Electrical Diagnosis And Common Electrical Faults For Your Diesel Vehicle. For many years diesel vehicles were promoted as the better choice for the environment. The fact that diesel was generally cheaper and gave you better miles per gallon was simply a bonus. However, diesels, like all modern vehicles, have become increasingly complicated engines. Much of this is thanks to the addition of an array of electronics.
Of course, the performance of a diesel engine has improved. But, it’s the electronic control that really makes a difference and the reason these vehicles are becoming increasingly complicated to fix.
You’ll want to have a good automotive electrician on standby to help you deal with any issue with your diesel engine and its systems. But, it can also be helpful to know the most common faults with your diesel vehicle.
Don’t forget that most electrical issues will need to be diagnosed with the help of a code reader. These are handheld devices that connect to a special port on your vehicle and give you an array of information concerning how your vehicle is running. You can buy a code reader yourself but you’ll find your automotive technician has a much better version.
Frequency Of the Issue
One of the biggest issues when undertaking vehicle repairs is getting the vehicle to repeat the error. That’s why it’s essential that you record how often the issue happens and any details regarding what else was happening at the same time.
This is particularly important when dealing with damaged wiring, grounding issues, and shorts. These are unlikely to show on the diagnostic machine and will probably be a pain to track down.
Your battery is the key component in starting your vehicle. It has to push out enough power to turn the starter which turns the engine and gets the vehicle running. Battery failure is either an issue with the battery or the alternator.
You’ll first notice it as a failure or reluctance to start in the mornings.
The alternator charges the battery, ensuring it’s ready to start your diesel engine and power the electrical systems. If your battery fails the car won’t start, if your alternator fails the car won’t have any electrical power and will be unable to do anything.
They do tend to fail as they age, making it necessary to exchange them. A good technician will offer an exchange as the old alternator can be reconditioned. It will reduce the cost of fitting a new alternator and keeping you on the road.
Your diesel engine relies on a careful balance of air, fuel, and an electric spark to run smoothly. If any of these elements are out of sync then the engine will stop running smoothly.
Of course, there are many reasons why this could be the case, such as a dirty air filter, bad injectors, incorrect fuel mix, etc. However, many of these factors are controlled by electronics. Sensors across your vehicle will tell the central computer what is happening within the engine, allowing it to calculate and balance everything.
Even one sensor not working properly can affect the running of your vehicle. Unfortunately, even with the diagnostic machine, it can be difficult to locate the exact issue and replace the sensor. You need a machine and a technician with experience.
There are plenty of other potential faults with your diesel vehicle, that’s why you need to ensure your automotive technician is conversant with electrical issues and the workings of your engine.
Diesel engines have a lot of torque, that’s why they are the engine of choice for all industrial applications. But, if the power starts to fade you can suspect an issue in the fuel lines, fuel filter, or perhaps with the injectors. It can also be a problem with the fuel pump. This is when it’s useful for your technician to plug the diagnostic machine in and identify the fault.
In most cases it will show as a fault code, allowing the technician to identify and fix the issue surprisingly quickly.
Diesel engines tend to be noisier than the petrol alternative. However, regardless of what vehicle you have, you’ll know the sound it makes when running normally. If you hear any unusual noises you’ll want to have the vehicle checked out properly.
Common problems associated with knocking noises are compression unbalance and an issue with your injectors. Both can cause significant loss of power and can be dangerous if you continue to drive without getting it seen to.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that all vehicles are becoming increasingly reliant on electronics. That means the failure or even the smallest component can give rise to issues and take your vehicle off the road.
Having an idea regarding the most common diesel engine faults is good. But, you need to recognize the importance of getting professional help when necessary. It will be the fastest way back on the road.