Why risk breakdowns, costly repairs, unreliable replacements, and inconvenience? Engine breakdowns are not just an expensive nuisance, but they can also be extremely difficult to investigate and analyze the exact reason for the problem. This means longer downtime and uncertainty, higher expenses on alternate transportation, and finally, a fat bill for repairs and replacement parts. 

It’s important to pay close auditory, visual, and olfactory attention to your engine, along with sensitivity to changes in feel and performance. This helps to catch minor problems before they develop into major ones. 

A smart strategy is a prevention. You can build your diesel truck engine’s immunity by installing top-quality replacements at the common failure points. 

The term most commonly used is “bulletproofing,” – and this means to render the engine as tough, sturdy, and damage-proof as possible. There are certain weak points that need to be shored up or replaced in an original diesel truck.

Auto experts recommend some clever tips to help you prevent engine breakdowns. This can be done by bulletproofing your diesel truck engine. 

1. Research Bulletproofing:  It’s important to know what bulletproofing is all about. It is a term that originated with a Mesa, Arizona based auto parts and service shop named Bulletproof Diesel. Originally, when restoring classic cars, auto shop technicians discovered that there were certain typical issues with these Golden Oldies. Performance and reliability were the main problems, and these could be addressed by replacing certain original parts with newer, more efficient, and advanced technological ones. This meant less expensive maintenance and reduced incidence of engine failure. Bulletproofing takes off from this key concept by replacing certain weak, prone-to-fail parts with sturdy, reliable, and better-designed ones.

2. Replacement Parts: Know exactly where the failure points are in your diesel engine. Bulletproofing was originally launched to address problems with the 6L Ford Power Stroke. This was top of its class as far as power was concerned, but highly unreliable in terms of performance. When customers found that they could turn to independent garages to fix these problems quickly, affordably, and efficiently, this resulted in fewer reliability problems. The popularity of the aftermarket parts industry and the option to prevent inconvenient and expensive engine breakdowns. Typically, parts prone to failure include the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system consisting of oil cooler, head studs, water-pump, FICM (fuel injection control module) fan clutch.

3. Symptoms of EGR Failure: Vehicle owners need to be attentive, sensitive, and proactive in preventing EGR system failure. The EGR is the system that circulates harmful exhaust gases into the intake, where they help to reduce engine temperature and toxic emissions. It is a complex system controlled by a sophisticated valve that directs flow and operations. Failure of the valve results in poor performance, increased emissions, and finally, serious breakdown. Unfortunately, the symptoms are not very serious in the early stages, and you need to be extra alert to recognize the common signs. Rough idle, reduced performance, check-engine light coming on, increased fuel consumption, frequent stalling while in idle, a strong odor of fuel, knocking noises from the engine, etc. are some of the typical red flags.

4. Know The Causes of EGR failure: Frequent heating and cooling, thermal events, and the insufficient gap between these events can punish your EGR system, causing damage and breakdown. Some of the other causes are:

  • The blockage of the narrow passages inside the OEM cooler causes leaks, resulting in cross-contamination of oil and coolant. 

  • The head-studs of the head bolts lose their clamping ability due to wear and tear, resulting in the typical “blown gasket” situation. 

  • The water-pumps plastic impeller is a fragile part that could get damaged in time. Failure leads to blockage of coolant.

  • Wear and tear of the FICM (fuel injection control module) results in reduced voltage to the injectors and affects the composition and ratio of the air to fuel mixture. 

  • Fan clutch failure causes overheating. 

5. Prevention: Regular maintenance and cleaning of the cooler at scheduled intervals is the best way to prevent EGR failure. However, not all garages and vehicle manufacturers agree on these aspects. This leads to confusion and contradiction in the maintenance schedules. Some authorized garages may not have the information about EGR issues with a particular make or model. If your diesel truck is one that’s not used for short runs or has long periods of sitting idle, it’s entirely possible that EGR problems could crop up. This is because there is a higher carbon accumulation in these engines than trucks used for longer trips.

6. Bulletproofing Pays In The Long Run: A completely bulletproof engine incorporates replacement systems and components that address the common issues in diesel truck engines. With bulletproofing, you achieve several important benefits. Truck downtime can spell doomsday for a small business or an individual truck owner. Replacement and repair costs can escalate out of control if the problem is not diagnosed properly or quickly enough. EGR problems are not known to be easy to diagnose, and they can well occur within the service lifetime of the vehicle. Additionally, if your breakdown happens in an unfamiliar place, you could be left with Hobson’s choice of getting it fixed at a strange garage or paying to have your truck towed home. Labor costs can be high, and you will have to pay top dollar for quality parts. With bulletproofing, you preempt many of the typical engine failure issues and ensure that you have a sturdy heart ticking away inside your truck.

7. Know Your Costs: Before you opt for bulletproofing, do your research and a thorough cost-comparison study. The costs vary across the market in terms of individual solutions. They may range between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars based on your unique needs, preferences, and budget. When you look at labor costs, it’s important to weigh the situation of repairs that you may have to undertake in a crisis against the cost of taking preventive measures early on.