Diesel Scheduled Service Maintenance

Diesel trucks require California smog checks starting in 2010Diesel powered vehicles have been around a long time and have typically been touted as more efficient, more powerful and longer lasting than their gas counterparts.  Diesel engines have glow plugs to help start the engine by preheating the cylinders to a minimum operating temperature. Biodiesel fuel can be used in its pure form to power the vehicles, but is mainly used as a diesel fuel additive to help reduce levels of particulates.  If serviced regularly diesel trucks are known to last well beyond 300,000 miles.

Bill’s Quality Auto Care Diesel Truck Maintenance, Diesel Truck Repair, and Diesel Smog Checks

At Bill’s Quality Auto Care, we take the time to make sure your Diesel truck maintenance is done right. We have all the latest equipment and our certified and trained technicians are up-to-date on all the Diesel truck service and maintenance requirements.  At Bill’s Quality Auto Care, we have already prepared our equipment with new technology to provide smog checks service for diesel engine vehicles.  The smog check for diesels includes a visual inspection of the emissions components, visible smoke test and an on-board diagnostic test.

Diesel Truck Maintenance

Includes all the necessary work which should be carried out at regular intervals.  Diesel vehicles, like the Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel, the Ford Power Stroke, and the Dodge Cummins are known to produce less greenhouse gas emissions and generally have better fuel economy.  To keep your diesel truck running at its peak performance it is recommended that maintenance be performed every 4,000 to 7,500 miles.

Bill’s Quality Auto Care Maintenance Service

typically includes oil and filter change and a full diesel truck inspection.  Depending on the time in service and miles driven between diesel oil changes a new fuel filter may also be recommended.  On some diesel trucks the fuel and water separator may also need to be serviced.

During every inspection, the battery (or batteries) are tested, the serpentine belt is inspected, and all the hoses examined. All tires are checked. All fluids are also checked for level and conditions.

The newer diesel trucks now have Exhaust Fluid requirements as well.  Beginning in 2011 some trucks incorporated a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) system utilizing diesel exhaust fluid injection (DEF). DEF is a urea based fluid injected into the SCR to further reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Diesel Trucks Makes and Models Exhaust Fluid Requirements

Truck manufacturers have split into several camps over which NOx reduction method is best for their trucks. Pickup trucks that require DEF include the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty, powered by the 6.7L Power Stroke V-8, and the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickups, powered by the 6.6L Duramax LML V-8.

The Ram truck lineup uses two different methods to scrub NOx. Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks use a urea-free NOx absorber catalyst that doesn’t require DEF, while Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis trucks use urea SCR and DEF.

A typical diesel truck should go about 900 miles on one gallon of diesel exhaust fluid and most diesel trucks hold between 5-7 gallons of Diesel Exhaust Fluid.  All of which means that this refill service should be performed at every oil change interval.  Because diesel trucks that run out of DEF are no longer emissions-compliant, they are virtually immobilized when the DEF tank runs dry, even if there’s diesel fuel available to keep them trucking.

Ford, GM and Chrysler have similar strategies to alert drivers when their DEF tanks have 1,000 miles or less range left.  These include instrument cluster notifications and lights (similar to running low on fuel). If the truck is allowed to run out of DEF completely, the engine’s power is reduced. This generally follows the next intentional key-off, when vehicle speed will be limited to 5 mph and a solid red warning will be displayed.

Another problem is the amount of Sulfur that is found in diesel fuel.

Although sulfur can be a serious pollutant, it is also a lubricant.  Refineries must now produce a type of diesel fuel called Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel, or ULSD. That’s good for our air, but bad for our engines. Less sulfur in diesel fuel means less lubrication, which in turn can reduce engine life.

This is why Bill’s Quality Auto Care may recommend additives to help extend the life of your truck and why we’ve taken the time to seek out and stock the best additives available. Using them will increase your diesel engine’s performance and fuel economy while reducing repairs.

What Does This Mean to Me and My Diesel Truck?

Today’s diesel engines are vastly improved over the old “oil burners” of the past. They can offer excellent fuel economy and lower maintenance costs. However, diesels are not maintenance-free, and they have their own unique service needs. Regular attention to diesel engines will help to realize the long service life for which they are known.

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