Troubleshooting Common Diesel Engine Problems

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Topic: Troubleshooting Common Diesel Engine Problems

Engine won't start
Is the fuel fresh?
If untreated fuel is more than a month old, this fuel will start to break down and engine stalling (in addition to fuel system component gumming) can result. That's why it's important to either drain the gas from your outdoor power equipment before it sits idle during the winter, or add a fuel preservative/stabilizer to the fuel. To prevent the fuel from going stale purchase a replacement Fresh Start Fuel Cartridge for your Fresh Start Fuel Cap, OR purchase our Advanced Fuel Treatment and mix the prescribed amount with your gasoline. Even better, keep a gas can solely for your outdoor power equipment filled with gasoline treated with our Advanced Fuel Treatment. That way, you will always have a supply of fresh, treated fuel used specifically for your outdoor power equipment. If you've got stale gas in your equipment, drain the gas from the fuel tank completely and dispose of it properly, following your local municipalities' regulations. NOTE: In most cases, this older fuel can be added to your car's fuel tank with no harmful effects. Sometimes removing the old fuel and replacing with fresh, treated fuel may just solve the problem. If not, drain the old fuel and spray the inside of the fuel tank and carburetor with some carburetor cleaner. Finally, remove any sediment from the fuel tank and add fresh, treated gas. Another thing to consider is that certain equipment manufacturers place a plastic packing plug between the gas cap and gas tank. In order for there to be proper venting, ensure that this plug is removed. If stale fuel is not at fault, next look at the ignition system. Did the engine suddenly stop after striking an object? If so, you likely sheared the flywheel key, which upsets the engine's ignition (spark) timing.

Engine Runs Poorly
Is the oil level low?
When you pour fresh oil into the crankcase, it's a golden or amber color. Gradually, the heat, dirt particles and agitated air in the crankcase cause the oil to darken. Dark oil is not only dirty; it has also lost much of its ability to coat and protect engine components. Manufacturers recommend changing the oil in your small engine after every 25 hours of operation. For a new engine, you'll also need to change the oil after the first five hours of operation. New engines require this extra step to flush out small particles that accumulate naturally during the break-in period. Hours of use are just one factor in determining how often the oil should be changed; the amount of wear and tear is equally important. Just like the oil in a vehicle operated in extremely dirty or dusty conditions or at high speeds, the oil in a lawn mower or other small engine breaks down faster under tough conditions, such as wet grass, heavy dust, high temperatures and rough or hilly terrain. Avoid overfilling your crankcase. Too much oil can cause the same type of engine damage as not having enough. Air bubbles form in the oil, reducing overall lubrication. The resulting friction and metal-to-metal contact can cause premature part failure. Excess oil can also burn in the cylinder, producing smoke and leaving carbon deposits.

Engine Won't Start
A no-start condition is one of the most frequently encountered engine problems. If there is a clicking noise but the engine does not crank it generally indicates a battery issue. An engine that cranks but will not start is indicative of a fuel or ignition problem. Common reasons an engine won't start:

Low or discharged battery
Corroded or loose battery cables
Starter motor relay failure
Ignition switch failure
Defective fuel pump
Clogged fuel filter

Service Engine Soon Light
The Service Engine Soon light is designed to illuminate whenever a fault is detected in any of the sensors attached to the emission, engine, or powertrain controls. The purpose of the service engine soon light is to alert the driver to a potentially...
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