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A typical overhaul means giving the engine a new lease on life. Although most engines stand the test of time through proper care and maintenance, wear and tear inevitably accumulates after years of use. You have two options: buy a new engine or overhaul your existing engine.

An engine overhaul is a major commitment, but it's the ideal choice for many situations. Here's what goes into a semi-truck engine overhaul and how to determine if your truck needs one!

What Is A Semi-Truck Engine Overhaul?

An overhaul of a semi-truck engine combines restoration and rebuilding and includes disassembly, cleaning, inspection, and repair of a diesel truck engine. It may include replacing piston liners and rings, oil pumps, bearings, gaskets, seals, cylinder heads, injectors, water pumps, and other parts.

The engine may also undergo some testing using factory-approved procedures. Thorough inspections and tests help determine what replacements and repairs are needed, so your drivers can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Overhauls are not required due to engine failure. Carriers can get ahead of breakdowns on the road by doing an overhaul every million miles. This work is more comprehensive than simply replacing parts such as head gaskets or injectors. Minor replacements can leave you driving your semi on borrowed time.

So how can I know when I need an engine overhaul?

The main reason for an overhaul is engine failure. However, before the engine fails, you can tell if it is ready for an overhaul by several signs, including:

• Hard starting
• Low power
• Wear metals show up in oil
• Multiple parts failures
• Poor fuel economy and high oil consumption
• High engine blow-by
• It’s emitting blue or white smoke

The problem can be subtle. If you're constantly hauling heavy loads on your vehicle and are approaching the one-million-mile mark, it may be time to start an overhaul. By this point, if you notice noise in the engine (such as a squeaking noise), take your semi-trailer to a repair shop for an inspection.

Laboratory tests such as oil analysis and crankcase purge tests may be required to determine if an overhaul is necessary. Laboratory tests can provide valuable information about the current condition of the engine.

Why do I need to overhaul a semi-trailer engine?

Because engines can lose efficiency and performance for many reasons, overhauls can offer drivers a way to make sure all the components they rely on are up to standard. When performed regularly, overhauls can be a cost-effective approach to engine maintenance, despite the potentially high initial cost of the work.

If your engine doesn't meet your facility or industry standards, an overhaul may uncover problems you didn't expect. It's a form of proactive repair that eliminates problems that could have consequences, saving you time and money. During the overhaul, you can perform other checks to make sure all of your equipment is ready to go.