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Common Diesel Repairs

February 20, 2019

With the various advantages of a diesel engine over gasoline, many are making the switch. With a more efficient combustion system, improved torque and a lower cost of ownership for lifetime of the vehicle for example, diesel power plants are becoming more popular in the United States. Making the switch however, does not come with Carte blanche guarantees that everything will run without attention to maintenance.

Common issues do present themselves specific to diesel engines. The good news is that many of these issues are often centered on the difference in the oil and fuel in the vehicles, with some easily preventive measures to help avoid the need for repairs. Below are a few common issues to keep in mind for diesel repairs.

  • Climate can affect your diesel. If in a humid climate, keep in mind that water and oil do not mix well. Condensation in the oil may cause a knock in the motor. If in a climate with high humidity, the motor has not been run in a while, or if a diesel engine often sits at idle, consider an oil change and adding some high-quality oil additives to remove unwanted residuals.
  • Another need for an oil change is when air can get into the oil as well. Oxidation may occur when your vehicle is not used very often.
  • Diesel engines are sometime prone to difficulty in starting. Usually associated with obstructed fuel flow and therefore, a lack of compression to ignite the fuel.
  • Jeremy Wamsley of Wamsley Performance (Cuero, TX) says he often sees a lot of injector failures, most often due to lack of maintenance, and/or poor quality in maintenance provided. “In the customer’s defense,” says Jeremy, “so many people are paying a quick lane lube facility that may or may not provide proper maintenance for a diesel engine.”
  • Diesels can put a lot of strain on the battery. Without a strong battery, the compression ratios may be altered and therefore the starter has a more difficult requirement turning over the engine for ignition.
  • Diesel fuel attracts contaminates. Since diesel fuel is used for ignition and lubrication, the fuel passes through more mechanical parts in the system attracting rust and corrosions from the metal parts throughout. Without the proper reduction of these contaminants, the risk of major repair is more prevalent.
  • High Pressure Pump systems can become clogged and cause damage to a diesel engine. Yet an easy fix is with the addition of a high quality stiction eliminator. “We see an exorbitant amount of high pressure pump failures,” says Wamsley. “The only times we see the good ones come in successfully is when the customer has a rigorous maintenance schedule of replacing high quality fuel filters and including a high quality fuel additive plan. We include for our customers the Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme at every oil change. Lucky for us, when these trucks that we treat come in for repeat maintenance, we already know they are in better condition. We can dose them when they are here, and they can keep up with the Everyday Diesel Treatment in between. Those are the success stories we see pass through.”

Wamsley claims that most of his repair business is due to lack of owner maintenance. “We have many customers that either don’t know the proper maintenance to administer or they are paying someone else that doesn’t administer the proper maintenance, which adds up to about half of our repair sales,” says Jeremy. “We try to explain to our customers that it’s nearly impossible to get a fully protective oil change on any modern-day diesel for $45. We see these customers over and over. And it’s obvious they are not receiving a full-service maintenance plan at their local vendor. For example, when we see these personal trucks’ oil and fuel filters come in, they are literally $3 and $4 filters found on Amazon.”

Wamsley claims that while the price may be low, so is the trust you can instill in it to protect a late model diesel. “One of our most common challenges is informing the personal truck owner that say for example, traded in his half-ton gas pickup for a Duramax diesel and expects their oil change to be the same cost, that they are not receiving the full requirement in their diesel maintenance with that same oil change.”

Jeremy recommends that the diesel truck owner consistently visit a high-quality repair shop for an oil sample review. “Many times we show the owners their oil samples, and they are astonished to find it’s incredibly broken down, incredibly old, and it’s no longer a lubricant, but conversely, it’s an abrasive. We often cut oil filters open to show customers how the filter works and why the correct oils are needed for success. We spend a lot of time educating new diesel owners on the process, the added requirements, why the correct oil change is $150 opposed to $50, and how to best avoid a catastrophic failure.” Wamsley says, “Everybody seems to win when the customer is more involved in their maintenance process.”

Because so many have neglected proper maintenance in fact, Wamsley Performance has rewritten their warranty contracts to include the minimum requirement of the high quality Green Diamond 15w40 semi synthetic oil by Hot Shot Secrets. “As a proven product that won’t break down as easy,” says Jeremy, “this oil instead, continues protecting the engine even beyond a recommended change. With the HSS oil, we know our customers are not going to return with thin, broken down oil that is contaminated and dangerous to their engine.”

Like any mechanical system, wear and tear does eventually take its toll. But with some simple preventive attention, your diesel can prove to be a long and reliable choice in your automotive needs. With so many of the issues originating in the oil and the fuel flowing through a diesel engine, diesel problems can often be prevented in addition to gaining improved performance with high quality additives and fluids for everyday use. Jeremy says, “Today’s additives are such a simple step that can provide so much benefit to keeping your truck on the road.”

Jeremy Wamsley of Wamsley Performance:

“At our shop, we all run the oils and we all run the additives in our own vehicles, where we can personally attest to the validity of these Hot Shot’s Secret products. Many customers have thought over the years that additives are just snake oil. Especially the Stiction Eliminator disbelievers. I’ve had a couple customers in fact, that I had to offer a free oil change to prove the product and ultimately help save their trucks. Within 30 to 50 miles I’m getting their phone call praising that their truck hasn’t run this good since they’ve owned it!

I’m still a believer in 5000-mile oil changes. Oil changes are cheap insurance against engine repairs. But we have customers that push it to 8500 and 9000 miles on the Hot Shot’s Secret motor oils. Even then they still add in the FR3 for added endurance to get more miles. And it works. We have zero engine failures with customers using Hot Shot’s Secret products.

The variety of oil products from HSS is very helpful because some of these motors need higher zinc for example. And Hot Shot’s Secret has a wide array of offerings to fit almost any customer need.

One of our guys in the shop has a 2006 5.9L Cummins with 380,000 miles on it. He pulls his own oil samples and is always working to properly maintain his truck. That truck still has the original injectors in it, the original CP3, the original turbo. When we first took on the Hot Shot’s product line in the shop, he dosed his truck with the Diesel Extreme. By the time he was pulling in to the shop the next morning, I could hear a difference in his truck running better. He claimed he could feel an improvement in the truck running, but I could actually hear it when he pulled in.

I have a 2014 Ram that had 60,000 miles on it when I bought it. And that was the first thing I did too, and I could tell the improvement. I have a customer that bought an Eco Boost with 20,000 miles on it. Same thing. Picked up the maintenance regiment with Hot Shot’s Secret and he could tell the difference too.

It’s so helpful when we all have our own personal success stories with the Hot Shot’s Secret products.

The customer service is there, the quality of product is there, and our customers’ satisfaction is there too.”