If you’re lucky enough to own a diesel motorhome or RV, it’s likely you’re interested in ensuring that your vehicle lasts as long as possible. While diesel models are known for their longevity, this wonderful benefit is only achieved with proper maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping your motorhome or RV in top condition, thus making your travels more enjoyable and maximizing the lifespan of your vehicle:
1. Air, Fuel and Coolant Filter Replacements
Keep track of when you change these filters and schedule regular replacements based on your manufacturer’s recommendations. Replacing filters regularly can avoid freeze ups, and the accumulation of condensation that can get into the fuel injectors. You can also learn to replace these yourself.
2. Take Time to Warm Up
Diesel engines perform well for hauling heavy loads, but they require a bit of care when starting up. Allow your diesel engine to warm up for a few minutes before departing. Also, when starting out, adopt a slow pace for the first few minutes while the engine is still warming up.
3. Glow Plug Check
Glow plugs are used to heat cylinders before a cold engine ignites to help make sure the fuel burns properly. It’s important to get these checked regularly, especially after cold seasons where your glow plugs may see heavier use. When it is unusually cold outside, glow plugs are essential for starting your engine, so regular maintenance on them is critical for ensuring that your diesel motorhome functions properly.
4. Oil Filter Replacement
Dirty fuel can damage your diesel engine and result in costly repairs. Avoid this trouble by changing your oil filter regularly.
5. Go Long
Longer drives are better for your diesel engine, so try to avoid short drives. This is actually true for any engine. Your diesel RV was made to handle the long haul, so give it the opportunity to make a long trip from time to time, and avoid shorter drives.
6. Don’t Ignore an Overheating Engine
If the engine overheats, stop right away. As temperature levels rise, you must take precautions to avoid damaging your engine. As soon as possible, try to find the cause of overheating, and get help from a mechanic before damage is done.
7. Drain Water Separators
Your diesel engine collects any water that may be present in your fuel and saves it. Every so often you need to drain out this water using a drain valve known as a petcock.
8. Check Gaskets
Routine maintenance should include checking and replacing gaskets as necessary. Head gaskets often accrue damage over time due to temperature spikes when the engine overheats.
9. Install Engine Heating Kit
If you plan on using your RV in very cold temperatures, you may want to install an engine heating kit to help ignite your engine. Lubes and even diesel fuel can become gel-like in consistency when exposed to extreme temperatures, so your engine may need some help getting going when starting in the cold. A heating kit can help get everything flowing so your engine can function properly.
10. Clean Spark Arrestor
Diesel generators also need maintenance. The spark arrestor is a screen that catches sparks and pieces of carbon. Check your manual to see how often it’s recommended that you clean the spark arrestor. The manual should also provide instructions for how to clean it.
11. Wet Hub Oil Levels
If your vehicle has wet hubs on the front axles, you should check oil levels every so often to prevent bearing issues.
12. Check Supplement Cooling Additive Levels
Using strip tests, you can perform tests on your supplement cooling additives. This helps ensure that you have the correct levels present in your engine. If the levels aren’t right, it can result in corrosive bubbles forming on the engine cylinder sleeve.
Need professional help with maintenance for your diesel RV or motorhome? Contact Farace Automotive at (714) 465-5835.