When you are generating electricity by a diesel engine with alternator then there is some basic step and procedure for engine troubleshooting. Alternator may not bother you but I cannot trust engine. Engine problem can happened any time without any notice. Only a proper inspection and schedule maintenance can minimize the breakdown of engine and supply uninterrupted flow of electricity. In this post I will discuss about a standard Caterpillar Diesel Engine Generator. All the troubleshooting procedure below has been written as a standard engine. It can be different with your engine. So let’s go and find out.
Less Compression: Static compression ratio for an internal or an external combustion engine is a value that use to represents the ratio of the volume of the engine combustion chamber from its largest capacity to its smallest capacity. It is one of the fundamental specifications for many common combustion type engines. Now if the engine cylinder compression is less then it cannot produce enough heat to burn the fuel. For this reason it can be little bit difficult to start the engine. This type of problem can be caused by the engine due to overtime running. Normally, compression test for a diesel engine is done when it is cold. Usually compression pressure is 20-30 Bar or 290-435 PSI. Although, the standard value is 24-27 Bar or 350-400 PSI and it should not be more than 3 Bar or 43 PSI for each cylinder to cylinder.
Less Fuel Pressure: If the fuel injector supplying less fuel or fuel injector is physically damaged or it cannot maintain fuel passing then it will be causes low fuel pressure to the engine. For this problem you have to check some places on engine to find out the problem and those are,
First find out that, is there any low pressure from the fuel tank to the fuel injection pump. It should have 3 to 7 PSI pressure from fuel injector to lift pump.
Approximately 175 atmospheric pressure should be present in the delivery of fuel from the injection pump to the injector.
Cranking Speed Low or Damaged Battery: For this problem engine will moves slowly because the fuel injection pump cannot produce enough fuel pressure to the cylinder. During this time the maximum speed of the piston is so low that it cannot create the temperature required for the combustion. For this reason the engine cannot start. Normally we use to face this type problem in winter season. Sometime this problem can happen when the battery terminal has corrosion. So all the time battery should maintain with full charges and terminals as should check.
Thermostat or Glow Plug: The thermostat or glow plug used (If) to heat the air of the combustion chamber when the engine is cranked. If there is any problem then for the engine, it’s hard to start and the white smoke comes out.
Low Fuel Pressure: Some time fuel tank does not have enough fuel or it may have many pairs, cramps or bands on the fuel pipe line and it causes the fuel is blocked. The fuel tank can block by the vacuum pressure in the tank and obstructing the supply of the fuel. It uses to happen when the fuel tank breather is blocked.
Low Quality Fuel: Due to low quality of fuel engine can suffer with different problem. If there is any water with fuel then it can create for fuel injector and fuel pump. So always clean the fuel filter and remover water. Kerosene mixing with Diesel oil is common problem. It can damage fuel injector and pump.
Fuel Filter or Fuel Pipe Blocked: Due to dirty or low quality fuel, fuel filter and pipe can goes blocked. But any how fuel can pass through it can also block the fuel pump. For this reason fuel pipe and filter should clean by the schedule. If bio diesels present diesel fuel then there is huge possibility that fuel system can goes blocked.
Air Mixed with Diesel: Air can insert into the system due to glitch or loose pipes. Engine can have some problem during starting due to very dirty oil filter or head assembly with glitch.
Damage Fuel Injector: One of the main reasons for the disruption of the fuel injector is the needle. Old needle and carbon deposits in needle are responsible for that. During this problem it is very difficult to start the engine. Only schedule service can prevent this problem. If we add some diesel additives (Chemical) with diesel fuel then we can also solve this problem. The injector spring should check during inspection.
Damage Injection Pump: If there is any problem with the pump then it will causes the low fuel pressure problem. SO we should check injection pump during maintenance.
Air Filter Blocked: Air filter can goes block by dust and oil. It is one of the engine components that we should check randomly. If the air is block then engine wills not start. If needed, we should change it before schedule maintenance.
Fuel Lift Pump Damage: Some of the most common problems which is related to lift pumps are the split diaphragm leaking, non-return valve are loose or move away. If the lift pump is damaged then there will be low fuel pressure problem.
Damage Turbocharger: If the engine is running at the idle speed or idle load, without proper maintenance and if we do not used required quality lube oil then there is huge possibility that engine turbocharger can goes damage. Turbocharger rpm is 160000 at full load, so it’s required proper lubrication; otherwise it’s bearing and sealed will be broken.
Engine Internal Fault: This fault is commonly referred to as mechanical failures. Such as cracks piston, piston ring breakage, decreasing oil pressure, overheating, burning damage and many more. So if there is any internal engine fault, it is best to consult a skilled engine specialist to solve the problem as soon as possible.
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