It is important to keep the performance of your car high while keeping fuel consumption and harmful emissions low. Driving style and variable fuel quality over time compromise the perfect functioning of your engine. For this reason, it is advisable to clean and protect the fuel system and the oil circuit from dirt and resinification during routine maintenance (service).
Diesel fuel contains paraffin, a substance that freezes below -2 degrees Celsius, blocking the supply of diesel to the engine and clogging the fuel filter or fuel and injection lines. For this reason, by law, from November 1st to March 31st, Italian distributors supply only winter diesel, capable of remaining liquid up to a temperature of 12 degrees below zero.
In mountainous areas, distributors also provide so-called Arctic diesel fuel, which freezes at 20 degrees below zero. The fuel is generally more expensive than simple winter diesel and its specifications are advertised by the distributor. It is allowed to mix with the normal one.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN:
The risk is that of not being able to start the car the next morning, after having parked it overnight in a cold location. If this problem occurs it is necessary to wait for the hottest hours of the day and only then try to restart the engine.
ATTENTION TO USING PETROL:
Instead of additives, some add petrol, which freezes at 48 degrees below zero, this trick could work with old diesel car models prior to the 2000s (which installed engines with pump and mechanical injection). On the other hand, serious damage would be caused to modern engines, which use common rail systems, ie high-pressure pumps and electronic injectors managed by control units.
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1. Does the engine start?
A starting engine is a good sign, as this repair costs a lot of money: timing belts, timing chain, starter, alternator, battery – everything needs to work properly.
Let the engine idle for some time. If any of the following symptoms occur:
- blue exhaust fumes / strong smoke
- A rapid rise in temperature
- inflated radiator hose
This indicates damage to the engine. Often all of these defects can be fixed with a little skill and experience.
2. Engine makes noise but does not start
When this happens, at least the toothed belt works. There are several causes of problems with starting. If you are lucky, it is just the disconnected ignition coil cable. This can be fixed with a few gestures.
3. Motor does not react
The lights come on, but when the key is turned, there is only a click. There are two possible reasons for this: the starter or timing chain is defective.
At this point try to press the start button. If it gets stuck while trying, the timing chain is broken, the car is completely dead.
4. Check the clutch
The clutch is a component subject to wear, sooner or later it must be replaced in any car. To check, depress the clutch pedal and release it with the handbrake on and in third gear.
If the engine stalls immediately, the clutch is still in place. If it continues to run, the seals are worn. For an inexperienced person, replacing a clutch could take a day’s work. It is important to start the job prepared, so check out all the tutorials you can find.
5. Check the bodywork
A car that has corroded load-bearing components will not be able to pass the overhaul without welding. Small or medium corrosion damage on the doors and wheel arches can be repaired with grouting.
6. Check the peripherals
Check peripherals on-board cables must work perfectly. Damaged electrical cables pose a serious risk, which is not worth it. Tires that have reached or exceeded wear limits (check DOT code) become a convenient bargaining chip.
A used tire kit can be obtained very simply and economically. In the event of liquid leaks, a more accurate check should be carried out. Something is easy to fix, other defects require more extensive repair.
Some cars are better than their reputation, while others become a disappointment. Fiat vehicles quickly end up in the low price range, usually, they are in good condition and easy to save. On the other hand, Volkswagen cars in this price range are irrecoverable. The same goes for premium class cars. Here one should always expect somewhat higher investments.
But in return, you still get the basic qualities that a Mercedes or BMW has to offer. It is useful to consider purchasing extravagant models, such as Hyundai Atos, Daihatsu. By purchasing these not very popular vehicles, you can often get a good deal and save a lot of money.