• Diesel woes


    Some time ago, a friend of mine was having issues with his 2005 Hilux 4×4 pick-up. Its top speed was only about 120 kilometers per hour. At first, he had the fuel filter changed then put some fuel vitamins to see what would happen. The pick-up became a bit perkier but still struggled to reach 120 kph. We did discuss if he should bring it to specialist to try and see what was wrong. A few months passed and we saw each other recently. He said he brought it to a shop in Mandaluyong, the Berrima Diesel Services. They are the diesel experts from down under. So the facility placed his pick-up on the four-wheel chassis dynamometer. And after a run to get performance baseline, they found out that his ride was only making 70 percent of its actual power capacity. So they went under the hood, started fiddling around and discovered that it had a leaking fuel injector. This apparently what was causing the poor performance. After working their magic on the pick-up, another run on the dyno was done and a test drive around the area. The difference was night and day. The pick-up felt like new. How much did it cost him? Let’s just say the price was bit steep… but well worth it.

    I was fortunate to meet the guys from Berrima years ago at one of the auto tradeshows. Talking with them made me listen as their knowledge about diesel engines was immense. The owners themselves were well-seasoned mechanics so they have gotten their hands dirty with a lot engines. They were giving away a small booklet that explained about diesel maintenance. I must admit, it was very informative. One thing that they said which has stuck with me was, “about 90 percent of diesel engine trouble is fuel related”… “ dirty fuel.” And yes, I totally agree. If you go to their Facebook page you can read their posts regarding diesel maintenance. If you own a diesel-powered car whether it be with an old mechanical injection pump or one with a new common rail direct injection, take a look. It will help you understand the quirks of you car more.

    There is this question usually asked, if you need to have the clutch replaced what other things that would need to be replaced? If it’s for a rear-wheel drive car, besides the clutch disc, pressure plate and release bearing, it would be advisable to change the fly wheel oil seal and inspect the clutch fork if it needs to be replaced. If it were a front-wheel drive car, it would be advisable to check your drive shafts. It’s going to be disconnected anyway, so it would be wise to inspect them. If your car has a cable-type clutch system, better replace it along with it. If you have a hydraulic clutch set-up, bring down the clutch master and the secondary clutch cylinder also. Why bother inspecting them? Well, it’s more of preventive maintenance. It would be more convenient to replace them before they break down rather than replacing them because it broke down. If it does break down, it might cause you a lot of trouble at the wrong place and at the wrong time. What an inconvenience.

    If you have a question or would want to share something, you could rmail me at drdavemech@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you soon.


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