2 Signs You Need To Have Your Semi-Truck Engine's Pistons Checked For Damage Or Wear ASAP
When you drive a semi-truck, the pistons inside the diesel engine play an important role in giving the truck the power you need to haul loads. After the right ratio of fuel and air causes combustion, the pistons move up and down to operate the crankshaft and send the needed power to the truck's wheels.
If the pistons start to wear out, they can cause a severe loss of compression within the engine, causing a severe loss of power until they fail completely and cause the engine to seize up. To avoid being broken down on the side of the road, pay attention to a couple of signs that your semi-truck's pistons need to be checked for damage or wear as soon as possible.
1. Engine Starts Burning More Diesel Fuel than Usual
One sign that the pistons are worn or damaged and need to be checked by a professional repair technician as soon as possible is when you notice that the engine is starting to burn more diesel fuel than usual. Because worn or damaged pistons cause a loss of compression within the engine, they will pull in extra fuel for combustion in an attempt to maintain power.
Since this extra fuel causes an imbalance in the air-to-fuel ratio within the combustion chamber, the excess diesel will not burn off completely, resulting in black smoke coming out of your exhaust pipes. Not only does this drive up your fuel costs, but the extra demand for fuel placed on the engine by the worn pistons will cause further wear and tear if they are not replaced.
2. Engine Keeps Running for a Few Minutes after You Shut the Truck Off
Another sign that the pistons in your semi-truck's engine are wearing out and pulling in too much fuel is when your truck starts experiencing diesel engine runaway. Because there is excess fuel going into the engine to keep up with the pistons' demands, the engine will start to overwork to try to keep up with it.
When you turn off your truck, you will find that the engine continues to run for a few minutes. This can cause rapid deterioration of the engine if the pistons are not changed as soon as possible.
If you have noticed that your truck's engine is starting to use more fuel than usual, the pistons may be on the verge of failing. This is particularly evident when the truck starts exhibiting diesel engine runaway, making the engine refuse to shut off because it is pulling in too much fuel. Since these signs indicate that a breakdown of the pistons and the engine is imminent, you should not delay in taking the truck to a semi-truck repair shop to have them replace the pistons and check the engine for any residual damage that needs to be fixed.
Contact a professional to learn more about semi-truck repair.