How to maintain a diesel engine - 10 tips for motorhome owners
The vast majority of motorhomes are powered by diesel engines. And it’s not only for economic reasons. Although today liter of diesel costs the same as a liter of gasoline, diesel engines, however, have a much smaller appetite for fuel. But how to take a proper care of the car with such engine?
Motorhome with a diesel engine can serve us for many, many years. It turns out very often that diesel engines can achieve much higher mileage than gasoline units. This means that with the mileage, at which the petrol engine would have to be scrapped, Diesel is still running and is doing very well.
But to achieve that, the diesel engine must be treated properly. It is true that such engines often require more attention and care than petrol units, and in case of failure, repair costs can be very high.
1. Use only good fuel
Some experts recommend to use only premium fuel for turbodiesel engines, which is more expensive diesel oil. Surely it won’t make any harm, but will it help? And here the opinions are divided. Most important is to tank fuel only on good, well-known gas stations. We should definitely avoid places, where fuel is offered at low prices, and where the appearance of the station itself isn’t too plausible.
2. Warm the engine up slowly
Turbodiesel can surprise with its performance, but better don’t start the car to fast as if you was taking part in some kind of race. If you want your motorhome to serve you long and without any problems, you should give the engine time to warm up. After starting the engine, drive slowly, on medium speed for few minutes. Don’t rush and don’t brake too rapidly.
3. Don’t go into extremes with the engine speed
Extremes are not good! Both frequent driving at high speed and continuous drive at the lowest is very harmful for the engine. Pressing gas pedal stronger is recommended, but only occasionally - for better engine purge and after a good warm-up.
4. Control the temperature
When driving, pay attention to the temperature of the engine. In most engines the ideal is to keep it around 90 degrees. It’s an optimal temperature, which indicates that the engine is already warmed up, and is overheated at the same time.
5. Avoid short distances
Driving on a cold engine, especially at low speeds (eg. in traffic) is very "unhealthy" for diesel, especially if it’s a modern unit equipped with a particulate filter. The filter can then be subject to clogging, and it’s worth remembering that the filter replacement is associated with very high costs.
6. Avoid driving with empty fuel tank
Regardless of whether you have a new or an old diesel, don’t cause situations, where the car stops from lack of fuel. Although modern diesel engine should "survive" such a situation, it’s difficult to definitely rule out the possibility of damage. The best you do, if you regard the reserve lamp a sufficient sign to visit the nearest gas station.
7. Don’t turn the engine off too fast
Before you do this, wait. Some experts advise that hot engine should be run "loosely" for at least 20 seconds, others say even up to two minutes. Most importantly, you have to remember to switch off the engine as soon as you reach your target - wait a little bit. Thanks to this the turbocharger will serve you longer.
8. Replace oil regularly
In case of diesel engines it’s not worth to check how long they will work on an old oil. Even if you do small runs, never drive on the same oil for more than a year. If you reach the mileage of 10-15 thousand km faster, replace the oil more often. Always choose a high quality oil - oil savings may turn out very expensive.
9. Replace the fuel filter
Do it accordingly to the service recommendations. It’s particularly important to replace filter before winter.
10. Replace the air filter
This also should be done in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
By following these simple rules your motorhome with a diesel engine will serve you well during long journeys. And, I guess, it’s worth devoting a bit of attention to your vehicle if you want to collect only good memories from travels.
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