Headaches on the Road: 3 Common Diesel Engine Problems

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Diesel engines are heavy-duty pieces of machinery. However, drivers must take the time to learn about each component to prevent issues down the line. The more they know what to watch out for, the less likely they are to experience complications. Here are three common diesel engine problems that may cause headaches on the road.

Broken Glow Plugs

Diesel engines don’t have spark plugs. Instead, they rely on glow plugs to start the ignition. Essentially, a fuel/air mixture combusts and the heat that’s created is used to start the engine. This mixture must be exactly the right temperature. If it is too cold, drivers can’t start their trucks. This is why so many truckers have problems in the wintertime. The combination of the air and the fuel can’t warm enough to start the vehicle. Drivers should see a mechanic if they’re having difficulties starting their engines. They’ll replace detective glow plugs and get people back on the road.

Blown Head Gasket

Another common diesel engine problem is blowing the head gasket. The head gasket sits between the engine block and the cylinder head on most vehicles. This part performs two essential functions in a diesel engine. First, it keeps liquids and other contaminants from making their way inside. Second, it separates water coolant from oil. The old saying rings true—water and oil don’t mix. Drivers should watch out for signs of a blown head gasket as they’re driving. Some warning signs include overheating and a white bubbly substance emerging from the engine. Keep an eye out for these complications because it’s better to perform preventative maintenance than replace the component entirely.

Exhaust Manifold Gasket Leak

An exhaust manifold collects all the engine’s unwanted gases and moves them to the exhaust pipe for expulsion. The exhaust manifold gasket holds all the gases in one place until it’s time to exit. This part is vital to a diesel engine’s efficiency. If there’s a leak in the exhaust manifold gasket, drivers will experience significant issues. For starters, their vehicle may have less power than usual. Also, drivers may hear a hissing sound or smell something terrible while they’re driving. People can try fixing this problem themselves or visit a repairman.

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