December 01, 2021 By Nicolas A. Calanoc

How To Take Care of Your Diesel Engine

The popular engine choice in the Philippines is clearly diesel because it’s cheaper, more efficient, and delivers a lot of power at the low end, making it ideal for both heavy traffic and at cruising speeds.

Despite SUVs tough reputation, diesel engines need more care than their gasoline counterparts. If a typical gasoline engine vehicle requires a maintenance check every 10,000km, diesel engines require every 5,000km. Other than that, these are the top 10 tips you need to know to keep your diesel engine in great condition:


As much as possible, make sure you are filling your diesel vehicle with the best quality fuel you can afford in a reputable gas station that diligently checks both their fuel supply and the cleanliness of their tank. Bad fuel can damage the engine, its pistons, and anything part related to the combustion process.

Air Filter

Since diesel engines rely on a lot of air, ensuring the air filter is in good condition will result to clean air entering as well. Usually, they have to be replaced every 5,000 km, but if you don’t drive inside the smoggy metro, you may be able to stretch it to 7,000 km.

Fuel Filter

Even if you load up with the best fuel, there may be some small sediments that the fuel filter will be able to catch, making what gets combusted the best it can ever be. Usually, this is replaced every 10,000 km. Failing to do so will endanger the engine’s injector and pressure pump, which definitely doesn’t come cheap!

Engine Oil

This is where it pays to check the owner’s manual on what engine oil to use. This is the lifeblood of the engine, so getting the best you can afford is always advisable.

Oil Filter

The more the vehicle is used, the more wear and tear it will really experience, which the oil filter catches and makes sure that the engine won’t be damaged from its own debris.


Due to the nature of diesel engines, they can get really hot really quick. Making sure that your coolant is filled up properly is a key to a healthy engine. If in case of an overheat, let it cool down naturally and avoid pouring water to speed up the process. That will invite the possibility of cracking the engine block. Instead, let it cool down on its own, then proceed to drive to the nearest gasoline station to fill up the radiator with coolant.

Timing Belt

It is best to verify with the owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to replace the timing belt and check the tension before you hit 100,000 km.


Check wherever lubrication is required, especially in the under chassis. In doing so, every moving part lubricated is working the way it should with minimal wear and tear.

Alternator Belt

This not only makes a healthy battery, but also keeps the electronics of the diesel vehicle running with a good supply of electricity. To make sure you get most of the alternator, have the alternator belt’s condition and tension double-checked every time you bring it to a shop.


At the end of the day, it is all about mindset. Even the best car guys will have the urge to procrastinate when a small problem arises in their vehicle. But sometimes those small problems are symptoms of a bigger one. Remember, an ounce of maintenance is better than pounds of repairs!

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