How to Understand and Resolve Common Rail Diesel Problems

Common rail diesels have been with us for ten years now, and there’s no sign of their problems abating! Almost all common rail diesel problems are expensive. This makes preventative maintenance a very valuable investment indeed for your vehicle.

Since so many of our customers own common rail diesels, CEM can help you to identify and understand the sorts of problems regularly encountered. That then makes it a lot easier for you to decide what action you need to take to solve your particular problem—at low cost—before it becomes more serious!

Firstly, here’s a list of most of the usual common rail diesel problems:

  • Smoke
  • Power loss
  • Rough idle
  • Engine rattle
  • Dirty diesel engine oil
  • Oil use
  • EGR valve problems
  • Inlet system deposits
  • Turbocharger failures
  • Excessive diesel particulate filter regenerations

Next, you need to understand what causes these common rail diesel problems, and why:

  • Diesel fuel quality… Avoid the cheap stuff. Avoid using truck diesel in light common rail engines.
  • Operating conditions… If you do a lot of short runs, excessive idling, cool operating, light engine loadings, this will contribute to deposit problems in your combustion chamber, exhaust spaces, turbocharger, and diesel particulate filter.
  • Common rail injection systems are very high pressure and high temperature… sufficient to degrade the fuel, leaving deposits in your pumps and injectors, and lowering your fuel’s lubricating ability. Your fuel filter going black is a sign of this happening.
  • Sticking fuel injectors… Your fuel injectors then stick and allow excess fuel which also results in engine rattles, carboning up of your EGR valves, turbochargers, DP filters, combustion chambers and more.
  • Piston ring deposits also form, which allows compression blow-by pressure into your sump, and heavy soot contamination of your oil. This pressure is released via your crankcase ventilation system into your air intake system. This carries an oil mist which mixes with exhaust soot from your EGR valve, fouling your throttle body and choking up your intake manifold.

Here’s how to rectify these common rail diesel problems before too much damage is caused:

  • Use CRD Fuel Enhancer with every fuel tank. It’s cheap to use (you’ll use only 10mL per 80L diesel). Faulty CRD injectors can normally be fully recovered, by just using the CRD Fuel Enhancer. The cleaning and lubricity power ensures that your injectors meter fuel accurately, without over-fuelling. It is even cheaper to use than two-stroke oil and has far stronger lubricity and detergency
  • We recommend using Flushing Oil Concentrate to clean your oil system of soot and sludge and free up piston rings to tighten the seal against blow-by and oil use. Doing this every oil change is low cost and will keep your engine cleaner and healthier than ever
  • Using CRD Fuel Enhancer and Flushing Oil Concentrate in combination will directly address your inlet system deposits, injector fouling, smoke, injector rattles and power issues
  • If you already have heavy inlet deposits, and there may be 2-3 cups of gunk to deal with, we recommend that you physically clean them, rather than spray solvent through your intake and risk serious engine damage
  • If your engine already has heavy coking of combustion chambers, turbos, EGR’s or Diesel Particulate Filters, we recommend you also use FTC Decarbonizer in your fuel. This will actively burn off carbon from combustion and exhaust spaces, turbochargers and DP filters. This is especially advantageous when a lot of short runs, idling or light duty use is encountered.

Use of these three products as directed will successfully eliminate over 80% of all common rail diesel problems. Got a problem not listed above, or need more detailed advice on how to best resolve your common rail problems? Please let us know.

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