Diesel Fleet Maintenance: What is Different About Diesel Truck Maintenance?

Diesel Fleet Maintenance: What is Different About Diesel Truck Maintenance?

July 10, 2023

Our experts share all the tips and tricks on diesel truck maintenance to ensure you avoid some common issues and concerns associated with diesel engines!

Do Diesel Fleets Need Different Maintenance?

While there is plenty of overlap between diesel truck maintenance and general fleet services, it’s important to understand the key problems and considerations for maintenance on diesel trucks. Keeping up with appropriate diesel truck maintenance requires attention to additional details compared to other vehicles. Correct maintenance on diesel trucks necessitates the expertise of a fleet diesel mechanic with a thorough understanding of the common problems and best practices for these vehicles. 

What to Consider with Diesel Engines: Common Issues

Black plastic cap of aluminum gas tank in silver color with the inscription "DIESEL"

Diesel fleet mechanics are deeply familiar with common issues that can arise with diesel engines. These include:

  • Diesel Fuel Contamination

Diesel fuel contamination occurs when additional materials enter the fuel of the vehicle. From microorganisms and rust to water and sediment, a wide range of contaminants can enter the fuel tank. This contamination can cause lasting damage to the fuel tank itself, as well as the vehicle’s bunker and other systems. In turn, diesel fuel contamination can impact overall vehicle performance. Without a professional perspective, this issue is easy to accidentally overlook. 

  • Oil Oxidation

If too much oxygen mixes with a diesel vehicle’s oil, oil oxidation can occur. This reaction changes the consistency of the oil itself, which can put a strain on the engine and harm the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. 

  • Battery Problems

Battery problems can occur quickly and cause serious problems for fleets by forcing downtime. Since the battery is crucial for starting a vehicle, battery problems such as corroded connections can be extremely costly and time-consuming. A qualified fleet diesel mechanic can help catch these issues before they throw a wrench in your operations.

  • Damaged Glow Plug

When a fleet faces diesel glow plugs problems, their bottom line is likely to take a hit. Glow plugs are directly correlated with the efficient use of fuel in diesel vehicles, so when glow plugs are damaged, fuel use increases. Damaged glow plugs can also result in black smoke coming from the vehicle or noticeably weak acceleration. 

  • Low Power

There are many possible causes of low power in a diesel engine. Often, issues with low power stem back to factors such as a clogged fuel filter, dirty spark plugs, or low compression. Each root cause calls for a different course of action, which an experienced diesel fleet mechanic can help decipher accurately. 

  • Engine Overheating

If a driver notices a high-temperature gauge or concerning smoke or steam coming from their engine, the engine is likely overheating. The most common diesel engine overheating causes include coolant leaks, insufficient airflow, or a malfunctioning water pump. 

  • Black Engine Exhaust

Noticing black engine exhaust coming from a diesel fleet vehicle can be alarming. Generally, this occurs due to issues like incomplete combustion, a clogged air filter, or even engine strain. An experienced diesel mechanic can help diagnose the cause of black engine exhaust and efficiently address the problem.

Maintenance Tips

a mechanic working on a diesel semi truck fleet

The best way to protect your diesel fleet and optimize your uptime is to schedule regular maintenance. 

  • Keep the Engine Clean

One of the most important fleet services for diesel trucks is cleaning the engine. This critical step can prevent common problems later on, including engine overheating and black engine exhaust. 

  • Schedule Regular Radiator Maintenance

Diesel fleet mechanics understand the importance of routine radiator maintenance to keep your diesel vehicles running correctly. Regular radiator maintenance helps prolong the life of the vehicle’s engine and improve fuel efficiency. 

  • Prioritize Timely Oil Changes

In order to remove contaminants, maintain proper lubrication, and boost engine performance, scheduling all oil changes on time is crucial. While the task may feel mundane or even pointless, this small maintenance item can make a world of difference for the longevity and the fuel efficiency of your fleet.

  • Change Air and Fuel Filters

A few of the most underestimated yet most impactful diesel fleet services include changing the air filter and changing the fuel filters. These filters help protect the engine from contaminants such as dust, pollen, and other debris. This allows for more efficient fuel combustion and increased longevity of the engine and fuel system. 

It’s all too easy to let seemingly-small maintenance items like these fall to the wayside. The process of scheduling an appointment, working the stop into an upcoming route, and completing all follow-up appointments and steps quickly becomes daunting. The downtime associated with each and every appointment adds up quickly and creates frustrating costs for many fleets. 

Fortunately, there’s another solution. Torque by Ryder provides mobile diesel fleet services. Whether you have a fleet of semi trucks or 100 diesel pickup trucks, Torque can provide on-site maintenance to keep your fleet on the road. Preserve uptime and efficiency with fleet diesel services right at your lot. Our experienced technicians come to you on your schedule to create the most convenient maintenance experience possible. Get started today!

With Torque, your fleet is in safe hands.

Get in touch with our expert team today.
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