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4 Most Common Problems With Diesel Engines 

Diesel-powered vans and trucks are powerful vehicles that provide more than a ride from one place to another. As working vehicles, they offer both strength and speed, whether for towing, hauling, or basic transportation. But like any vehicle, they can experience issues that impede performance. With regular maintenance and upkeep, however, most diesel engines can deliver the goods—figuratively and literally. You just need to know what to watch for.

Here are the four most common problems with diesel engines

Lack of Power 

Sometimes, a diesel engine might not deliver all that fabled power when you need it most. This can happen for any number of reasons, such as turbo lag. Luckily, you can get rid of diesel engine turbo lag with a few basic adjustments, like replacing the air filters or installing a high-performance turbocharger. Lack of power can also be the result of low compression, worn injectors, or clogged fuel filters and lines. Basic maintenance can help, and a mechanic can take a closer look to see what’s up. 


Overheating is the bane of all engines, but you need to be especially careful with your diesel engines. Common causes include low coolant levels, inaccurate thermostats, clogged radiators, and neglecting periodic oil and oil filter changes. Leaky hoses, worn gaskets and seals, and cracks in the system can also cause an engine to overheat and fail. 

Regularly pushing a diesel engine past its limits can contribute to overheating. Again, conducting regular maintenance and watching for issues, especially leaks, go a long way toward fixing issues before they become big problems. 

Electrical Problems 

Today’s vehicles don’t run on fuel alone. Diesel engines work in tandem with electrical components like sensors, monitors, alternators, solenoids, relays, ignition systems, and batteries. Low-quality or malfunctioning electrical components can lead to poor performance, stalling, and failure to start. Testing, maintaining, and upgrading equipment is the surest way to ensure high performance from your diesel engine. 

Exhaust Issues 

Another common problem with diesel engines is a blast of black smoke from the exhaust system. While it may look impressive, it can be a telltale sign of trouble under the hood. Black exhaust could be evidence of an imbalance between the fuel and air in the engine—namely, too much fuel and too little air. It might mean a broken fuel pump, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning turbocharger. 

Black exhaust means the engine isn’t getting enough oxygen. A lack of oxygen means diminished performance and can eventually lead to engine failure. Take black exhaust as a smoke signal for immediate maintenance! Too little exhaust could indicate a blockage somewhere along the exhaust pipe. No matter the issue, car defects can be a serious reason behind car accidents, so get your vehicle looked at by a professional mechanic before it leads to an otherwise avoidable incident. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.



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