Diesel Engines Part 2 | Diesel Car Maintenance Tips

Diesel Car Maintenance, Oil Change, Filters, CoolantThis blog series explores automotive diesel engines’ history, evolution, and maintenance. Be sure to check out Part 1 if you have not read it already. In Part 2, we will look at diesel car maintenance tips, including time intervals for an oil change, filters, and coolant service. We will also cover a few performance and efficiency suggestions for your diesel car.


How Diesel Cars Work

Diesel engines operate via compression-ignited injection. Diesel fuel is vaporized and sent into a high-temperature combustion chamber where ignition occurs. Additionally, unlike gasoline combustion engines, diesel engines do not use spark plugs.

Diesel Car Maintenance Tips

Road conditions, climate, and driving styles can impact the frequency of necessary vehicle maintenance. Therefore, one of the best ways to care for our diesel cars is to be aware of their performance and efficiency changes. A noticeable difference in power output or fuel efficiency can mean a clogged fuel or air filter. Furthermore, a bad smelling interior can indicate that the cabin air filter requires replacement or that you need to throw out those old fast food bags.

Routine Maintenance

Performing routine maintenance on your diesel car is best to protect your investment. While many diesel cars can go longer between maintenance service appointments than their gasoline counterparts, it’s still important to schedule them on time. Consult your owner’s manual and your service technician to decide on the best service timeline for your needs.

Oil Change

Diesel engines require a good quality engine oil to help reduce wear and tear. Thus, low engine oil or a clogged oil filter can be detrimental to the performance and longevity of your diesel engine. Consequently, frequently inspect your oil levels and add more oil if it becomes low. Schedule an oil change service as soon as possible if the oil looks black, is gummy, or smells burnt.

Fluids & Filters

There are many fluids and filters that require regular maintenance in a diesel automobile. Reading your vehicle’s manual will give you a good overview of the diesel components and maintenance intervals your car needs.  

Fluids & filters to regularly inspect:

  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Fuel Filter(s) – replace every 10,000 to 15,000-miles
  • DPF – Diesel Particulate Filter (Passive/Active Regeneration)
  • Engine Air Filter(s) – replace every 10,000 to 12,000-miles
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • DEF – Diesel Exhaust Fluid (Check your owner’s manual to see if your diesel car uses DEF)
    • DEF Filter


In general, diesel engines often run hotter than gasoline engines. Therefore, performing regular maintenance on the Cooling System of your diesel car is a necessary step in diesel car ownership. Frequently check the coolant levels in the radiator reservoir, and refill as needed. What if you notice coolant on the ground under your car or on any engine components under your hood? Then you should schedule a Cooling System service immediately. Fortunately, many diesel car manufacturers have a Coolant Flush service interval every 40,000 to 60,000-miles. Therefore, check your owner’s manual for your car’s recommended service time frame.

Diesel Car Performance & Efficiency

Many factors can affect the performance & efficiency of your diesel car. Discuss these tips with your service technician and see which ones apply best to your unique situation.

  • Always use premium diesel fuel and keep an ample amount in the tank at all times.
  • Invest in high-quality synthetic diesel-engine oil.
  • Keep up routine maintenance, especially for fuel and air filter changes.
  • Only use coolant/antifreeze rated for your diesel vehicle AND the climate where you drive.
  • Engine Tuning by a qualified technician may help improve diesel engine performance.

Diesel Car Maintenance in Clarksville, TN

Keep your diesel car running great with the help of A&R Complete Auto Care in Clarksville, TN. We can perform all your routine maintenance services and deal with more involved diesel car repairs. Our experienced technicians and state-of-the-art equipment will quickly diagnose any issues to get you back on the road.

Schedule Service

Call A&R Complete Auto Care at (931) 552-0606 or visit us online to make an appointment for your diesel car maintenance or repairs.

Next Up – Diesel Engines | Truck & SUV Maintenance Tips: Part 3

Part 3 in the Diesel Engines Series will look at diesel passenger trucks and SUVs. We will discover how they differ from diesel cars, how to care for them, and ways to enhance their performance and efficiency.