Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fuel Filter Changes

         We get a lot of questions about how often fuel filters should be changed and in some cases we do not get any questions because people just choose not to change filters. We recommend that you change your fuel filter no less than twice a year regardless of miles and hours. Spring and fall are good times to do this if you use this rule of thumb. This interval is fine for older fuel systems but our recommendations for common rail fuel systems is to change them every oil change or 4500 miles on light duty diesels such as the Duramax, PowerStroke or Dodge/Cummins. On Ag and industrial common rail systems we would recommend every oil change or 100 hours.
       Common rail fuel systems are very vulnerable to fuel contamination and it doesn't take much to ruin an injector or high pressure pump. Fuel filters will cost anywhere from $20.00 to $65.00 depending on what you are driving but a set of injectors could set you back $3500.00. So isn't it worth a little prevention?
        We also recommend a good fuel additive be used at all times such as Stanadyne All Season Performance formula. It has a lubricity additive in it that will aid in keeping your fuel system components in good condition for a long time.
         You can always contact us with any questions!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Starting tips in cold weather

It happens to the best of us, it gets cold and you need your truck, you turn the key and it fails to start. Now what? First of all is the engine cranking speed acceptable? A diesel needs to crank faster than a gasoline engine. If you have no cranking speed at all check battery connections and clean if necessary. Try a battery charger and charge for an hour.
    The easiest thing you can try is plugging in the block heater. Most light duty trucks will have a block heater already installed. Many times their is no cord especially if the truck came from a warm climate, but the block heater is ussually there. Get yourself a cord if it is not there. If you plug the block heater in for an hour that is ussually enough to warm things up so you can get the engine running.
     If you have done these things then you really need to get the truck inside where its warm so you can properly diagnose your problem.
     If your truck has glow plugs you could have one or more glow plug burned out. Check the glow plugs if you can or have a qualified tech do it for you. Glow plug systems vary but the easiest way to check them is to use a simple 12 volt test light, hook the clip to the positive battery post, unplug the connection to the glow plug and touch the tester to the connection on the glow plug. The light should light, if not then you do not have continuity and the plug is bad.
     You should never use ether on a light duty diesel for several reasons. a small amount of ether can damage all of your glow plugs. Ether damaged glow plugs are sometimes severed and left laying on top of the piston or they are left swollen to the point you cant remove them from the engine. In case of an emergency disable the glow plugs by disconnecting them, this will prevent glow plug damage but you still risk hurting the engine if you choose to use ether.
     Don't overlook the oil level on a Ford Powerstroke. If the oil level is too low the truck will not run. Oil weight is also important in a Powerstroke since you use the oil to actuate the injectors.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting ready for winter

With winter coming on make sure you take a few precautions if you drive a diesel vehicle.
1. Change the fuel filter or have a qualified tech do it for you. (Buy a good filter, OE prefered)
2. Use a good fuel additive such as Stanadyne Performance Formula all winter and consider using it year round. This additive has a cetane improver as well as a lubricity additive included.
3. Cranking speed is critical on a diesel so clean battery cables and replace if necessary, load test batteries or have a qualified technician do it for you.
4. Address any starting concerns now, they will only get worse as it gets colder. If you are having starting issues take your diesel to a qualified diesel technician. Light duty trucks use glow plugs and intake heaters that can fail. Fuel heaters are also prone to failing. Fuel system components can also be at fault but normally are not the culprit in the case of a cold start issue only.