I seem to be spending more and more time in the vehicle these days, and when the fuel light turns on more than 20 miles from the next fueling station, I always wince.
We tend to test our trucks’ fuel range more and more as we become more familiar with them and how long they can run on fumes, until we locate a cheaper or more convenient station.
But, according to a new article from Motoring.co.uk, “running out of petrol might substantially damage a vehicle, particularly if it has a diesel engine.”
At least in the UK, more and more drivers are pushing their luck when the fuel indicator turns on, according to the survey.
We don’t give a damn about how many people in the UK have their fuel lights on, but we do pay attention when complaints surface regarding diesel injector damage. And, when you consider what happens when you run out of diesel, this revelation shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
You’re burning low-quality fuel from the bottom of the tank when you’re operating on fumes. “Contaminated diesel fuel can put your engine at risk,” we’ve previously noted, “damaging hundreds of thousands of engines and costing truck drivers millions in recent years.”
Fuel injectors fail for a variety of reasons, one of which is poor fuel quality. “Fuel injectors will fail when debris (water, dirt particles, etc.) or rust get into the system and scour valve sets, clog nozzles, or even cause the nozzle needle to stick,” according to our specialists.
If the worst-case situation occurs and you run out of diesel, the consequences could be disastrous.
When you run out of diesel, the pump starts sucking in air, which might entirely ruin it, as well as the injectors. When your truck becomes air-bound, the entire fuel system might fill with air, making restarting your engine much more difficult.
Having to bleed the system removing filters, pressure blowing the fuel lines, and priming the engine with fresh diesel is something we see all the time at service shops.
According to Motoring.co.uk, “the answer is to bleed the system, which allows any extra air to leave.” “Furthermore, whether the vehicle is a gasoline or diesel, the final residues of fuel may contain particulate that clogs the filters.”
So, to cut a long tale short, when the light turns on, find a fueling station, even if it costs a little more than the next station 15 miles down the road.
How do I get my diesel to start after running out of fuel?
- Turn the ignition to the Run position for 30 seconds to prime the gasoline system, but do not start the engine. This permits the system to be primed by the pump.
- Crank the engine for 15 seconds after turning it off. If it still won’t start, repeat the first and second tasks until it does (cycle the key). Take a break if the engine doesn’t start after numerous attempts at priming, then repeat the process until it does.
- If the engine starts but stalls after a minute, wait another minute before trying again. Allow the powerplant to idle for a few minutes after it starts, then check for leaks before driving.
- If the truck’s engine refuses to start, have it towed to a shop or a dealership’s service department for professional diagnosis and repair.
What to do after running out of diesel?
- REMOVE THE VEHICLE FROM NEUTRAL! Being in neutral relieves the load on the engine, allowing it to accelerate fast.
- APPLY THE BRAKES TO COME TO A COMPLETE STOP AND STOP THE ENGINE! Keep the vehicle in gear and apply the brakes to slow it down. Because a rogue engine provides relatively little power, slowing the car down with the brakes should be simple even in gear.
What happens when a diesel runs away?
Working in or near hazardous environments, such as those found in the Oil & Gas business, exposes you to dangers and risks on a daily basis. Between 2013 and 2017, 489 oil and gas extraction employees were murdered on the job in the United States alone, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/oilgaswelldrilling/). The severe occurrence known as diesel engine runaway is one of the lesser-known yet lethal threats. Engine runaway is explained in this video from AMOT’s Ask the Expert series.
To comprehend runaway, you must first comprehend the operation of a diesel engine and how it varies from that of a gasoline engine. Spark plugs ignite the fuel and air combination within the cylinders of a gasoline engine. Combustion in a diesel engine, on the other hand, takes place in a very different way. Clean air is drawn into a combustion chamber by a diesel engine’s intake. The air and fuel mixture in the chamber is squeezed to such a degree that it produces high heat and ignites.
The fuel delivered into the combustion chamber is regulated by a governor, which also controls the engine’s speed. The governor controls how much fuel is allowed into the engine. The more fuel allowed in, the faster the engine will run. A diesel engine can only be turned off by withdrawing the fuel supply or cutting off the air supply.
When a diesel engine ingests a hydrocarbon vapor, or flammable vapor, through the air intake system and uses it as an external fuel source, it is known as a diesel engine runaway. As the engine runs on these vapors, the governor releases less diesel fuel until the vapors are the engine’s sole fuel supply.
