4x4 Off Roading ›› Mechanical ›› Common Engine Problems

Common Diesel Engine Faults

4X4 COMMON ISSUES: We are building a growing list of common diesel engine problems and solutions. The 4x4 snag list includes off road SUV cars and trucks with help finding solutions to the issues.

You can use this section to deal with most known and reported vehicle problems with 4x4 off road SUV cars.

The list of common diesel engine faults is not intended to turn you off 4x4 and SUV cars.

But, a database of known or reported faults with various 4x4 vehicles should help you find a solution.

Please contact us if you have had problems with your 4x4 or you can help us build a large database of known faults.

Car Repairs and Maintenance

Car Repairs and Maintenance Tips for BeginnersThe best part about repairing and maintaining cars yourself is the hundreds of tasks that you can achieve without having to pay for the services of a trained mechanic.

This section explains the common troubleshooting processes to use and it lists the most important car jobs you can do on your own (e.g. taking care of tyres, checking fluid levels, and how to do an annual inspection).

Notified Diesel Smoke Failures

Smoky Diesel Engine Problems and SolutionsDiesel car engines get smoky for many different reasons. Identifying the smoke colour often helps you diagnose the cause of the problem.

Seeing coloured smoke-filled clouds emitting from your vehicle exhaust is not good. But it helps you read the smoke signals and diagnose the problem.

Find out how to cure and stop a smoky diesel engine.

Diesel Starting Problems on Cold Mornings

Someone sent in comments about a diesel engine starting problem on a cold or frosty morning. They said the engine winds over a few more times than normal. That results in a big puff of white smoke streaming out of the exhaust when it finally kicks in.

The smoke colour isn't blue, but it got described as more grayish if anything. Some mornings when it has been cold it hasn't done it, then on other wintry mornings it has.

It usually starts after 2 or 3 times and away it goes with no smoke. I always make sure the glow plug light goes out first. Is it because the glow plug light only senses the glow plugs temperature? Could the engine block still be too cold for combustion to occur? Is the extra smoke excessive diesel being burnt?

Response from a Diesel Mechanic
Unburnt fuel is black. Seeing white exhaust smoke is a sign that either:

1. Condensation in the exhaust.
2. Blown head gasket.
3. Burning automatic transmission fluid.

The solution is the first one in the list, being it only happens on cold mornings. Cold weather will always give you grief when starting a diesel vehicle. This is also the time when batteries fail.

Give the heater plugs a couple of goes before cranking the engine as this will help. This is why most diesel vehicles in Europe get fitted with a 24 volt battery.

Engine Oil Sludge

Diesel Engine Oil Sludge Problems and SolutionsBlack gooey gel building up inside the motor is bad for your diesel engine. It is often responsible for a big list of common diesel faults and problems.

Sludge in car oil can cause a significant loss in power. It can also lead to poor oil pressure, overheating, blow-by, and an increase in lube usage.

Find out what causes engine oil sludge and how to fix it.

Isuzu Trooper Engines

Is the Isuzu Trooper 3.0 Diesel Reliable?Is the Isuzu Trooper 3.0 Diesel Reliable?

Fact: The original Isuzu Trooper 3.1 diesel engines were very reliable. But, how reliable is the third generation model 3.0 TD engine (1998 onwards)?

Most of the later faults relate to injector problems and blown engines. Experts suggest they were subject to an unsuccessful Isuzu recall in 2005.

We researched the RAC and AA websites but they failed to mention this problem in any great detail. In fact, the Automobile Association threw out a big recommendation. They said the third generation 3.0 TD remains the best Isuzu Trooper engine in production.

What is your experience with Isuzu SUV and pickups? Do you find the diesel engine reliable? Let us know and we will publish your feedback for other users.

Mitsubishi Pajero Head Gasket

Mitsubishi Pajero Head Gasket BlownMitsubishi Pajero 143,000 miles. Head gasket blown after a gruelling tree pulling episode. The head developed a small crack as a result. Repairs cost £1200.

Front end oil leak. Turbo breather pipe rubbing on bulkhead after rubber insert became dislodged. Rocker cam shattered over one cylinder at 150,000 miles.

Please send information if you have experience working with Pajero engines.

Nissan Terrano Speedometer

Nissan Terrano Speedometer IssuesMy Nissan Terrano has this problem the speedometer odometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, tachometer do not work. I have looked in the hand book there is no indication for fuse or a relay.

I have phoned the Nissan dealer but he would not inform me what the problem was. They said, 'bring it in and in and they will look'. The Nissan Terrano is year 2000 model and the engine is 2664cc.

Please send feedback to help if you have experience working with Nissan Terrano dashboard gauges.

Car and Truck Terminology

A-Z Car Terminology with PicturesCar language... what does it all mean? Does it matter whether it gets called an SUV or a Crossover and is there a real difference?

Alphabetical dictionary of car terms and slang words with car jargon meanings. Check out the list of common mechanical phrases used in the motor industry.

Use this useful glossary of car terminology with pictures and explanations.

You might also enjoy...