While your diesel vehicle will not need much in the way of routine maintenance, your coolant system is the one requiring the most attention. This system, and the filters, are critical to the longevity and performance of your vehicle so it is important to make sure you are conducting regular visual inspections, changing the filter as needed and using the same coolant.
Regular Visual Inspections
Maintenance of the coolant system once meant just checking for visual signs of leakage, topping off the fluid levels and occasionally replacing the radiator cap. These days, you need to add analyzing the fluid for proper levels of supplemental coolant additives, SCAs as well as regular cleaning and flushing of the coolant to your routine. Conducting regular visual inspections can tell you when you need to top off the fluid levels, when to install new coolant filtration systems, and which parts are wearing out more quickly than expected. It is a good idea to test your coolant when you change the oil and to clean the system when your SCAs test too low.
Use the Same Coolant
When you first purchase your vehicle, find out what type of coolant is currently in the vehicle as well as which ones are recommended by the manufacturer. Using coolant without the right corrosion protection inhibitors, SCAs and freeze protection level can cause your system to break down more quickly and can lead to damage to the rest of the engine as well. If the same coolant cannot be used, find some with the same levels of those protections. Many owners will mark which coolant to use somewhere on the system to make it easier to remember the correct one.
The coolant in your diesel truck does more than keep the engine at proper working temperatures, it also keeps your coolant system healthier for longer and can help avoid cracks and damage due to freezing weather. It is important to visually inspect your system regularly, as well as use the right fluids and regularly test them for proper additives levels.