Tips

7 Signs Your Big Rig’s Engine Is About to Die

You cannot afford to have your semi-truck’s engine die on you, especially if you’re schedule is packed with routes throughout the fall and winter. Midlane Truck & Trailer Repair can inspect your rig’s engine for impending doom, especially if you’ve noticed any of the following seven signs.

Poor Gas Mileage

You know how much time you have between fill-ups if you’ve been driving your rig for a long time. Even if it’s new or new-to-you, you can still guesstimate the gas mileage pretty good. If the rig has suddenly become a fuel hog, you could have a problem in the fuel system or with the fuel injectors.

Engine Power Loss

Signs of engine power loss include slower speeds, stressful hauls, and generally a feel that the engine isn’t giving you what it can. In this case, you might be driving with a leaking head gasket, pistons, or valves. You may have also lost the cylinder compression necessary to fully power your semi’s engine.

Burning Oil

Your rig should never burn through oil and it if does, you could have some serious engine trouble brewing underneath the hood. The engine could have an oil leak, or it might also have a problem in the cylinder liner or piston rings. You don’t need us to tell you what low oil can do to an engine.

“Bruised” Exhaust

Excess exhaust that is black or blue is a very bad sign. Black exhaust means your semi-truck’s engine is burning a ton of fuel. The blue side of the figurative bruise is an oil burn. Blue exhaust means oil is being burned at alarming rates in your truck’s engine and you’re on the road to total engine failure.

Excess Blow-By

“Blow-by” is excess smoke or unburned fuel that is blowing into the crankcase. Usually, blow-by is caused by piston liner wear or a problem with the engine’s steel rings. Either way, you cannot afford to drive your rig with blow-by conditions, as this will damage the engine significantly.

Engine Brake Lag

We talked about cylinder compression loss further up and this can also cause poor engine brake performance. If you can’t maintain a slow speed going down a long or steep incline, you might also have a cylinder liner or piston ring problem. There’s a pattern to the causes of serious engine trouble.

Knocking Engine

Finally, engine knocks or other strange sounds should not go ignored. Knocks can be caused by oil contamination due to engine leaks or combustion timing that is off. They can also be caused by damaged or worn liner seals, problems with the main bearings, or even the engine piston skirt.

Let Midlane Truck & Trailer Repair in Eugene, OR, inspect your semi-truck’s engine if you’ve noticed any of the seven signs of serious trouble listed above. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Rpernell from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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