Alright, diesel truck owners, listen up. If you want your beast to last longer and perform better, there are some things you gotta stop doing. Here’s 14 habits to kick if you’re behind the wheel of a diesel truck.

Lift Kits

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Lift kits might look cool, but they can do more harm than good. They mess with your truck’s handling, alignment, and can even void your warranty. Unless you’re big into off-roading, you’re better off spending your money elsewhere. Keep your truck grounded and invest in something that’ll actually boost performance, like a turbocharger upgrade.

Not Changing Your Fuel Filter Regularly

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This is crucial, guys. A clogged fuel filter can wreak some serious havoc on your injection system, which will cost you big time. Diesel engines need a steady flow of clean fuel to keep cool and run smoothly. Neglecting your fuel filter is asking for trouble, so make sure to keep it fresh.

Ignoring Your Air Filter

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A dirty air filter is bad news for your engine and your wallet. It forces your turbo to work overtime and can let all sorts of nasties into your engine. Believe me, this is not something you want. Regularly changing out your air filter is an easy way to protect your investment and keep things running efficiently.

Too Many Short Rides

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Those short drives you love? They’re tough on your diesel truck. Diesel engines need time to warm up, but short trips don’t allow that. The real damage happens in the first minutes after starting—before the engine even hits its groove. What’s the fix? Well, you can make sure you’re driving at least 25 to 30 miles before you shut off the truck. You can also look into a pre-lube system. It gets oil moving to the right spots before you start up, shielding your engine from the worst of the wear and tear.

Excessive Idling

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Idling your diesel truck too much is like shooting yourself in the foot. It’s bad news for your engine, doubling the wear and tear compared to normal driving. Idling leads to carbon buildup and can even cause a smooth, mirror-like finish inside your cylinders, which ain’t good. This means more oil burning, more topping up, and more cash out of your pocket. So, if you’re parked for a while, just shut off the engine.

Not Warming Up Your Engine

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Diesel engines are picky about temperatures. They’re built tight and need warm oil to work right. Cold starts? They’re a one-way ticket to increased engine wear. Let those glow plugs do their job and give your engine a chance to warm up before you hit the road. It’ll thank you with a longer lifespan.

Running on Empty

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Running your diesel truck on fumes isn’t just bad for your wallet, it’s terrible for your engine. Low fuel levels can suck up all kinds of crud from the bottom of your tank, clogging up your fuel filter and messing with performance. Plus, diesel engines hate air in their system – it’ll leave you stranded needing a system purge. Keep that tank at least a quarter full.

Not Sticking to Your Oil Change Schedule

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Trying to save some money by skipping oil changes? Well, that’s a bad idea. Your engine oil is like lifeblood – it keeps everything running smooth and clean. Let it get too old, and you’re asking for trouble. Follow your truck’s manual for oil change intervals to keep your engine purring.

Not Watching Your Fluids

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Remember, your truck’s fluids are its lifeblood. Neglecting them is like not drinking water – it’ll catch up with you. Changing your oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid regularly is a must. You should also consider adding bypass filters for extra protection – it’s like giving your truck a health boost.

Not Paying Attention to Smoke Signals

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Your truck’s smoke can tell you a lot. Black smoke might mean your injectors are shot. White smoke could be coolant leaking into your engine – not good. Blue smoke usually means oil’s burning where it shouldn’t be. Keep an eye on your exhaust and address any changes quickly.

Letting it Get Rusty

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Rust is your truck’s worst enemy, especially in places with harsh winters and road salt. Keep your paint touched up and apply wax regularly. Wash off road grime and salt ASAP to protect your investment. A clean truck isn’t just about looks – it’s about longevity.

Not Monitoring Your Engine Temperature

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Whether you’re stock or modified, knowing your engine’s temperature is key. Overheating can kill your engine faster than you can say “turbo.” Invest in some gauges to keep an eye on things and address any cooling issues ASAP.

Forgetting About Your Tires and Alignment

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Neglecting your tires and alignment is like skipping leg day – it’ll come back to bite you. Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned to avoid uneven wear and bad fuel mileage. It’s simple maintenance that can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Not Looking for Fuel Tank Contaminants

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Your fuel tank can be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties. Water intrusion and aging fuel can lead to sediment buildup and clogged filters. Keep your tank clean and don’t let diesel sit around too long, especially in hot weather.

Author

  • JoshC

    Josh Clark is all about beards, classic cars, and family. As a Christian husband and dad, he balances his time between his family, and his love for vintage rides and dedication to beard grooming. Josh knows firsthand how tough it can be to figure out beards, and he's here to help other guys get it right. Whether it's tips on keeping that beard looking sharp or talking about the coolest cars, Josh has got you covered.

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