How To Evaluate Diesel Engines?

Imagine you just found your dream diesel tractor in the sale. You want to buy it but you should not. At least take some time and evaluate its engine and other critical parts like cylinder sleeves. It’s not necessary that the engine poses more problems, but there is nothing wrong in checking the performance of the tractor. There are some questions you can ask from the dealer-


  • Is the tractor sitting in storage for long? How long?
  • Is the tank having new fuel tank?
  • Is the tank well maintained?
  • How many hours are there on the meter?

There are many well-maintained diesel engines that can run over 7000 hours and still have more life left in them. But if you notice any sign of abuse, poor maintenance, and unorthodox repairs, you should not go ahead to sign the deal.

If you get a chance, perform a field diagnose by starting the engine.

Listen for a lope when cranking the engine. If you notice uneven rhythm, it reveals that at least one cylinder is losing compression due to poor rings, or there is leakage in the cylinder head gasket.

Manufacturing Company Introduces Cylinder Sleeves As A Concept

If you find a lope, get someone else to turn the engine over while you hear the crankcase breather closely or oil inlet for the sound of leaking air. This will help you in recognizing if the problem is loss of compression.

If you find glow plugs installed in the engine to assist with cold starting, you should activate the plugs when starting the engine and hear if there is any uneven firing occurs. Such condition tells that one or more of the plugs is not good or there is a fault in plug wiring.

If the engine bearings are worn, you will also hear erratic, rattling sounds from the turbocharger of the unit.

Signs of smoke

When you start the engine and it produces a small puff of light blue smoke, it is ready idle. If it purrs like a kitten, then you know the sound of power plant. If the engine runs rough, listen to its uneven firing and notice the color of exhaust smoke. A few reasons behind this could be-

  • Worn fuel injectors
  • Poor compression
  • Old, contaminated diesel fuel

Light blue smoke is normal when you start the engine. So next time, when you are going to shop any tractor or truck, make sure you evaluate and check the condition of its parts like cylinder sleeves and diesel engine.