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How to Make Your Diesel Engine Last Longer

Diesel Car Maintenance Tips: How to Make Your Diesel Engine Last Longer

Diesel VS petrol? One of the most important decisions you’ll make when choosing a car is whether to opt for diesel or petrol - or of course electric, if you’re looking at buying a newer car.


Diesel vehicles are more fuel-efficient, better for the environment and are ideal for carrying heavy loads. As they are designed for motorway driving, diesel cars are the better-suited choice for long-distance driving for day to day, not to mention that the fuel in diesel engines lasts much longer than petrol does, making it a cost-effective choice over a petrol vehicle.


Based on your personal circumstances and preferences, both diesel and petrol cars will provide you with a set of benefits and limitations. If you are looking at purchasing a used diesel car, you’ll need to know the diesel maintenance tips in making your diesel engine last longer.


A golden rule with diesel engines is to never let the engine run dry as it could lead to a number of problems, as well as the risk of rusting.


It’s also important that you aim to take care of the injectors by using good quality fuel and filling up the whole tank rather than a small refill every now and then, which is much more important in winter. The condition of your diesel engine is entirely dependent on the quality of fuel you use, so if you’re aiming to save some pennies by opting for the cheapest diesel available, you may, after a couple of years, be paying for the damage.


Avoid leaving the vehicle in the cold weather for long durations with little diesel in the tank as this can lead to the fuel filter becoming contaminated by the water from condensation, snow or ice.

Fuel Filter Changes

Diesel fuel filters play an essential part in keeping the fuel clean and the engine running at optimum performance. Fuel filters should be replaced routinely at approximately every 15K miles, however, the older your vehicle, the more frequently you should be looking at replacing the fuel filters.


It’s critical to pay close attention to the manufacturer's guidance on servicing your vehicle in order to keep the vehicle running smoothly and without problems. Otherwise, you may find yourself with poor fuel economy and a potentially unwanted breakdown.

Appropriate Oil Changes

Oil lubricates your engine and relieves your engine and other components of any strain. It’s important to ensure that your car is serviced annually and the oil is changed every year, or when you reach a set number of miles - whichever happens sooner. Your vehicle’s manufacturer’s guidelines will tell you exactly when your car will be due for a service. If your diesel car is used for towing or frequently carrying heavy loads, then it is necessary to change the oil more regularly.


In order to not forget when your service is due, it’s recommended to book at the same time as your annual MOT test time. Having appropriate oil changes at the correct time frames can make a huge difference to the reliability and running costs of your car. During a service, the oil, fuel and air filters will be replaced.

Engine Coolant

As one of the most important components of the smooth running of a diesel car, engine coolant should continuously be monitored on a regular basis, however, many diesel owners fail to regularly check the engine coolant levels, leading to a number of issues later on.


The condition of the engine coolant can make every difference to engine longevity. Engine coolant can protect diesel engines from common issues, and can also protect the engine from freezing during colder months.

Diesel Particulate Filter

As diesels are designed for harsher motorway driving, they aren’t best suited for city driving with frequent stopping or starting. The DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) removes soot from the exhaust gas and aims to reduce emissions when you are accelerating by filtering out the bad particles. However, if the DPF isn’t cleaned properly, the filter can become damaged by build-up, which is more likely to occur if your car is used in busy cities or towns.


Whereas when you are driving on motorways or dual carriageways at a high speed, the DPF is able to clean itself. This is why if you ever experience problems with the DPF on your diesel car, a mechanic will tell you to take your car down the motorway at a high speed and a lower gear!


While many drivers recommend removing the DPF, this is illegal and can result in an MOT failure.

Warming Up

When leaving for work in the morning, it really does make a difference to your engine longevity to take it easy and allow your car to warm up first before leaving. 


This also means that you should hold off on the accelerator and avoid using revs too high or too low, as well not following the car first thing in the morning! Aim to keep your RPM in the middle when you first start driving.


As well as taking it easy when you begin driving, it’s also recommended to allow your car to cool down by waiting around 30 seconds before turning your engine off. Of course, if your journey was long or intense, it’s worth waiting a little longer.

Take Care of Your Diesel Car

Take care of your diesel car, and it will always take care of you. Diesel cars are extremely easy to maintain when you know what to look out for. For more advice, don't hesitate to contact us at Parkland Motors to assist you with your decision.


Looking at buying your next used diesel car? We have over 300 used cars in stock at any time, and full dealership facilities. If you’re interested in any of the car safety features listed above, we’d be more than happy to help you find the right car to suit your needs.