If your company depends on heavy-duty trucks with diesel engines for its day-to-day operations, you want to make sure that the vehicle stays in optimal condition to ensure the safety of your drivers. While you may already keep the trucks maintained, there is always the possibility that one of your trucks may experience issues in between your regular maintenance schedule.
Because diesel systems are different from those found in standard vehicles, there are a few instances where even minor changes in a truck's behavior could mean dealing with major problems. Below are a couple of signs that one of your company's diesel trucks needs professional repairs as soon as possible.
1. Smoke Coming out of the Exhaust Is Dark After the Initial Startup
One tell-tale sign that there is an issue with one of your company's heavy-duty trucks is when you notice that the smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe has turned very dark. While it is normal to see some black smoke when the truck first starts up when it burns off excess carbon, it should become almost undetectable after a minute or two.
However, if the exhaust stays dark, there is most likely an issue with the combustion of the fuel inside of the engine. If not enough of the diesel is being burned as fuel, the excess carbon will exit through the exhaust. A professional should check for issues that are causing this problem.
2. Operating the Truck Has Become More Difficult for Your Driver
Another sign that a truck needs professional attention and repairs is when your driver reports that the operation of the truck has become difficult. Although these trucks are bigger than standard vehicles, shifting and steering should still be comfortable and done with ease.
However, if shifting becomes harder or your driver cannot steer properly, the gears may have become worn or there may be an issue with the shocks or alignment. Because of its size, these problems are a safety hazard and should be checked out by a diesel mechanic as soon as possible.
If you notice dark smoke coming out of the exhaust a few minutes after the initial startup and/or your driver reports problems with either steering or shifting the truck, the vehicle may not be safe enough to be on the road without the underlying issues first being fixed. Because of the complexity of the diesel system, you should not attempt to make these types of repairs yourself. Instead, contact an automotive shop in your area that offers heavy-duty truck repair services to have them diagnose the problem with the truck so that they may take the proper actions to fix it.
Contact a truck repairs service near you to learn more.