Industrial Engines Blog

Signs That Your Diesel Engine May Need Overhauling

Qiana Smith

February 12, 2024

Reasons to have a Diesel Engine Overhaul

A good way to keep costs lower when your diesel engine is playing up is through is an overhaul. As we know, things which may be small issues initially can become very expensive in no time at all.

By conducting an engine overhaul, it allows us to identify the problems and fix them before its too late and a replacement is needed. There are some tell tail signs that your engine might benefit from an overhaul:

  1. Metal Shavings In The Oil: If you see metal shavings in the engine oil it most likely means that there is friction between two components due to lack of lubrication. Metal shavings can cause lots of other damage as the oil carries them through the engine very quickly.
  2. Excessive Smoke: Depending on the colour of the smoke it can mean multiple things. If the smoke is blue, it means that the engine is burning oil, and the fuel is flowing incorrectly. If the smoke is white, it could mean that the coolant has leaked into the engine.
  3. Loss Of Compression: If the engine has a decrease in power it can lead to loss of compression. If there are coolant or fuel leaks it can contaminate the engine oil and lead to high levels of oil in the crankcase. A common cause of leaking cylinders is worn-out parts which would indicate that an overhaul is necessary.
  4. Bearings: In particular “Spun rod bearing’s” cause damage to the rod journal and the rod connecting them. Again, this could be caused by lack of proper lubrication in the crankcase. If the broken rods move about inside, it can cause further damage which will end up costing more money in future.
  5. Turbo Failure: Thick black smoke will indicate that there is a problem with your turbocharger. It means that oil has got inside the intake and if not rectified quickly, can lead to engine failure. If a turbo is having issues, it vibrates or wobbles. This is what causes damage to the engine.
  6. Runaway Or Rough Idle: If your engine is being problematic when you’re turning it off or its running idle it means its time for an overhaul. Runaway engines can be incredibly dangerous so its important to sort this as soon as possible.
  7. Oil Sludge: If there is a build up of oil sludge on the filler cap or dipstick it is generally caused by wasted oil, dirt, and coolants. It also indicates that there is a lack of lubrication on the engine components. It can cause problems such as power loss and increased fuel consumption if it is not sorted.
  8. Increased Coolant Or Oil Consumption: Alarm bells should ring if you notice a sudden increase in oil or coolant consumption because it can mean several things. Some of the main reasons for this are: oil leaks, a cracked cylinder head or gasket, worn cylinder liners faulty O-rings or worn-out piston rings. If the piston rings are not in their correct position, they aren’t able to keep the fuel from getting into the crankcase.
  9. Knocking: If your diesel engine is making a loud knocking noise it can mean a few different things. Faulty fuel injectors, compression problems and poor bearings are just a couple of the things that this noise could indicate but it is important to address it quickly as they all lead to more severe engine failure.
  10. Dropped Valve: When a valve head is bent and sheared it drops into the cylinder, hence the phrase “dropped valve”. If this has happened you may need to replace the pistons, cylinder, or the valves. If it is not rectified it will mean you need to replace the whole engine further down the line as dropped valves impact the whole engine system.

It is important to keep an eye on your diesel engine so that if something happens our of the ordinary you can catch it before its too late. What seems like a small issue at first can very promptly become a much larger one and cost you in both time and money!

If fixing one part of the engine can save the whole then why wait?

Check out our Selection of Engine Parts or visit our eBay Shop before thinking about a major overhaul.

Diesel Engines


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