Top 3 Methods To Protect Your Diesel Engine
Having a reliable and stable engine is arguably the #1 most important thing in a 4WD. Lack of diff locks, small tyres and stiff suspension are forgivable and can be overcome with a little perseverance and planning, but if your engine snuffs it in the middle of remote Australia – you’re in a bit of a pickle.
There are some serious benefits of preventative maintenance as well as pre and post trip inspections – they’re vital steps to ensuring your vehicle doesn’t let you down on long trips, but they’re not the only things that should be on your 4x4 checklist.
Vehicle modifications can also have some major benefits, but we’re not talking about just the ‘fun’ stuff like winches, bar work, driving lights, dual battery setups. There are definitely all great things to have, but should be lower down the needs list than the following gear that’ll allow you to 4WD for years to come without the huge repair bills and ruined adventures…
1. Clean Air
Snorkels are often thought of as a tool solely used for crossing rivers & creeks, a way to raise the air intake up above the water line to prevent water entering the engine and ruining valves and pistons in the process. What you find though is that a lot of modern 4WDs are now boasting wading depths of up to 800mm, misleading owners into thinking that their new stock dual cab is going to manage that fast moving river crossing… fact is, it probably won’t. Drop into an unexpected hole and should your 800mm clearance reach 801mm, you’re in big trouble. Even a small splash of water into your intake can leave you with a hefty repair bill.
Secondly, a snorkel isn’t just for keeping water out of your engine. In dusty, outback conditions they are able to raise your engines air intake up into the fresh air above the cloud of dust your own 4WD is kicking up. This dust is seriously detrimental, shredding the internals of your turbo and then making its way into the engine destroying the cylinder walls and valves – resulting in no compression and an engine billowing smoke with no power. Air filters can only do so much.
2. Clean Fuel
Similar to how dirty air can quickly ruin an engine, dirty fuel can have similar negative effects. In diesel engines, fuel is a lubricant in addition to being a fuel source. It lubricates the internal components of your injection pump and injectors, and keeps them cool in the process. Contaminants, like water, dirt, or rust particles that are all commonly found in low-quality fuel make their way through the system they cause serious issues. Water in the fuel system can have the most disastrous effects.
To combat this. we recommend installing a Fuel Management System – as most factory fuel filters are not up to the task of separating water from the fuel, which leads to damaging the fuel system. A Fuel Manager is perfect as a supplementary system, ensuring only clean fuel makes its way through your engine. For less than the price of a quality light bar a Fuel Manager system can protect your engine from contaminated fuel sources, paying for itself ten times over the first time it saves you.
3. Clean Intake
While a snorkel is a sure fire way to keep your engine clean, it doesn’t stop the engine making itself dirty. Modern diesels will usually run two things: a crankcase breather, which allows gases that escape past the piston rings to go into the intake and through the burn process, and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system which helps reduce NOx levels by sending a small amount of exhaust gas into the intake to lower combustion temperatures.
A problem occurs when the wet oily residue from the crankcase breather lines the walls of your intake, providing a sticky base for the carbon particles from the EGR to rest – when enough time passes they build up and begin to seriously restrict the flow available through your intake. The result is your turbo working harder to force air through the system, higher intake temperatures, and less cool air making its way into the system making your 4WD feel sluggish and potentially using more fuel to compensate.
There are several solutions to this and you should contact us via the form below to discuss your options.