Although this might seem like an odd topic of discussion, this short piece of information about runaway diesel is meant to be a helpful tool for you to keep in mind if you ever experience this issue. It is good to know this information now, instead of trying to Google what to do while you are experiencing a runway. You would be surprised how many diesel enthusiasts don’t know how this happens or how to stop it if it does.
A runaway diesel engine occurs when the engine uncontrollably accelerates due to the ingestion of external fluids like oil or fuel into the combustion chamber. This can be a dangerous situation as the engine can rev to dangerously high RPM levels, leading to severe damage or potential failure. So, if you ever experience a runaway diesel, here’s how to shut it down.
- Immediately Turn Off The Ignition: It goes without saying, the first and most crucial step is to turn off the ignition switch or key. Cutting off the fuel supply will prevent additional fuel from entering the combustion chamber, which can exacerbate the runaway situation.
- Close The Air Intake: If the engine continues to run, try to block off the air intake. This will starve the engine of oxygen. While it might take some effort, remove the air intake tubing and cover the intake. Use a non-flammable material to impede airflow. When you stop the engine from taking in air, and it should stop running.
- Engage The Clutch (Manual Transmission) or Shift to Neutral (Automatic Transmission): If you’re driving a manual transmission vehicle, shift to high gear, release the clutch and apply the brakes at the same time. this should stall the engine. In an automatic transmission vehicle, shifting to Drive should achieve the same effect.
- Use a Fire Extinguisher (Last Resort): In extreme cases where the engine is still running uncontrollably and the situation poses a significant risk, use a fire extinguisher to spray into the air intake or directly into the intake manifold. The fire extinguisher’s contents, usually a dry chemical powder, can displace the oxygen and stop combustion.
- Seek Professional Help: After successfully stopping the engine, do not attempt to restart it until the cause of the runaway is identified and rectified. Have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to determine the root cause of the issue and make the necessary repairs.
Preventing a runaway diesel is essential for safety. Regular maintenance and inspection of the vehicle’s engine, turbocharger, and other related components can help detect potential issues early and prevent runaways from occurring. If you suspect a problem with your diesel engine, it’s always best to have it checked by a professional mechanic to ensure safe and reliable operation. For more quick tips, stay tuned here at DieselArmy.com.