Is Servicing My Diesel Pickup Truck Really That Important?

diesel truck driving in the pacific north west

Is Servicing My Diesel Pickup Truck Really That Important?

To put it bluntly, yeah, it’s really that important. Pickup trucks need to be serviced much like any other vehicle on the road. And it doesn’t matter if your pickup truck only hits the open road occasionally if you are out in it every day in all weather; you need to get it to an experienced diesel engineer who can ascertain its health and get it serviced thoroughly to ensure it remains in top condition.


Regular servicing or maintenance checks should be performed every 6 to 12 months or every 10,000 miles, whichever comes first as a general guideline. So, if you’re a fair-weather user clocking up 7,000 miles per year, then your service can be carried out annually. However, if you racked upwards of 20,000 miles last year or even in the past 6 months, you need to head in more frequently.


Why Is Diesel Engine Servicing Vital?

Diesel engines are complex pieces of machinery, and diesel fuel itself isn’t as highly filtered as gasoline, meaning it can leave additional debris in your engine, which can lead to a build-up. Even if you run your truck for the recommended 60-mile trip weekly to blow out the cobwebs, it may still have some build-up. On top of that, the difference between gasoline engines and diesel engines is the compression used to ignite the fuel, meaning that you need to keep on top of the compression to ensure your truck is in good working order.

Diesel engines experience wear and tear at higher rates than their gasoline counterparts, so neglecting to have regular servicing and maintenance can have disastrous consequences.


What Does A Diesel Service Entail

When you book your diesel engine for its service, it’s essentially giving it a complete overhaul as far as the fluids, engine and air filters are concerned. Remember, diesel engines have a higher risk of debris build-up, which can cause massive damage if not cleared periodically.


The priority when booking a diesel engine service or booking maintenance isn’t to check everything is in full working order; instead that, the engine is clean and nothing is causing damage or building up where it shouldn’t be.


Typically, your maintenance checks or services should include the following;


  • Oil change
  • Air filter change
  • Fuel filter change
  • All fluids should be replaced
  • Full engine clean
  • Oil run through


What Happens If I Don’t Service My Pickup Truck?

Truth be told, neglecting your servicing in the short term won’t likely cause any damage itself initially. But over a more extended period of time, you will start to experience more and more faults and a decline in your driving experience. Whether you’ve missed one or two services or you aren’t sure if your vehicle is ready to be given a makeover, there will be telltale signs that can help push you to book your pickup truck in for a pamper which include;


  • Fluid leaks
  • Stronger exhaust fumes
  • Decreased power output
  • Slower accelerating responsiveness
  • Strange smells coming from the engine
  • Strange noises coming from the engine
  • Steam from the engine
  • Unexplained stalling or
  • A sputtering engine, to name a few.


Essentially, you want to look for indicators that your pickup isn’t performing as well as it once was and anything out of the ordinary. Ignoring any of these signs, even for a short while, can spell disaster, and the last thing you want to do is break down on a job or in the middle of nowhere simply because you neglected to book in for that service.


When Should I Book My Truck for Maintenance Work?

There is no hard or fast rule regarding how often your diesel truck needs a service, but as mentioned above, there will be signs. And while the 10,000 miles or 6 to 12 months is gulde, the only way really to know how often your truck needs servicing is to look at how often you use it, where you drive, the weather conditions and the loads you carry. Trucks carrying heavier loads daily will be more susceptible to damage from express strain and wear and tear than those only used for light duties.


And sure, in both instances, they can suffer from the same type of faults; the vehicles on the road will likely encounter any problems faster than those who only drive sporadically. As a general rule of thumb, the more you drive, the more frequently you should get your pickup truck serviced. If you are unsure how often to book your diesel pickup for service, talk to an experienced diesel engine technician to help you ensure you maintain your truck as it needs you to and that it’s in the best condition possible.