5 common problems with Heavy Duty Diesel engines

Whether you own a Komatsu, Volvo, Cat or Cummins, your heavy-duty engine is the driving force behind your machine. It’s not ideal when things go wrong with your engine; however, when issues do arise, diagnosing them early is crucial in preventing further damage. When problems occur with your engine, it may be a warning sign for issues that could worsen, and so it is vital to address them swiftly. As specialists in quality replacement parts, here at Jaytrac, we can offer some insightful advice to enable you to recognise common problems with your engine.

Oil problems

A frequently arising issue with heavy-duty engines is due to oil. If your engine needs to be refilled frequently, it may be using too much oil. Excessive oil consumption can be influenced by various factors, including the age of your engine. Alternatively, it may be using more oil due to parts being worn, such as valve guides and piston rings. Watch out for oil leaks with your machine: these can cause fire risks as well as posing a risk to the environment. Lack of oil or low oil levels can also be dangerous and detrimental to your engine’s performance.


If your heavy-duty engine is emitting an unusual amount of smoke, it can be a clear sign of potential problems. Luckily, the colour of the smoke acts as a useful indicator of the issue at hand, making diagnosis easier. For example, black smoke generally indicates overfuelling and can signify faulty turbos, fuel injection systems or blocked filters. Meanwhile, blue smoke generally indicates wear throughout various parts of the engine, causing oil to be burnt. White smoke can display a problem with combustion and fuel not burning properly. It is vital to get to the root of smoking issues quickly, as leaving these unaddressed could cause major issues.


If your engine is knocking, it can indicate compression and fuel injection problems or more serious internal problems. With this in mind, it’s important to notice changes in sound from your engine and deal with any issues promptly before any serious damage is caused.  


Another common problem experienced by heavy-duty engines is overheating. If this happens, you should be notified by a warning sign or a temperature gauge in your cab. Some common causes of overheating could be a lack of maintenance such as blocked filters or radiators, low coolant or oil levels. If you notice your engine is too hot, you should switch it off and find the cause as catastrophic damage could occur.  

Trouble starting and low power

If you are finding it difficult to get your engine started, there may be several factors at play. If your engine is stalling or hesitating, it may indicate battery or fuel issues (for example fuel contamination). Whilst cold weather and low compression can affect your engine’s ability to start, it may indicate a problem with a faulty pump or fuel injector. Low power can also be due to a variety of factors. It  might just be from usual wear and tear, but it’s important to address the cause of these issues swiftly.

When it comes to engine problems, it is paramount to not leave any of the issues above unaddressed as this may lead to complete engine failure.  Be aware of your engine monitoring systems and any warning codes that display , don’t ignore them ! The problems listed above can make your engine problems easier to diagnose. If any of the above issues do occur, Jaytrac can help.  We are specialists in replacement engine parts for a range of machinery brands including Caterpillar, Volvo, Cummins, and Komatsu. Send us an enquiry, call us on 01604 49133 or email at sales@jaytrac.co.uk  Let us help you fix your engine today.

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