Common Causes of Diesel Engine Failures

There are various places where diesel engines are useful, such as in vehicles, in standby generators, in a manufacturing plant, among many other uses. A standby generator is a vital equipment in a home or a commercial building as it takes over when electric power goes off. It is for this reason that you need to carry regular maintenance for a diesel engine either in a vehicle, a generator, and any other place. However, we sometimes are not aware of what to look out for in the first place. This article will look at some of the reasons why a diesel engine fails.

1. Oil Oxidizing

Oil oxidizing is when the oil gets into contact with air, which occurs when the engine is left for too long without use. When the oil mixes with air, it forms bubbles which interfere with the oil’s lubrication properties; if the oil is unable to lubricate appropriately, it damages your engine. Therefore, you should, change the oil before running your engine; if it has been some time since you have run the engine.

2. Water/Humidity

A dormant engine in a wet weather conditions undergoes hydration that leads to its malfunction. Water increases the chances of oxidation attacks and additives, and also interferes with lubrication; all these can severely damage your diesel engine.

3. Imbalance of Fuel to Air Ratio

When a component such as the injector pump is faulty, it leads to an imbalance in the furl and air ratio. This leads to the engine using extra fuel with an insufficient air supply, which causes the production of black smoke from the exhaust pipe that has an unpleasant odour.

4. Low Compression

When an engine is not receiving enough fuel or undergoes low compression, it does not start as fast as it should, or it has difficulty starting. You can identify this is the engine cranks when starting, can’t start, or there is more cranking than usual. 

5. Insufficient Power

This is an indication that your engine is not receiving enough fuel, which is manifested by its failure to start or accelerate. Unclean parts such as fuel filters or a malfunctioning fuel injector could be a cause of this problem.

6. Faulty Storage Battery

The lead-acid battery mostly has a heavy load that sometimes causes it to malfunction. When this happens, it causes an imbalance in the compression ratio, which in turn, negatively affects the starter system.

7. Wrong Oil Viscosity

Diesel lubricants have higher viscosity than those that use gasoline; this is a factor that most people fail to consider when changing oil. In hot weather conditions, an engine needs single-weight oil and when the weather is cold, multi-viscosity oil is ideal. If you get these two mixed up, you may end up damaging your engine as will malfunction.


8. Fuel Contamination

Diesel being more viscous easily gets contaminated; water and soot are common contaminants. When they get into the fuel system, there is a disruption of the function of the engine. Most causes of engine failure occur as a result of oil contamination. To get rid of oil contaminants, you should have an air filter roll to keep air from getting into contact with engine oil. Remember to regularly change your engine oil if the engine has not been running recently.

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