Cars, Lifehacks, Tips

Signs of Diesel Engine Failure You Shouldn’t Ignore

A diesel-powered truck, van, or vehicle provides plenty of power, torque, and freedom. However, as tough as they are, diesel engines require a certain level of care to keep running. Fortunately, you need only listen to what your vehicle is trying to tell you. Speaking in a language of lights, buzzes, roars, chirps, and more, your vehicle can sound a red alert about impending engine failure. Here are several signs of diesel engine failure you shouldn’t ignore.

Warning! Warning!

One way your vehicle complains to you is through the warning lights on your dashboard. If a light is flashing, it means something is up and you shouldn’t ignore it. The three main lights to focus on regarding engine failure are as follows:

Check Oil/Oil Level Low: The surest way to ruin your engine is to skip oil changes and ignore this angry red light. Change the oil and oil filter every 3,000–6,000 miles (check your owner’s manual for the exact count). Also, check the oil periodically with a dipstick. If it’s dark and gritty, it’s time for a change.

Oil Pressure Low: This light indicates something is up with the pressure in your system and that the engine isn’t properly lubricated, even if it has enough oil. Check in with your mechanic pronto.

Check Engine: One of life’s great mysteries… The check engine light can mean a simple fix or an entire part replacement. Have your mechanic scan your vehicle’s on-board computer, and all should be revealed. You might have left the gas cap unscrewed, or the engine is ready to fail.

Strange Vibrations

If your vehicle is bucking, jerking, surging, stalling, or doing anything else but running smoothly, it’s trying to tell you that it’s in trouble. Get it off the road and have it looked at by a qualified mechanic ASAP. These vibrations could be due to any number of issues, including impending engine failure. The best way to head this off is through regular tune-ups; also, check the spark plugs, fuel lines, and filter, and look for any impediments that are interfering with the smooth running. 

The Nose Knows

Other than that great new car smell, vehicles rarely emit anything that could be remotely considered pleasant. At best, you should hope they smell like nothing at all. Strange odors could indicate part failure, burnt fluids, and so forth. If you smell exhaust in the cabin, something is backing up. Get it fixed before you get carbon monoxide poisoning. 

The smell of burnt rubber suggests a melting part like a fan belt or something else. Burning oil, naturally, can indicate a problem with the engine, such as a leak, broken seal, or something else. Have it looked at by your mechanic right away.

Listen Up!

Another sign of diesel engine failure you shouldn’t ignore is unpleasant noises when applying the brakes. You might seek to make your truck louder, but hopefully not so loud you’ll miss these sounds of potential failure. Knocking, squealing, and worst of all grinding can indicate any number of vehicle issues, from worn brake pads to loose bearings. Engine failure doesn’t have a specific noise, so listen carefully and have any cacophony addressed.

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