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How to Keep Your Diesel Pickup Truck Running Smooth

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Diesel trucks are a popular choice for most pickup truck owners. They offer excellent performance and fuel economy, and they're perfect for hauling heavy loads. To maximize the use of your diesel truck, you need to keep it properly maintained. Check out the tips below to help you keep your diesel vehicle running smoothly.

Photo Credit: USA Cars


Get a regular oil change

Diesel engines are different than gasoline engines and require specific types of oil. The diesel engine oil needs to have a higher viscosity to properly lubricate the moving truck parts and prevent them from seizing up. If the engine isn't properly lubricated, it can cause excessive wear and tear and lead to costly repairs.

One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of your diesel engine is to get regular oil changes. It will help ensure that the oil is always fresh and free of debris that can damage the engine. It's also good to use a diesel-specific filter to keep the oil clean.

Check the gaskets

One of the most essential diesel truck maintenance tips is regularly inspecting the gaskets. Gaskets are seals that keep oil and other fluids from leaking out, so it's crucial to make sure they're in good condition. If a gasket is worn or damaged, it can cause leaks and fluid loss, leading to engine damage.

Change the fuel filters

Fuel filters play an important role in diesel truck engines. They remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants from the fuel before entering the engine. A clogged or dirty filter can cause damage to the engine and reduced performance. That's why it's essential to change your fuel filters regularly – every 6,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on your pickup truck's make and model.

Check your engine coolant 

One of the most crucial diesel truck maintenance tips is to check the coolant level regularly. Diesel engines run much hotter than gasoline engines, so it's vital to ensure enough coolant in the system to keep the engine running at a safe temperature. If the engine gets too hot, it can cause significant damage.

Inspect the glow plugs

Glow plugs are essential for diesel engines because they help start the engine in cold weather. If the glow plug isn't working correctly, the truck may not start in cold weather. It's important to regularly inspect the glow plug on your diesel truck to make sure it's working properly.

Check the air filter

The air filters on diesel pickup trucks play a critical role in keeping the engine running smoothly. When your air filters are dirty, it will cause the engine to run rough and even lead to decreased fuel economy. It's essential to regularly check the air filters on your diesel truck and replace them when they get dirty.

Take a look at the exhaust system

Diesel engines produce high levels of heat and pollutants, which can cause damage to the exhaust system if not properly monitored. Exhaust fumes contain toxins that can be harmful to both you and your vehicle if left unchecked. Regularly checking the exhaust system for leaks, corrosion, and damage can help prevent costly repairs and keep you and your passengers safe.

Use diesel fuel treatment 

Diesel fuel treatment can help improve your diesel pickup truck's performance and fuel economy in several ways. First, it cleans and lubricates the entire fuel system, including the injectors, helping to keep them free from deposits that can cause problems. Second, it helps stabilize the fuel, preventing it from going bad or gelling in cold weather. It also enhances octane levels, resulting in increased power and improved fuel economy. Lastly, it helps to remove moisture from the fuel system, preventing corrosion and other damage. 

By adding a fuel treatment product to your tank regularly, you can help prolong your engine's lifespan and keep it running efficiently for years to come.

Drain water from your fuel system

You can purge water from a diesel pickup truck's fuel system by using a fuel filter with a water separator if your diesel truck doesn't have a  water and fuel separator. Check the owner's manual to know if your vehicle has this feature. It will help remove any water that may have accumulated in the fuel system. 

Clean the engine

Diesel pickups need more than just a run through the car wash. Most of the time, you'll want to avoid automatic car washes altogether, as they can do more harm than good. Instead, here are five tips for cleaning your diesel truck engine. 

    • Use a degreaser to break down any built-up oil and grease on the engine.
    • Use a wet microfiber cloth with soapy water to wipe the entire engine.
    • Make sure to scrub around all of the bolted-on parts and between cylinders.
    • Wash off dirt and soap with clean water.
  • Dry off the engine with a clean cloth or air compressor.

Have regular tune-ups

Tune-ups are essential for diesel engines. Neglecting your diesel truck's regular tune-ups could lead to blown gaskets, seized pistons, and other serious engine problems. Have your diesel vehicle serviced by a qualified diesel mechanic at least once a year.

Treat your diesel truck right

One way to be kind to your diesel pickup truck is to keep up on the maintenance. It's also important to check the truck tires for proper inflation and wear and keep the brakes in good condition. Huge rims like American Force Wheels also need regular inspection to ensure they are aligned. 

Another way to be kind to your diesel truck is to drive it wisely. Don't overload it, and avoid hauling or pulling heavy loads when you don't have to. Try not to make sudden starts or stops, and keep a steady pace when driving.


Diesel trucks may seem like they can take a lot of abuse, but remember that even the toughest vehicle needs some TLC every once in a while. By following the simple tips mentioned earlier in the article, you can ensure that your diesel truck will stay healthy and running strong for years to come. Thanks for reading!




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