Burn, Baby, Burn (Fuel)
Berlin looks out at us from the front of the classroom and says, matter-of-factly, “The United States has the worst quality diesel fuel of any industrialized nation.” Not surprisingly, this leads to a lot of calls for Berlin and the crew at Mack Boring to head out into the field.
Outside of keeping your tank full to prevent microbial growth, there’s not a lot you can do about the fuel itself. But on the engine, the fuel filter is the first line of defense. Buy the specified one for the engine and check the inspection bowl before every trip. If you see water, drain it and run it again. If water shows up a second time, you’ve got bad fuel.
A diesel owner needs to know how to bleed the fuel system if air gets into it and shuts down the engine. Loosen the screw on the filter to pop up the hand pump and keep pumping until only diesel fuel comes out. If that doesn’t work, vent the fuel-injection piping from the fuel line using a 17 mm fuel line wrench.
If you spill diesel in the bilge, Berlin suggests Dawn dishwashing liquid is the only thing that will get rid of the smell. Yet another tip in a long list of prescriptions from the Diesel Doctor: Take the class, and maybe you won’t have to pay him for a house call.