Maintaining a diesel engine is more than changing oil and fuel and air filters. There are very common practices that you need to include in your diesel engine maintenance so to prolong its life.
For once, you need to mind some very important warm-up recommendations for your transmission and diesel engine. You have to allow a minimum of five minutes for your diesel engine to warm up before applying load. Without proper warm up, a diesel engine would prematurely wear out due to failures and seizures.
When you are operating a diesel engine in cold ambient temperatures, never forget to warm up its transmission oils, as cold temperature would increase oil viscosity. To avoid low hydraulic pressure and delayed oil circulation, you have to make sure you never forget to warm up.
Remember that you would only need a warm diesel engine and not one thats overheated. When diesel engine overheating happens, you have to remember the basics. First and foremost, you have to stop the diesel engine from operating and keep it idling without any load.
When you try to stop the diesel engine, dont do it suddenly. You have to let it run for around 5 minutes without any load before shutting it off. You have to allow the diesel engine to cool down and set it aside for about 30 minutes.
While the diesel engine is still running, never take off the radiator cap off or even just immediately after it has stopped. This will force out a very hot coolant from its radiator. You can only remove the radiator cap when it is cool enough that you can touch it with your bare hands. Take time to slowly loosen the cap to allow pressure to be releases before you totally remove it.
You then have to identify which repair needs to be done. Once identified, do the repair and fill in the radiator with the right amount of coolant antifreeze. You can use a hydrometer or ask any service shop to check it with a refractometer to properly check the concentration. Tighten the radiator cap securely.
You have to throw away unused coolant-antifreeze properly as it is poisonous to all living things, pets and humans. This is considered hazardous waste and if you do not have the proper facilities to dispose of this, you need to have it disposed by your hazardous waste service department.
Most importantly, remember that a diesel engine that overheats is a sign that it will be damaged beyond repair.