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How to Get the Most from Diesel

October 19, 2014
By Jeffery White

Whether you drive a semi, a heavy-duty truck or any other vehicle that runs on diesel, you’re probably well aware that your engine is more efficient than those that use gasoline. However, you’re probably also all too aware of how much more diesel costs than gasoline. For this reason, it’s important you always get the most from every drop of diesel you’re paying for.

That’s why, this winter, don’t let your engine go idle. Drivers in Calgary often do this because of the misconception that this is helping the engine warm up and thus work better. Unfortunately, an idle diesel engine is actually a lot colder than one that isn’t started, so your tactic is counterproductive. On top of that, you’re also wasting the diesel you’re using. Instead, as soon as you get the ignition started, get to driving if you want to heat up the engine and other components.

Once your engine is up and running, make sure you pay attention to the smoke that comes out of your exhaust pipes. Any color smoke besides gray should have you worried. Blue, white and black smoke all means something is going on under your hood. Though different issues can cause the smoke to change color, one of their byproducts is wasted diesel. Worse problems can develop from them as well, but in the meantime, you’ll keep overspending on fuel your vehicle isn’t even using.

Fuel injection is another area that could be costing you unnecessarily at the pump. Like with the smoke issue, though, faulty fuel injectors can end up causing all sorts of other problems for you. At the very least though, a truck that isn’t getting its fuel properly supplied to the combustion chamber can’t possibly be using it efficiently.

If you notice your engine is hard to start, it’s loud once it does get started, or it seems to skip every now and then while you’re driving, these should all be taken as indications that your fuel injectors aren’t working properly.

Lastly, if you have engine problems, your vehicle doesn’t run well at lower RPMs or it seems to lack power, your vehicle is probably suffering from fuel problems. It could be that your diesel is being contaminated and thus not giving your engine much to work with. As in other examples, the result is lower-efficiency and more trips to the pump.

Problems with your engine’s diesel use should be taken to a professional mechanic in Calgary immediately. Aside from wasting money, you’re probably well on your way to bigger issues too.

The information on this page may have changed since we first published it and is for informational use only and is no substitute for actual professional advice. If you’d like to establish a relationship, reach out to us and we’ll tell you how we can make it official.