It can cause the engine to overspeed, the valves to bounce, and flames to pass through the manifold if not halted promptly. These flames can create catastrophic accidents and casualties by igniting the combustible gases present. The Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, is a well-known example of this type of mishap.
Even modest concentration levels of gas pushed into the engine intake can cause runaway in 3-12 seconds, giving little time to react. A person’s first instinct when an engine starts to runaway is to turn the key off and stop the engine. Unfortunately, because the engine is now running on combustible fumes entering through the intake, this will not solve the problem. The engine will continue to run wildly, and cutting off the air supply is the only possible alternative at this time.
Thankfully, diesel engine runaway may be avoided. Devices that identify overspeed and shut off the air supply can be put on an engine’s air intake pipe to safely and quickly shut down a diesel engine.
Does running out of fuel damage engine?
Though the lack of engine power disables hydraulic help for the steering and brakes, the components are not damaged. However, running out of petrol can still cause harm to your vehicle, necessitating a pricey repair.
What is the explanation for this? When you run out of gas, your fuel delivery system can become messed up. Here’s how things can go awry. If you drive a modern car, you almost surely have an electric fuel pump in the gas tank. The gasoline in the tank is used to cool and lubricate the fuel pump. There is less gasoline in the tank to fulfill these critical operations when your fuel supply drops. The fuel pump is very prone to overheat and fail if there is only a small amount of gas in the tank. That’s a pricey remedy in and of itself, but it might be made worse if the gasoline pump sheds debris into your car’s fuel system as it self-destructs.
Will a diesel start after running out of fuel?
When a diesel truck runs out of fuel, it will not restart even if you get more diesel and put it in the tank. If the fuel line is full of air, a diesel will not pull fuel from the tank to the engine. Before attempting a successful restart, you must first prime the engine with fuel.
Can you fix a runaway diesel?
On social media recently, there has been a lot of discussion about footage of diesel trucks that are emitting white smoke and then suddenly die. The vehicle isn’t performing a massive burnout. You’re probably looking at a rogue diesel engine. No, it isn’t solely a problem with Power Strokes, Duramaxes, or Cummins, so stop slamming brands. It can happen to any diesel engine in any vehicle, but turbo-diesel applications are more common.
So, before you go commenting on that video in your newsfeed about how much better your Chevy is than the Ford, take a moment to learn more about what a runaway is and, more importantly, how to stop one if it ever occurs to you. You must either cut off the air supply or the fuel supply to halt a runaway diesel engine. The easiest alternative is to turn off the air supply because it is getting fuel from an unknown source. Finding something to block the intake can lower the RPM and cause the engine to shut down.
How common is diesel runaway?
Diesel engine runaway is a rare event in which a diesel engine absorbs extra fuel from an unanticipated source and overspeeds at higher and higher RPMs, producing up to 10 times the engine’s rated output until it is destroyed by mechanical failure or bearing seize owing to a lack of lubrication.
What does GREY smoke from a diesel mean?
Simply put, when it comes to grey smoke, diesel cars release it when there isn’t enough oil in the tank. Aside from indicating that your diesel engine is using too much oil, the smoke could also indicate: A malfunctioning PCV valve (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) – This component is in charge of emission control.
Why are diesel turbos so loud?
Let’s begin with the fundamentals. The high compression ratio of diesel engines is one of the main reasons for their loudness. Diesel engines, as you may know, rely entirely on compression to ignite the fuel. This means that the piston’s press is solely responsible for the igniting of the fuel and the generation of all power.
Whereas a gasoline engine may have a compression ratio of 10:1, a diesel engine has a compression ratio of 15 to 18:1. With such a high level of pressure, an explosion occurs, resulting in a lot more noise. If you’ve ever heard a diesel engine with the exhaust manifold removed, you’ll know that the noise level is far higher than most other engine types.
Because of the almost chaotic compression that causes the diesel fuel to ignite, diesel engines emit that distinctive sound. It’s not as precise as a gasoline engine with ignition and timing.
When the engine is cold and the cylinders aren’t as warm, you’ll hear louder noises. This is due to the fact that they are not sufficiently warm to totally burn the fuel. In order for the engine to reach the temperature required for effective operation, the cylinder walls must warm up and generate heat.