Looking after your diesel truck properly requires some time and effort. In addition to the basics like oil and filter changes, one of the components you should never overlook is your high-pressure oil pump.
The high-pressure oil pump in your vehicle is responsible for maintaining the smooth performance of the engine, and if problems with the pump are left untreated, the result can be complete engine failure.
The main cause of pump failure is a reduction in pressure due to blockages, which in turn prevents oil from reaching the engine effectively. This is often due to the settling of sediment and debris in the pump from not being used for extended periods.
So to keep the pump in your truck in top condition, here are a few DIY tips to include in your regular maintenance schedule.
Know the Pump Parts
Knowing the parts of your high-pressure oil pump and how they work is the first step to diagnosing problem areas and fixing them.
The pump is gear-driven and made up of the gear, shaft, pump housing, valves, brass cylinder, piston with springs and collar, swashplate plug and ring bearing, as well as the tubing and support bearings. For general maintenance, it is unlikely you will need to disassemble the pump. But for simple cleaning, it is important to know which parts belong where.
The first part of the pump you should routinely check is the hose. Leaks stop the oil from effectively passing through the pump, and that can cause serious engine damage if not addressed immediately.
The support bearings can become loose from debris, so it is important to check and tighten them.
Check the Oil Quality
The quality of the oil can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the pump. Make sure you routinely inspect the oil level. This could be done monthly as part of your maintenance schedule. And while you inspect the oil level, check the oil for clarity.
It is normal for diesel oil to be slightly dark; however, if you notice grit, very dark coloring or smell gasoline on the oil rag, it is time to change the oil and check your oil filter.
If your oil is not dirty but problems persist, check the valves and the reservoir. You may find hardened debris built up on the valve plate, which you can clean off with a flat-head screwdriver and vacuum.
Use the Right Oil
The oil pump ensures the engine runs smoothly, but not all oils are created equal. A poor-quality oil with too many additives can be just as bad for your engine long-term as dirty oil. So when it comes to your next oil change, make you are using oil specially formulated for high-pressure pumps.
Test the Pump and Engine
Once you have checked the pump, cleaned any parts of debris and changed the oil, it is essential you re-test the pump and engine to confirm whether the high-pressure oil pump was the source of any engine performance problems.
Understanding and solving engine problems quickly reduces the severity of engine problems and prevents any future problems from arising. To check the engine and pump, start the engine and pump on the accelerator a couple of times, listening for strange noises. To check whether the oil pump is working properly, examine the intake valve with the engine still running to check whether there is a film of oil.
If any problems persist, another engine component may be responsible. The best course of action may be to perform a diagnostic test on the engine, such as the turbochargers or fuel injection system, as they can also affect the power of your engine.
When to Replace the Pump
If you notice a drop in the performance of your engine, your high-pressure oil pump might be to blame. The key to ensuring it doesn’t damage your engine is keeping it well maintained and knowing the right time to replace it.
The best time to check or replace the pump is during routine maintenance. Always buy genuine replacement parts for your high-pressure oil pump.
The best way to prolong the life of your high-pressure oil pump and keep your engine performing properly is with regular maintenance. But this doesn’t mean a trip to the mechanic each month. Try these simple DIY maintenance tips for your pump to keep your diesel truck running smoother for longer.