Is your heavy-duty diesel truck struggling to haul heavy loads? Maybe when you first got your truck, it seemed as though it could tow anything, but now you’re not so sure? Well, if that’s the case, you’re in luck. By performing preventive maintenance on your heavy-duty truck, you’ll not only bring your truck back to where it once was, but you’ll prevent future performance decreases as well. Anything from your fuel filters to your EGR system can cause performance loss, meaning routine maintenance and inspection are a must. Plus, there are several ways in which you can actually improve your truck’s performance as well, rather than maintain its factory power output. Here are seven excellent suggestions to help you enhance and even maximize the performance of your heavy-duty diesel truck.
1. Routine EGR Valve Inspections
When it comes to power, your combustion temperature is key. The higher the combustion temperature, the more power your diesel engine will produce. One factor that can have a significant impact on this operating temperature is your EGR system. Your EGR system recirculates some of your exhaust fumes back into your combustion chamber in order to drop your temperature and decrease the production of nitrogen oxides. When this system is functioning well, there isn’t a significant power loss. However, if your EGR valve leaks, far too much of your exhaust will enter your combustion chamber; this drops the temperature far lower than it ever should and causes a drastic decrease in power. By inspecting your EGR system on a daily basis, you’re preventing this issue from ever happening.
2. Routinely Replace Your Fuel Filters
Your fuel filters should be changed every time you perform an engine oil change. They’re designed to clean your fuel and ensure your engine operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. If your fuel filters become clogged, your engine will receive less combustible fuel, therefore dropping your power output significantly. Clogged fuel filters may even go as far as preventing your engine from starting.
3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the best ways to increase your heavy-duty truck’s performance and fuel efficiency. A tire that’s underinflated creates more drag, and one that’s overinflated may reduce your grip. Do keep in mind that changes in temperature can affect your tire pressure, for air contracts and expands at high and low temperatures. Properly inflating each tire before a long trip is an excellent way to improve your truck’s performance and prevent unexpected breakdowns.
4. Upgrading Your Suspension
When it comes to maximizing your heavy-duty vehicle’s performance, you need to look beyond your diesel engine. Sure, pulling power is important, but being able to hold up cargo is equally as vital. If you find that your leaf spring setup isn’t enough to stop your trailer or heavy-duty truck from squatting or sagging, you should consider investing in air suspension. Not only does it allow for variable suspension strength, but it can often be even stronger than leaf spring setups.
5. Limit Idling Time
Long idling times can put a lot of strain on your heavy-duty engine as it’s not operating at an adequate temperature at idle. If you know you’re going to be parked for a while, be sure to turn off your engine. Another great way to decrease idling time is to plan around traffic. Have backup routes in place in case an accident slows down traffic, and try to travel outside of peak rush hour times.
6. Install a Larger Turbocharger
Replacing your stock turbocharger with a larger, more powerful one is a great way to increase your heavy-duty truck’s performance. For those that aren’t aware, turbochargers increase power by forcing air into your combustion chamber at a significantly faster rate. Depending on how much bigger of a turbocharger you add, this may allow you to haul significantly more than you currently can. One thing to keep in mind is that turbochargers make your engine work very hard. If you install a turbocharger that’s way too big for your engine to handle, your diesel engine’s lifespan may lessen, and your coolant system may be overworked. Fortunately, most diesel engines can handle turbochargers so long as they’re approved by your manufacturer.
7. Installing the Correct Tire and Wheel Setups
There are many ways in which you can upgrade your heavy-duty truck’s performance, but one that stands out above the rest is the usage of certain tire and wheel setups. For example, it may seem obvious, but if you’re a trucker that routinely travels down logging roads, your truck will do far better with all-terrain tires rather than street tires. Tires that are specifically designed to handle certain terrain will always allow your truck to perform better in that terrain.
By following these seven steps, your heavy-duty truck will perform better than it ever has before. From preventing power loss to increasing it overall, you simply can’t go wrong with what we’ve laid out. Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!