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Want to Become a Mechanic? Learn About How to Maintain Diesel Engines in the Winter

Published on December 23, 2021 by in Blog, CATI

Closeup of car tires in winter on the road

Manufacturers who build diesel engines understand that their product will be used in many different parts of the world – and in many different climates. Of course, they do their best to test out how the engines would work in different situations and temperatures, but there is only so much they can do. That being said, there are different ways to maintain diesel engines in the winter. 

Most newer vehicles and their engines can run smoothly in cold conditions. However, if the car is not taken care of properly, the issues that arise later on can be quite expensive. It’s important to learn how to take care of a car’s engine and if you’re a mechanic-in-training, it is great to have this knowledge to advise your clients on how to care for their car. Read on to learn more!

Diesel Engines Need Maintenance

In general, diesel engines have trouble starting in the winter. They usually need high temperatures, which are created by compression, to ignite the fuel. Ideally, a diesel-run vehicle should be started in warm weather, but of course for many drivers that isn’t possible, especially in Canada. Cold cylinder walls, gelled fuel, and electrical failure are some of the most common reasons ways in which diesel engines are affected by the winter. Automotive schools will be able to prepare you for all of the possible difficulties facing engines in cold weather.

Maintenance checks by a mechanic can help a driver experience a smoother winter

Maintenance checks by a mechanic can help a driver experience a smoother winter

Auto Mechanic Schools Prepare Students to Advise Customers

There are many things a mechanic can do to help maintain these vehicles and their engines during the cold winter months. Whether you’re in auto mechanic training or already working in the field, it is important to be able to offer advice to customers on how to maintain their vehicles. Firstly, using a winter-blended fuel can help avoid the occurrence of gelled fuel. Additionally, if the driver has portable fuel cans, it is helpful to keep them at the same temperature to avoid condensation. Draining water from the fuel filter and the water separator on the fuel storage tank can also help to avoid the fluids freezing. Fuel filters are often neglected, but they are the most common places to find gelled fuel. When the driver is going to fill up their tank, it is best to do it on the way home, as a full tank does not leave any room for condensation to build up overnight. Lastly, parking a vehicle in a warm place where possible, such as a garage, will make a big difference when starting the car.

Filling up a fuel tank can help to avoid condensation

Filling up a fuel tank can help to avoid condensation

Car Batteries are Sensitive to Cold Weather

Lighter engine oils can help to lubricate the engine for a smoother ignition, especially when it is cold. That being said, it is best to consult a mechanic before using an oil that is too light, as it won’t perform an adequate job. Additionally, drivers should be careful when storing diesel exhaust fluid. It will freeze if the temperature is too low, as it is made up of 50% water. That being said, don’t worry about what is already in the tank. The fluid is automatically circulated to prevent freezing and is ready when the engine is warmed up. 

Car batteries are often forgotten about. During the summer, there is a fair amount of fluid evaporation. Now that it is colder outside, the weather can put a strain on the battery. Car batteries can lose more than 35% of their power at freezing temperatures. In that case, there are different options to help keep the battery warm. Various types of battery warmers are available to help keep the vehicle’s battery keep its charge. Most importantly, don’t forget to let it warm up! Giving a cold engine enough time to warm up can help to maintain the vehicle. It will give the fluids – such as the engine oil, hydraulic oil, and coolant – enough time to warm up so that they are at an appropriate temperature to power the car. 

Interested in training to become a mechanic?

Contact CATI today!

 
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