by Arnold Goldschmidt at TorquePower
The old adage still rings true today – take care of your engine and your engine will take care of you. Cummins engines are highly reliable and, with proper care and maintenance, you can expect them to maintain performance and efficiency for years. Diesel engines are designed for longevity.
How to Service Your Engine
If you can service a petrol engine, then you’ll have no problems in working with a Cummins engine like a true diesel mechanic. The only difference is that there are no ignition components (leads, spark plugs, etc).
The set of tasks remain the same:
- Regular oil and fluid changes
- Air filter changes
- Fuel filter changes
For the filters, make sure you change them at the recommended manufacturer’s interval. You can find it on the packaging of the filter or online at the manufacturer’s website.
Insider’s Tip: There are many good suppliers of Cummins engine parts in Australia. Torquepower offers great prices for all types of Cummins diesel parts, as well as expert staff to assist with any questions.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do preventive maintenance to anticipate wear and tear, especially with your fuel injector. Replacing a diesel injector on the verge of wearing out will save you money rather than waiting until it fails. You don’t want to learn this the hard way.
Don’t empty your engine fluids until they have had time to cool down. Diesel engines run much hotter that petrol. This can damage your engine and can cause serious injury.
Do add a bottle of diesel treatment every time you fill up your tank. This will prevent your diesel fuel from getting mixed with impurities and keep your parts in top order longer.
Don’t ignore an engine that is running hot. Diesel engines run at nearly three times the compression pressure than petrol engines. This puts far more pressure on the cooling system. Make sure your diesel water pump is doing its job.
Even with proper maintenance Cummins engines can have problems now and then. Here is a quick checklist of common issues:
Bursty RPMs: If your RPMs are going from high to low in bursts, then you’ve probably got a clogged diesel injector.
Leaky Gaskets: Gaskets on a diesel engine operate under extreme duress. If one gasket is leaking, replace them all as a set.
High-Pitched Engine Sound: This could be your diesel fuel pump. Different pumps make different sounds, but this is the first thing you should check.
Thick Smoke: If you’ve got thick smoke coming from your exhaust, the color of the smoke will often tell you the problem. Black is often a faulty diesel injector, pump, or air filter. Blue means engine oil is burning. Lastly, white smoke could be water in the engine or low engine compression.
If you experience any of these warning signs or interruptions in the normal performance of your engine, take your engine to a diesel mechanic. Better safe than sorry.
Troubleshooting Cummins Engines
Start by looking at your fuel system. That’s the most likely area of a diesel engine to break down first. This includes fuel quality, the fuel filter, the diesel injector, and the pump. If that isn’t your problem, then check the air system, particularly the air filter or the air intake.