HomeCar NewsMaintenance Alert: 5 Red Flags Diesel Car Owners Should Know

    Maintenance Alert: 5 Red Flags Diesel Car Owners Should Know

    Owning a car is a responsibility because you need to invest in its maintenance to keep it in top shape over the years. Statistics show that Americans are diligent when it comes to regular maintenance. The consumer spending on motor vehicle maintenance and repair services in the country was a whopping $194.9 billion in 2021.

    Conversely, a survey shows that nearly 8% of vehicle owners delayed their maintenance schedules for reasons such as time constraints, costs, non-availability of parts, or procrastination. Whatever the reason for missing out on the schedules, delays can land you in trouble. From a stalled vehicle to hefty repair expenses, the implications can be more challenging than you imagine.

    You need to be extra proactive if you own a diesel car because these vehicles require more maintenance than their gasoline counterparts. More than 8 million diesel cars run on American roads, and Texas is among the leading states when it comes to the use of clean diesel vehicles. Overlooking maintenance of these vehicles can contribute to pollution and unnecessary expenses.
    A little vigilance and timely action can help you avoid problems with your ride. Here are a few red flags indicating that your diesel car needs maintenance sooner than later:

    Difficulty Starting up the Engine

    If you have a tough time starting your car engine, you need to pay attention to it. Although diesel engines often crank a little, frequent delays indicate low compression or a fuel delivery problem. A crank time over 3 to 5 seconds is a red flag you should not overlook because a stalled engine can get you in a fix in a high-traffic city like San Antonio.

    In such a scenario, the best piece of advice is to get a health check for your vehicle from a diesel mechanic in San Antonio at the earliest. An expert can get to the root of the problem, whether it is an issue with the cylinder heads or air filters. You can rely on them to address the issue and get your engine up and running like new again.

    According to Texas Elite Auto & Diesel, diesel engines are different from gasoline variants, so they require a different approach to repair. Maintaining them in top shape can enhance the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. They also last longer, provided they get timely and regular maintenance. Addressing small issues like dirty fuel filters, leaks, and loose throttles can improve the engine’s performance and longevity.

    Excessive Emissions

    Did you know that an average passenger vehicle emits approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually? The numbers may worsen when you fall short of maintenance. The next time you see smoke coming out of the exhaust, get a quick check for your diesel car. Watch out for unpleasant odors and black, blue, and white smoke.
    These emissions are warning signs indicating serious issues, such as a blocked air filter or a faulty injector pump. Avoid delaying a health check for your vehicle because you may end up with a hefty expense. These emissions increase your carbon footprint due to vehicle pollution. Harming the environment is the last thing you should do.

    Knocking Sounds

    Consider overhauling your diesel engine if you hear a knocking sound from beneath your vehicle’s hood. The sound could be a sign of an aging engine, but there may be more reasons that require an in-depth check. The potential issues include:

    • Fuel contamination
    • Faulty fuel injectors
    • Compression problems
    • Poor bearings
    • Wrist pin failure

    Poor Fuel Efficiency

    Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than their gasoline counterparts. But factors like your driving habits and traffic conditions can make a difference. Expect your car to be less efficient if you live in a city like San Antonio, where heavy traffic requires you to hit the brakes more often than you want. Going slack with maintenance is another reason for low fuel efficiency.

    Keep track of fuel consumption because a higher-than-usual number indicates an inefficient diesel engine. Wheel alignment and low tire pressure could be other reasons for low fuel efficiency. Let a mechanic check the vehicle to address the cause and get the fuel mileage back to usual.

    Increased Consumption of Oil or Coolant

    A sudden increase in oil or coolant consumption is a red flag indicating several problems with your diesel car. You must get a check sooner than later because the damage may be more extensive and expensive than you imagine. Here are the possible causes:
    • Worn-out piston rings
    • A cracked cylinder head
    • Worn or flawed cylinder liners
    • An oil leak

    What Next

    Scheduled maintenance is essential to keep your diesel car in good condition. Think beyond the regular checks and take a proactive approach if you encounter these red flags anytime between routine visits. Timely action can save you from hefty repairs and replacement expenses in the long run, so watch out for these warning signs and act fast.


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