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As diesels become more expensive by the year, the skill needed to service and diagnose issues also increases. You rely on your doctor to help you look after your body, and so too do you rely on your mechanic to help you look after your vehicle. This is why it is important that correct diagnostic skills are used when looking into an issue.
So often do I see vehicles with fully rebuilt injectors and injector pumps, yet the vehicle still runs poorly. If your diesel is blowing smoke, for example, it can be caused by one of many things, ranging from a simple blocked air filter right up to a faulty injector pump. But if it is just a blocked air filter, then the diagnostics need to be correct – otherwise you might pay for an expensive, and unnecessary,
repair to your fuel pump.
This example is particularly frustrating, because while the vehicle is being repaired the filters would be changed anyway, which would fix the problem. A ‘scatter gun’ approach like this might fix issues, but it will be much more expensive! Modern common-rail diesels cost even more to repair, so to be playing this ‘scatter gun’ diagnosis is a definite no no for your wallet.
The solution is to always ask for a correct diagnosis, backed up by evidence, before proceeding with any work. By simply doing this, you may save thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs and also make the mechanic stumble onto the real cause, as you have made them back up their diagnosis with evidence.
It’s very common for a diesel shop to say, “Yep mate, we need to overhaul the pump” when diagnostics will really pin point what is actually needed. So ask around and look for a skilled and licensed workshop that can get the job done in the most direct way. Diagnostics also requires some natural ‘trial and error’ to test and see, so give your mechanic some understanding with this.
In the end, just be sure you and your mechanic agree on the evidence to the repair.