Courtesy Coast Guard

5 Things to Remember for Diesel Engine Maintenance

Maintaining a diesel engine is not unlike maintaining a convention gas engine. There are just more consequences to diesel engine maintenance.

If you fail to change the oil and filters on a regular basis in your typical internal combustion engine, you are likely to end up with a prematurely aged engine. Do the same thing with a diesel engine and you just might end up without an engine.

For this reason, diesel engine maintenance is fairly straightforward. But as any diesel engine owner can tell you, a diesel engine is a finicky beast. Don’t treat her well and she’s liable to act up.

Diesel engine serve a worthwhile purpose, however. They are work horses, capable of long hours without failure, and the fuel is non-flammable making them a perfect option for boats.

Here are five things to keep in mind when keeping your diesel engine running smooth.


The coolant in a diesel engine is especially important because diesel engines tend to run hotter than regular gasoline engines. Always check the coolant on a regular basis to be sure none of it has leaked or evaporated. Leaking coolant is an extremely bad sign as it could mean you need new head gaskets.

Fuel filters

In a diesel engine, the fuel is inherently dirtier so if you’re running old filters and dirty fuel gets into the system of a diesel engine it could clog the injectors leading to a costly repair. It’s important for this reason to remember to change out those fuel filters on a regular basis.

Oil changes

Changing the oil and oil filters is equally important. A healthy engine is a well lubricated engine. When you’re checking the oil level, take a look at the clarity of the oil. If the oil is super black, it’s probably a good time for an oil change.


Simply keeping your diesel engine can go a long way in its overall maintenance. On the rare occasion that you have to remove the engine for a complete overall, consider painting it to start fresh.

Air filters

Lastly, you always want to check and replace your engine’s air filters. Changing the air filter, like all the other items previously mentioned, will go a long way to maintaining your diesel engine for many years to come.

Photo credit: US Coast Guard