Your tractor-trailer works harder than any vehicle on the road. Amazingly, the engine in your semi continues to pull its weight, and more, day after day under changing weather and road conditions. Eventually, it may begin to experience problems, any of which you should address quickly. Pay attention to these warning signs before your diesel sputters and stalls permanently.

Performance Drop-Off

Having grown accustomed to your truck over many miles, you know when it feels as if it is losing power. The problem may be a result of weakening air-fuel induction. Often, replacing turbochargers’ wastegate controls with higher performance aftermarket units will address the issue; the replacements are built to higher standards than flimsy stock units.

Blue-Tinged Exhaust

The color of a truck’s exhaust can indicate the condition of the engine. A healthy diesel puffs light-gray smoke. Blue emissions coming from the pipes indicate excess oil-consumption, usually from worn piston rings. Black belches are a signal that an extra-rich fuel mixture is reaching the combustion chamber. Your mechanic can remedy the fuel issue by adjusting the delivery system; oil-burning usually requires an expensive engine rebuild.

Oil Consumption and Engine Braking Changes

Even if you do not notice blue smoke coming from your exhaust system, you may experience other symptoms of weakened engine rings and cylinder sleeves. When these elements of the combustion chamber are worn gasses blow past the pistons, and engine braking is lessened as a consequence of reduced compression. Because the rings cannot effectively scrape oil off the sides of the cylinders excess oil is burned, and you will have to add oil continually between changes.

In peak condition, your truck’s engine will sound strong and pull effortlessly. Though parts naturally wear over many miles of driving, any performance changes should be gradual. If you pay attention to signs of significant performance changes, bay acting to remediate the problems you may be able to forestall serious repairs.