Cold weather presents some unique challenges for diesel owners. Canada winters can really take their toll, and call for some special maintenance in order to ensure your diesel is ready for the big chill. Follow these steps to prepare your diesel engine for winter driving.
Diesel engines operate under very high compression compared to gas engines. This makes gaskets and seals all the more important, and vulnerable to leaks if not properly cared for. Check each gasket for wear or cracks and make sure all bolts are fastened to their prescribed torque to avoid leaks.
For quicker, more reliable cold starts, install an engine block heater which will maintain it at a nominal temperature. Cooling is also a concern, even in winter, due to drivers’ tendency to run the engine for heat. So make sure your coolant is fresh and replace the coolant filter if so equipped. A dash-mounted early warning indicator is also an excellent means of heading off an overheating problem.
Top off the fuel tank in order to keep condensation from developing. Water can get into your injectors from there and cause serious problems with your engine’s performance. Replace fuel filters and make sure breather vents are clean and unobstructed.
If your air filter is not already so equipped, install a tell-tale indicator which will change color when the filter needs to be replaced. Start the cold season off with fresh oil, preferably synthetic, which offers additional protection against viscosity breakdown. Always use OEM or equivalent oil filter replacements.