Keeping your Diesel Cool – Summer Heat, Diesel Chill
Doing these three things today can save you thousands of dollars as soon as tomorrow.
Get a Coolant Flush
The heat of summer and a cool running diesel normally aren’t used together in the same sentence, but if you monitor your cooling system with particular importance during the hot summer months you might just cruise through the heat of summer problem free, diesel chill. As the temperatures rise, your diesel’s cooling system has to work overtime to keep the engine temperature down. This happens by the water pump pushing a mixture of antifreeze and water through small channels in and around the engine block and the heads. The idea is the mixture soaks up some of the heat as it runs by the different moving components on its way back to the radiator, then the fan and the outside air re-cool the mixture to run through the process again. This is an ongoing very critical progression, any interruption to the cooling process could be cause for engine failure, or if you’re lucky and catch it, a long delay on the roadside, either way, you’re looking at no less than $8,500 so don’t procrastinate on getting service now.
Unless you like hanging out on the side of a busy California freeway, have your coolant system flushed and refilled with the recommended amount of fresh new antifreeze. This will eliminate any corrosion that gradually developed in the system over time, enabling your cooling system to effectively remove heat from the antifreeze. This would also be a good time to have the condition of all your belts and hoses inspected as well as inspecting the thermostat and fan operation. You can run a quick check by starting up your vehicle with the cooling system cap off (this may be different in newer models so make sure you can see directly into the radiator, not the reserve or overflow tank). As it gets up to temperature, the antifreeze should begin to flow like a river. If it doesn’t, or the flow looks particularly weak, your thermostat could need replacing.). Plus, to ensure proper airflow through the radiator, keep the outside clean from bugs and dirt.
Battery and Charging System
A battery for any vehicle can get pricey, a battery for a light duty diesel truck can be downright expensive and the extreme summer heat can essentially cause battery acid to evaporate. If you’re comfortable with handling batteries (safety tip: goggles and gloves are a must) then check the fluid levels in your battery. Except for a sealed battery, cautiously remove the caps and check the fluid levels. Using distilled water, top off any of the low chambers, do this check on older batteries once a month, and be sure to keep the terminals free of corrosion. Corrosion can be a conductor and be a drain on the battery or act as interference for a connection to the post or terminal. Without a correctly maintained battery and charging system, you could end up on the side of the road or stuck in the woods.
Diesel Oil Change
As an authorized Rev-X distributor we recommend the High-Performance Oil Additive for hot summers and year-round for cool diesels. Oil’s main charge is help reduce engine heat with lubrication. With many moving parts the metal to metal friction can heat things up pretty quickly, pistons, valve springs, and other parts move about, they create heat.
Many of the light duty diesel trucks on the road are used by contractors and others as primary work vehicles with a few miles on the odometer, these higher use higher mileage trucks can have a little more wear on them, causing minor surface abrasions in the metal. This can result in added friction between the moving parts, generating even more heat.
The simple formula to stay on the road seems to be; decrease friction, cooler, smoother, longer running diesel engine. If the oiling system (including pumps and coolers) aren’t functioning right or your engine is having some frictional issues you will be in for a long summer. A scheduled diesel oil change can help eliminate potential headaches and business interruption. Change your oil regularly, and use a high-quality oil additive, like Rev-X ®. It creates thicker coatings in your engine and improves the efficiency and life of other lubricants. It also can help fill in those surface abrasions reducing friction. Your work truck will run cooler and be able to endure even the most extreme desert heat.
Of course, you can spend a month of Sundays taking care of all of these and dumping the fluids legally, or you can simply call Bud’s Lube Shop and be in and out in about the time it takes to have lunch at, well In and Out.
Bud’s Express Lube & Maintenance (714)847-0888