Four Reasons Why Your Diesel Engine Is Sluggish

Posted on: 11 April 2017

Diesel engines are generally pretty powerful, so you notice when yours is not performing properly. There are a myriad of reasons why your engine is performing sluggishly, but some are more likely to be the cause than others and these can be easily fixed. If your diesel engine is struggling or performing poorly, then look at these four possible reasons. Some of them may also apply to gasoline engines.

Dirty air filter:

When your vehicle's air filter is clogged, it restricts air flow and can cause the air-fuel mixture to be off resulting a too-rich mixture. You may also see black smoke coming out the tailpipe. A clogged air filter can also cause another problem in that your engine may suck in the debris trapped in the filter and this could cause additional problems. Checking and replacing the air filter frequently is usually enough to keep this problem to a minimum.

Dirty injectors:

Fuel injectors are sensitive to any type of clogging and even a small amount of dirt can affect their spray and cause your engine to run too lean. Simple things such as engine varnish and tank sediment can cause your injectors to clog, especially as they build up. One way to combat this problem is if your fuel filter is easily accessible, then clean or change it when you notice a change in performance. Have your fuel injectors cleaned at recommended intervals.

Turbo is not working:

If you own one of the many vehicles which has a turbo diesel and it's running poorly, it's possible that your turbo is malfunctioning. Possible causes are not having enough lubricating oil, debris getting into the system or bad seals. Generally, your engine light will come on if your turbo is failing, but it's not always the case. Some turbos will make a high-pitched whine for some time before they fail.

Compression issues:

Your diesel engine relies on the correct compression in order to combust fuel properly. Problems with rings or valves, such as varnish or other buildup which can cause components to stick, can easily cause the ratio to be off. Normal wear and tear is frequently enough to throw the compression off enough for a noticeable lack of power. Other causes include a blown or leaking head gasket or a cracked head or block. The compression loss or reduction in one cylinder is enough to cause a problem.

If your diesel engine is not running smoothly or lacks power, and you can't pinpoint the problem, then take your vehicle to a diesel mechanic for diagnosis and repair. With some of these problems, the longer you wait, the more likely it will get worse or become more time consuming and expensive to repair. For more information, contact companies like Southwest Diesel Service Inc.