Diesel Power - - Top Tech Questions - Bob Dud­ley via email

QUES­TION: I would like to know your thoughts about types of im­prove­ments to make for a longer-last­ing truck. My ’14 Chevro­let Silverado only has 12,000 miles on it. We pur­chased it new and use it to tow our fifth-wheel trailer. I am a long­time sub­scriber and see things like fuel lift-pump sys­tems, down­pipes, CP3 con­ver­sion kits, and such in the mag­a­zine. I change my oil ev­ery 5,000 miles and do the fuel fil­ter at 10,000 miles. My goal is to make the truck as de­pend­able as pos­si­ble while we are on the road. Any sug­ges­tions would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. AN­SWER: Four things are crit­i­cal for diesel longevity: Clean fuel, lu­bri­cants, coolant, and air. In­stalling a high-end lift pump that helps take the load off the stock fuel pump and max­i­mizes the clean­est fuel (no wa­ter/par­ti­cles) reach­ing the in­jec­tors is para­mount. It also helps ex­tend the life of the CP4 in­jec­tion pump. Chang­ing or drain­ing those fil­ters on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is also a big part of pre­ven­tive main­te­nance. Per­form oil ser­vice ev­ery 5,000 miles and start an oil-anal­y­sis pro­gram with the next change. Send the sam­ples to a re­spected lab­o­ra­tory, then pro­vide a sam­ple at ev­ery third main­te­nance in­ter­val to keep an eye on what’s hap­pen­ing in­ter­nally with the en­gine. Do­ing this alerts you to any usual wear is­sues. Use the best oil fil­ter avail­able. Flush the coolant sys­tem (in­clud­ing the block) ev­ery 40,000 miles, or ev­ery two years, which is prob­a­bly twice as of­ten as stated in the owner’s man­ual. It is good to change the trans­mis­sion fluid and fil­ter ev­ery 50,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first. We can’t stress enough how im­por­tant clean fuel, lu­bri­cants, and coolant are to the life of a mod­ern diesel en­gine. Change the air fil­ter at least once a year—us­ing a stock fil­ter is fine. When down­pipes and EGR cool­ers fail, re­place them with af­ter­mar­ket ver­sions that have bet­ter welds, im­proved flow, and heav­ier ma­te­rial than OEM.

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