How Long Will a Detroit Diesel Engine Last?

If you’re looking for a new diesel truck, you may wonder how long it will last. These engines are made with heavy-duty parts that are built for consistency and reliability. When properly maintained, diesel engines last much longer than their gas-powered counterparts. Read on to learn how to extend your diesel engine’s life.

Average Lifespan

Industry experts say that well-maintained diesel engines can last anywhere from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 miles without major repairs. Some units, including the venerable detroit engine from Heavy Duty Pros, can last up to three decades—which is twice the lifespan of the average gas engine.

These numbers, though significant, aren’t set in stone. Manufacturers release upgraded versions of their engines every few years, with newer engines lasting longer than previous models.

When is an Engine Considered ‘High-Mileage’?

Durability varies among vehicles, and diesels are no exception. Several factors affect diesel engine longevity, including driving habits, maintenance, and more. A truck used for hauling and towing may need repairs more often, while a lighter-duty diesel will last much longer.

Extending a Diesel Engine’s Life

There are a few ways drivers can make their diesel engines last longer, and we’ll go over some of them here. 

  • LubricationAs with other powerplants, proper lubrication is essential. While the average gasoline engine may use a gallon of oil, a heavy-duty diesel may use up to 15 gallons! Diesel engines contain more moving parts, all of which must be lubricated to prevent damage. Drivers and maintenance specialists must change the oil regularly to keep debris out of the engine and ensure smooth operation.
  • Oil pump maintenance. Oil changes are, at best, a partial solution; the oil also needs to reach its destination. HPOPs or high-pressure oil pumps pressurize oil as it circulates throughout the engine, and IPR or injection pressure regulator valves keep it coming out consistently. If the oil isn’t adequately pressurized, parts will start grinding against one another, causing engine damage. Regular HPOP and IPR valve testing reduces friction and the risk of thermal breakdown.
  • Overheating prevention. High heat is a diesel engine’s worst enemy. Diesels use EGRs or exhaust gas recirculation systems to reduce exhaust gas temperatures. In an EGR system, coolant flows through tubes, transferring heat from the engine’s combustion chamber. Keep engine coolant at the appropriate level to prevent overheating and replace it every 50,000 to 60,000 miles.

When drivers follow these tips, they keep diesel engines clean and running smoothly.

Looking for Oil Leaks

Diesel engines with high mileage are more susceptible to oil leaks. Symptoms may include:

  • Oil puddles or stains under parked vehicles.
  • Low oil level on the dipstick.
  • Blue smoke emanating from the engine during operation.
  • An illuminated oil pressure warning light. 
  • A noticeable smell of burning oil.

They’re not always a problem; minor leaks around seals and gaskets are common. If there’s a heavy coating of oil around a gasket or seal, though, it may be a cause for concern.

Detroit Diesel Engines

If you’re looking for an efficient way to move freight without sacrificing torque and horsepower, a Detroit diesel engine is an excellent choice. These engines are used in various applications, but they’re only as good as their maintenance programs. By following these maintenance tips and addressing problems early on, you’ll preserve the quality, durability, and longevity of your diesel engine.

Share your love
Alex John
Alex John
Articles: 19

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *