diesel engine owners. The air, oil, and fuel filters play pivotal roles in safeguarding the engine’s components from debris and contaminants. The air filter prevents dust and debris from entering the combustion chamber, while the oil filter traps particles that could cause wear and tear on the engine’s moving parts. The fuel filter, on the other hand, safeguards the engine from potential damage by trapping contaminants present in the fuel.

If these filters become clogged or too dirty, they can drastically impact the engine’s performance and fuel efficiency. A clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, leading to reduced power and increased fuel consumption. Similarly, excessively dirty oil and fuel filters can lead to poor lubrication, increased engine wear, and even engine failure in worst-case scenarios.

To help maintain and prolong the life span of your diesel engine, regular inspection and replacement of these filters is crucial. When in doubt, you can refer to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your diesel engine runs smoothly and efficiently.

Using the Wrong Fuel Additives

The use of inappropriate fuel additives is another misstep that diesel engine owners should avoid. Fuel additives are often used with the intent to enhance the performance and lifespan of the engine. They aim to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and clean the fuel system. However, not all additives are created equal.

Some products may not be suitable for your specific engine type and could, in fact, lead to more harm than good. The wrong additives can alter the fuel’s combustion characteristics, leading to engine knocking. They might also react negatively with the fuel or engine parts, causing corrosion or buildup of unwanted residues. It’s also worth noting that the use of unnecessary additives could lead to an overconcentration, which could potentially damage the fuel system components.

Therefore, it is essential that you use good judgment and select additives that are specifically designed for and compatible with your diesel engine. Always follow the usage instructions and avoid overuse. If in doubt, consult with a trusted mechanic or your vehicle manufacturer to confirm the suitability of a particular additive for your engine.

Disregarding Warning Lights

Ignoring the warning lights on your dashboard is a grave error for any vehicle owner, more so for those with diesel engines. Warning lights serve as a vehicle’s way of communicating potential issues that may impact the performance or safety of your engine. These can range from engine malfunctions and overheating to issues with your braking or electrical system.

Diesel engines, in particular, have a series of unique warning lights such as the glow plug indicator and diesel particulate filter warning. Ignoring these warnings can lead to serious engine damage and costly repairs. For instance, a glow plug warning light might indicate a malfunctioning pre-heating system, which could result in difficult starts, especially in cold weather. Similarly, a diesel particulate filter warning light could signify a clog in the filter, leading to reduced engine performance and increased exhaust emissions.

Naturally, it’s crucial to take any warning lights seriously. It’s a good idea to seek professional advice as soon as any unfamiliar or concerning warning light pops up on your dashboard to ensure the longevity and efficient performance of your diesel engine.

Don’t let your diesel engine troubles ruin your day. Seek expert help from ATL Diesel, your trusted partner in diesel engine repair and maintenance. Our experienced technicians use only the best in class parts, such as the Detroit 60 series rebuild kit, to ensure your engine performs at its peak. Our online store can help you use your engine’s serial number to ensure that you get the right parts that you need every time! Contact us today to schedule your engine service. Remember, regular maintenance and timely repairs can significantly extend the life of your diesel engine. Invest in quality, invest in ATL Diesel.


Diesel generators have been making their way into many businesses and residential buildings for backup power.

Their many benefits have made them a widely popular option. But it’s important to keep these machines well-maintained in order for the investment to be worth it. Diesel generator maintenance isn’t difficult but there are certain things that should be avoided.

We’ve compiled a list of the seven most common standby generator maintenance mistakes to avoid with your diesel generator.

Portable Generator Maintenance Mistake 1 – Using Improper Fuel or Stale Fuel

Obviously, when you’re using a Diesel engine of any kind, you need to only use diesel fuel. Using other options for fuel, like gasoline, can completely ruin the machine.

Not only is the type of fuel important but the quality of the chosen fuel will also make a major difference in the machine’s performance. Moreover, choosing an ideal fuel stabilizer can go a long way in ensuring that your generator functions as expected, without any glitches. This is especially true for a standby generator since they don’t get used as often.

A high-quality fuel source will prevent build-up and condensation in the fuel system of portable generators when not in use. Then again, you must also ensure that the fuel tank, as well as the fuel lines, are all clean, and there are no fuel leaks whatsoever. This ensures that the generator will fire up when needed.

Using stale fuel can also lead to major problems, even if it started as high quality. Keeping the fuel fresh and moving is key to a well-performing generator.

