How to Care for a Diesel Engine

by Contributor

Diesel engines have twice the power of normal gasoline engines but also require more care. Proper and timely maintenance helps avoid serious performance problems and safety issues. Follow the steps below to increase the performance and the life of your car's diesel engine.

Let the car's engine warm up for at least 5 to 10 minutes in cold temperatures to decrease the oil density. Slow oil circulation increases pressure on a diesel engine.

Change the oil every 3,000 miles. Replace the spark plugs, fuel injector and timing belt of a diesel engine every 60,000 miles. Replace the timing belt earlier if it shows cracks.

Use a good quality diesel oil to prevent engine gelling, and change the coolant every 2 years to avoid undue engine warmup. Fix any leakage from the radiator, water pump or the freeze plugs. After 40,000 miles, replace the coolant from the radiator to clear out any debris.

Check the brake oil and transmission fluid levels every week. Get the vehicle serviced by a car mechanic every 50,000 miles. Also clean the air filter to prevent dust buildup. Replace the filter every 15,000 miles.

Take the car to a seasoned mechanic every 6 months or before the start of the summer and winter seasons for a thorough inspection of the diesel engine and its components.


  • check Turn off the diesel engine and let it cool before inspecting.
  • check Wear protective gloves when handling hot engine parts.


  • close Do not attempt to work on a diesel engine if you do not have experience. Stick to the basic care and maintenance, and contact a mechanic for professional help.

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