Do you drive a diesel? These days diesels are more popular than ever and they carry with them their own baggage. The guys who have the massive exhaust stacks blasting through the truck bed, belching black smoke into the air with a mechanical roar;those guys are the ones we think about when the word diesel is mentioned. The fact of the matter is, diesels are much more than simply loud, lumbering beasts, rolling coal into the atmosphere. There are now diesels for the everyman, not just the dudes in their trucks and 38 inch tires. At Miramar Automotive and Transmission, we get diesels.

The thing about diesels, particularly in Mira Mesa and all of California for that matter, emissions is a big stumbling block. The thick black smoke that those trucks pump out is not what a properly running diesel should look like. The billowing smoke is caused by overfueling and is not an incredibly efficient way to run your truck, but in the world of automobiles there is room for everyone. The other end of the diesel spectrum is populated by European cars with efficient, quiet, and powerful diesel engines. The Europeans have been on the right track for many years as far as diesels are concerned and over there, they are incredibly popular. A diesel that is running properly is surprisingly clean and is a fantastic alternative to the anemic commuter cars mass produced today.

The towing power of a diesel truck is undisputed and has always been the big selling point of a diesel. Mountains of pulling power and surprisingly good fuel economy is what separates a diesel from a gasoline engine. The key to taking care of a diesel is the fuel and the air. Of course the air must be clean when introduced into any engine and a diesel is no exception. The major reason for providing the engine with clean air is the fact that a diesel uses a compression ignition system to produce power.

Diesel 101

For those who are familiar with diesel’s but are not quite sure how they work here is a quick overview. The process works like this: Air is drawn into the engine, either naturally (called naturally aspirated) or through fans called turbochargers. The air is then compressed by the piston and becomes superheated, at which time atomized diesel fuel is sprayed in the chamber and causes an explosion. This is known as compression ignition and surprisingly is the same principal as a jet engine on an aircraft. The fuel is burned but very little and a small amount of fuel is returned to the tank. In this way, a diesel is an incredibly efficient system. The black smoke you see is the result of unburned fuel exiting the exhaust, occurring when there is too much fuel in the chamber.

Keeping Your Diesel In Top Shape

The fuel system is incredibly important to keep clean because of the high tolerances of the injectors and fuel pump. Any little piece of debris or water in the fuel can cause negative results. That is why, if you own a diesel, it is critical that you change your fuel filter at least twice a year, depending on driving habits. If you tow a lot of miles and operate in dirty environments it is imperative to have your filter changed more often. The purpose of a diesel fuel filter is to remove the contaminants from the fuel and, if it becomes plugged your engine will run badly or not at all.

The Diesel Check Up

At Miramar Automotive we do comprehensive diesel tune ups which includes, an air filter, one or more fuel filters and an oil change. The toughness of a diesel is not an exaggeration and routine maintenance will ensure an extremely long life. Diesels are known to have a usable life of hundreds of thousands of miles and proper care is the key. The oil change can be a bit of a shock for some new diesel owners as some of the larger truck engines take up to 15 quarts of oil which can get a bit expensive. Air filters should be changed twice a year along with the fuel filters as well. The upkeep of a diesel is not cheap when compared to a gasoline engine but the proper care will reward you with a vehicle that will stand the test of time. Get your diesel check up from the diesel experts at Miramar Automotive.    

At Miramar Automotive, we are your local diesel experts serving Mira Mesa and all of northern San Diego. If you need a caretaker for your diesel we are your ASE Certified experts. The longevity of a diesel makes it imperative that you establish a partnership with a trusted repair shop and Miramar Automotive is that partner. Please give us a call and schedule an appointment! All diesels welcome!