Standby Generator Maintenance Mistake 2 – Avoiding Repairs

It’s easy to put off doing repairs on any kind of engine. You hear something that doesn’t sound right and think (and hope) maybe it will just go away.

But, not making repairs is one of the biggest mistakes diesel generator owners can make.

When you see signs of damage you need to call in an experienced mechanic who will know how to fix the underlying issue. The good news is, most generator repairs are actually much more affordable than other engine types.

Don’t try to save money by not handling a repair. It may end up costing you way more when you have to replace the generator together.

Portable Generator Maintenance Mistake 3 – Not Cleaning Air Filters and Fuel Filters

The unfortunate side of owning any kind of machinery is that there is a lot of ‘out of sight – out of mind’ elements that need to be remembered.

One of the biggest things that are often forgotten is the generator’s air filter and fuel filter. These filters allow the machine to function as efficiently as possible to get you the best results.

A filter will get clogged as it does its job to keep only the cleanest fuel moving through the machine.

Thanfully, a filter change is normally a very simple task that anyone can handle. All it takes is locating the filter, getting the right size replacement, and switching it out. It should be done on a regular basis a few times a year depending on how often the backup generator is used.

Standby Generator Maintenance Mistake 4 – Not Letting it Warm Up Before Use

If you’ve worked with a Diesel engine before you know that you have to let the machine warm up some before it can really be used.

This is also true for a diesel generator and is one of the most important generator maintenance tools. The warm-up period helps the machine to effectively use the fuel it’s pushing through and lowers condensation build-up.

It doesn’t take much time but can make a big difference in how well the generator performs, especially on those cold nights.

Portable Generator Maintenance Mistake 5 – Leave it Sitting Too Long

The most important way to warm-up your diesel generator is to turn it on on a regular basis. Letting it sit for long periods of time will result in many problems.

Using diesel generators is often a back-up for a more permanent source of power, like when the power goes out in a bad storm. It would be a waste of money if you couldn’t use the generator when you needed it because it hadn’t been turned on recently.

When the fuel sits for too long it can become stale and even gummy. If that’s the case it won’t flow through the system easily and, therefore, it won’t start.

This is an easy fix though. Just make sure to turn on the generator every few months for a little while. After that, it should be good to go whenever you need it.

Standby Generator Maintenance Mistake 6 -Missing Routine Check-ups

Just like everything in life, a diesel generator needs to be routinely looked over and inspected for potential problems and needed repairs.

This could be done in a variety of ways, either you handling the inspection yourself or taking the machine into a professional mechanic. Whichever way you choose, this maintenance routine is critical to extending the lifespan of the generator.

The benefit of taking the generator into a mechanic is that they may be able to show you new ways to get the most out of the generator.

When you miss these inspections, you’re likely missing little issues that could turn into major problems down the road if they aren’t dealt with properly and quickly.

Portable Generator Maintenance Mistake 7 – Trying to Handle Repairs on Your Own

Even though they are much more simple than other types of diesel engines, a diesel generator is still a complicated piece of machinery. This means that it should be taken to a mechanic for any major repairs.

That is especially true when you know you’ll be counting on your generator in critical situations.

A trained, professional mechanic will be able to make all of the necessary repairs while guaranteeing the work that they do. It’s a huge benefit to have a skilled person work on your machinery to get things done right the first time.

CHECK OUT OUR USED GENERATOR INVENTORY

Best Tips for Diesel Generator Maintenance

A diesel generator is often a large investment upfront at the time of purchase. But it’s a great place to put your money because of how long it will live and how much use you can get from it.

It’s important to take the time to have regular, routine diesel generator maintenance in order to keep it performing at its best.

If you’re interested in learning more about diesel generators or getting one for yourself, contact us today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Standby Generator Maintenance

Why is preventive maintenance recommended by generator manufacturers?

Whether it is the inspection of the cooling system or cleaning of the spark plugs, changing the engine oil or ensuring that the exhaust system is clean, spotting oil leaks in time or having the circuit breaker checked, preventive maintenance or even something as simple as a regular visual inspection can go a long way in ensuring that you avoid the dreaded generator failure!

What is the role of Coolant in a Generator?

Ideal coolant levels in the generator can ensure the provision of sufficient heat transfer capability, prevent the metal materials in the cooling system from rusting, and provide adequate frost protection to the generator. Of course, for this to happen, the coolant temperature should be at the optimal level, and coolant leaks should be avoided at all costs.

What are the common mistakes to avoid in diesel engine tune up?

7 Diesel Generator Maintenance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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