Keys to Optimal Winter Diesel Performance in Las Vegas
Nevada isn’t known for having the harshest winters, but the chilly nights of the Mojave Desert can create some problems for diesel vehicle owners in the region. If you have a diesel vehicle, here’s how to maintain optimal diesel performance in Las Vegas during the cold weather:
Tips for Ensuring Reliable Winter Diesel Performance in Las Vegas
Remember the Electrical Heater
Unlike gasoline engines that use a spark to ignite fuel in the combustion chambers, diesel engines use high pressures to heat fuel (per Boyle’s Law). The fuel has to reach 850 degrees Celsius, which usually isn’t an issue in Las Vegas. When temperatures drop during winter, however, a diesel engine may not produce enough pressure to raise the fuel’s temperature to this mark.
If you have trouble starting a diesel engine in cold weather, remember that most diesel vehicles are outfitted with an electrical heater specifically to help in this type of situation. Your vehicle might have a glow plug or grid heater to warm up the fuel. When a glow plug or grid heater fails, the malfunction will usually trigger a check engine light. Replacing the failed part is an easy repair that’s inexpensive, and it’s one you shouldn’t ignore during winter.
Use the Right Type of Oil
Most diesel vehicles call for 15w40 motor oil in normal operation conditions, and the Mojave Desert usually has normal operating conditions even in winter. If you run this oil year-round, you’re unlikely to have any related issues with diesel performance in Las Vegas.
Should you take your diesel into the mountains, though, you could see temperatures that require a different thickness of oil. If you’re traveling anywhere that will get lower than about 15 degrees Fahrenheit, talk with a diesel technician about what kind of oil you should run. They may recommend something like 5w40 for your trip, and you can switch back when you return.
Watch Your Temperature Gauge
Even in Las Vegas, diesel performance problems can arise during winter if a thermostat malfunctions. The thermostat monitors the engine’s temperature and is responsible for controlling coolant flow appropriately.
When a vehicle’s thermostat malfunctions, it will usually allow coolant to flow unimpeded. That, in turn, results in performance issues and excess wear because the engine never is able to get up to proper operating temperature. The engine’s always being cooled too much and stays cold even on a long drive.
The way to address this problem is to replace the thermostat, which is a relatively easy fix. It’s also fairly easy to recognize the problem in the first place, even if you have no mechanical knowledge. If your vehicle’s temperature gauge never gets to about 210 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermometer isn’t registering that the engine is warm. The engine could be cool, but more likely the thermostat needs to be replaced.
Maintain Excellent Diesel Performance in Las Vegas
If you need help servicing your diesel vehicle, bring it to J&S Diesel. Our knowledgeable mechanics have the expertise needed to help you maintain excellent diesel performance in Las Vegas and anywhere else throughout this winter. Contact us at 702-736-8526 to learn more.