SERVICING YOUR DIESEL CAR: Routine Service Tips to Avoid Mechanical Issues With Diesel Engines

Picture yourself walking across the street. A Diesel-powered van or Matatu passes closely by, leaving huge fumes of black smoke. You inhale some of it, leaving you with a slight cough and utter disgust at the driver. Yes, it’s always the driver you get mad at first before the real culprit, the engine that is powering that car.

Another scenario, you’re getting ready to leave for work. You walk outside in sandals and decide to warm your Diesel-powered car before driving off. As you walk back to the house to grab your shoes, you notice strong fumes coming from the back of your car. Upon checking you see the same black smoke emanating from the exhaust pipe.

These two scenarios have one thing in common – signs of a poorly maintained Diesel engine, and one that is about to dent the car owner’s wallet. If only they knew what’s coming their way in repair costs and constant visits to the garage that are not to say Hi to Otis the mechanic.

So what are the ways in which you can service your Diesel engine to avoid such and many more complications? Below are some helpful tips:

Use Genuine Parts and Components!


Yes – don’t cheap out on ensuring that your car gets the best care possible. Understand this; cars, like every other machine, are prone to wear and tear. This means that at some point, you will have to replace one part or another. Not because you are a bad driver, but because wear and tear is normal. Otherwise garages would almost run out of business.

As you plan the next visit to the garage, whether for routine service or to repair damaged parts, make sure you ask for genuine components to service your vehicle. You can easily check out online tools that allow you to enter make, model and engine type, then churn out the correct parts to buy from your local shop. Take for instance oil, Shell and Castro Oil have very powerful tools on their website that can help choose the right oil for your Diesel-powered car. With this information, you can ask your local mechanic to use the recommended oil for the car.

Using genuine parts has multiple benefits. For example, buying a GENUINE OIL FILTER on your next service visit protects your engine from damage to the Diesel particulate filter (commonly known as DPF). And by the way, don’t get me started on the cost of buying a new DPF. You’ll fork out anywhere between 300,000 Ksh to 800,000 Ksh depending on car model and engine specification.

The AIR FILTER is also another component that you should regularly service. Buying a genuine one will protect your engine from damage arising from dust as you drive around. Dust can damage components like blowing the turbo and pistons, including loss of compression. The reason for all this is that a Diesel engine needs clean air to operate at its peak state.

Regular Service Intervals

The recommended service interval for Diesel engines is 5,000KM (equivalent to about 3,000 Miles) or 6 months, whichever of the two comes first. Petrol engines have a higher recommended interval of 10,000 KM.

Maintaining a regular service interval for your Diesel car protects the fuel injection system from damage. When this system clogs, rest assured your car will often need a flatbed and increase repair costs. The only advantage of a clogged system is, like I said, becoming friends with Otis the mechanic.

Additionally, servicing your car when due helps avoid high expensive repairs. Remember the DPF I mentioned will cost you 300K – 800K on the lower side to replace? Please keep that in mind.

When to Buy New Parts

Over and above servicing a component, there comes a time when you have to completely replace it due to wear and tear.

It is recommended to replace the air filter and oil filter during every service visit or 5,000 KM, whichever comes first. The reason for this is to ensure your car maintains peak performance during its lifetime of serving you. This goes hand in hand with oil changes made on the car.

Remember to replace with genuine parts from a trusted dealer at a trusted service center.

Environmental Impact


Experts say Diesel engines emit less CO2 than petrol engines. Yes, you heard it right. Now, you’re probably wondering how factual this is, considering Diesel fuel contain more Carbon than petrol fuel. The reason for the lower emission levels is that Diesel engines use less fuel and more air to achieve the same performance that a petrol engine would.

However, with poor maintenance, these high Carbon levels in Diesel engines will cause air pollution through “black” soot and sulfur pollutants. It therefore goes without saying that by servicing your Diesel engine at the correct intervals and using genuine parts, you will in fact reduce environmental pollution levels, playing a role in the greater good.

Use a Trusted Service Center

Finally, picture the amount of money you spent in buying your car. For most car models like Prados, except for a few like the Mazda CX-5, Diesel engines tend to be pricier than Petrol models. So after forking all that money, why go to a service center whose maintenance of your car could cost you more in the long run?

You need to have a trusted car service provider that will make sure your Diesel car gets the best care it deserves and is fitted with genuine parts.

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? Why don’t you visit us today at Ridgeways Kiambu Road, opposite Evergreen shopping center, or give us a call on 0798 600000 or 0708 420127 to schedule your next service visit. We’ll do our best to take care of your treasured car for you.

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