Many times over the years of writing about diesel engines I have referred to the diesel engine and your body to be very similar. Both need clean oxygen, a good source of fuel, or food, and both must get rid of their waste in a timely manner.
Have you ever been constipated? What do you think happens to your engine when the muffler is clogged or the exhaust flow is impeded? Look at the effects of cigarettes on your lungs and how hard it is to breathe when you have a cold, just like your engine when the air filter is dirty or too small for the horsepower it is developing.
The next time you are crossing Vail Pass on I-70 at 10,400 feet elevation, pull in the rest area and run up the mountain along side the interstate, how many feet can your lungs and heart carry you up the hill before you're gasping for air? If you are in great shape you may get 40 to 60 feet. WOW, and you expect your diesel engine to pull at 10,000 feet like it does at sea level. There is 1/2 the molecules of oxygen at 10,000 feet elevation as compared to sea level. If it's too hot and humid outside for your body to do physical work, than it's too hot for your engine also, like wise if it's too cold for you do to do physical work, it's also too cold for your engine. Be gentle with it, when it's below zero and you see the white smoke coming out the stacks, the engine is telling you it's breathing air that is too cold and the fuel is not burning properly, may be a winter front would help.
We ask a lot today out of our engines, after all everyone thinks the ECM will take care of everything. This is NOT true, you still need to employ common sense when driving and maintaining your truck. Ah, there is the word, maintaining your truck. Let's face it, most people today do as little as possible to maintain their truck. How many times a year do you get under your truck to grease it, change the oil, check and adjust the brakes, inspect the air lines, exhaust system, and drive line? I quite often hear
"I just drive this truck, I don't work on it"
Many of the articles compiled here where written by Bruce Mallinson. Attribution to other contributors is given in the specific articles.