Thursday, December 04, 2008

Diesel Engine Repairing & Troubleshooting.

One of my favorite tools for diesel engine troubleshooting and repairing is a digital heat sensor.

You can compare the block temperature to the coolant gauge reading, check for an engine miss, confirm any type of heat sensor that's sending a signal.

Case in point: I had a Cummins ISC (electronic) diesel engine that was not heating up properly. So the first thing you want to do is get the story first hand from the operator.

Questions like: How long until it DOES heat up or when did it START to develop?

In this case the operator stated the problem started when the cold weather showed up. So the first thing to do is a scenario with the bus (2000 Thomas Saf-t-liner school bus). So I went for a road test and the first thing I noticed was the engine was heating up very slowly.

I used the digital heat sensor and confirmed the coolant gauge was correct and the engine was running at 170 degrees after a 1/2 hour road trip.

From experience I know that the engine fan locks on with these engine models so I tested both the coolant sensor and charge air sensor.

They have a 3 to 3.5 ohms reading. No ohms means a failed sensor (open circuit).

These sensors determine when the engine fan should come on full which is usually around 200 degrees, in this case the fan came on full right from a cold start up.

Since both sensors were good I replaced the control module which cured the problem(located below the engine fan on the frame). Parts aren't readily available for this module and rebuilding it isn't worth the downtime.

When you have a fleet of school buses there is an advantage to numerous buses having the same specs.

The troubles usually happen more than once and history will help with diesel engine troubleshooting and repairing.

1 comment :

kim said...


I ran across your blog today, and would like to ask you a few questions, however your link seems disabled.

Could you respond via email? I'm at Thanks! Great site!