Industrial diesel engines are tough and sturdy. They can run for 100s of hours without needing any kind of stop ship maintenance. But deep down, diesel engines are sensitive machines, and if you don’t care for them correctly, you’ll be in a world of hurt when something goes wrong. Here are some key maintenance tips that will help keep your industrial diesel engine running smoothly.
1. Change the Oil Regularly
Just like car owners, you need to change out your engine’s oil every so often. Manufacturers recommend 1-3 months, depending on the number of hours the machine is running. If it’s a really large job site with an engine that runs all day long, it might be best to increase that time frame somewhat – but try to stay in the 1-3 month range.
You’ll also need to change your oil filter whenever you change out the oil (if they both use the same type). And make sure that when you top it off with fresh oil. If you don’t, then there’s a risk of mixing old and new oil, causing sludge to be created. That sludge can clog up filters and damage your engine’s delicate parts.
2. Inspect Your Fuel Filters
Every machine will have a different recommended interval for changing out the fuel filter. But there’s one key rule you need to follow: whenever you change the oil, change the fuel filter too.
If you don’t swap it out when you should, sludge will start building up in your fuel system, which can lead to some expensive repairs – and even worse, damage your engine.
3. Keep Moving Parts Lubricated
Your diesel engine has many moving parts that need to be lubricated by the oil you’re putting in it. Not only is this way safer for your engine’s health, but it will help prolong the life of any fuel injectors you may have.
Although some engines are okay with just changing the oil, many on-highway machines require more lubrication than that to stay healthy. If yours does, it’s good to invest in oil additives for on-site maintenance staff. These products help replace the high molecular weight components of diesel fuel, which can deteriorate engines. They also add lubricity and improve fuel properties, keeping your diesel engine in tip-top shape for many years to come.
4. Get a Pre-Start Checklist
Before you start your industrial diesel generator, you should go through a quick checklist of items like checking the oil level and quality, inspecting the fuel levels, opening the service hatches and looking for any leaks or loose fittings, inspecting the battery cables for corrosion, and checking the fuel filter, air filters, and water separator.
Not only will a pre-start checklist help you avoid a lot of what could be smaller issues turning into larger ones, but it will also help prevent expensive repair bills down the road.
5. Get Your Engine Repaired ASAP
When you notice something wrong with your on-site diesel generator, deal with it immediately. It may be tempting to let it slide, but if you do, there’s a good chance the issue will only get worse – which could result in an expensive repair or time off the job site for maintenance.
6. Do a Load Bank Test Every Few Years
Oftenly- usually at least once or twice a year, but more frequently for larger generators – you should do what’s known as a load bank test. This tests your generator under simulated high-demand conditions and helps ensure that your diesel engine is working correctly. If it isn’t, you’ll be able to catch it early – before it leads to any serious damage.
Your diesel engine is the heart of your industry, so it’s important that you treat it well. Remember these six tips, and you should be able to get a lot out of your power system for a very long time.