Having your engine overhauled is a big commitment and perhaps the most important commitment you can make to your truck and your business.

With overhaul costs ranging from $20,000 to $30,000, the decision on whether or not to have an overhaul performed on your truck’s engine can be a tough one.

There are many reasons to consider an overhaul for your truck. The first reason being the most straightforward–you had an engine failure, and now, you have no choice. That was an easy decision, but what about times that are a little less obvious?

First things first, an engine overhaul involves having your diesel engine disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired, as necessary, and tested using factory-approved procedures. The procedure generally involves new piston/liners, cylinder head, injectors, bearings, gaskets and seals.

Now that you know the basics, ask yourself these three questions to determine the best route to a successful engine overhaul:

Does your truck’s engine have high mileage or high hours on it?

Well-maintained trucks can live for more than 1,000,000 miles. Their owners need to be sure to watch for signs of aging, however, and schedule regular maintenance checks. Best practice says that trucks with more than 700,000 miles, should have an engine overhaul performed. If your truck is nearing that mileage marker (or possibly even double that) and has never been taken apart, it’s time to consider an overhaul. Simply replacing a head gasket, a couple of injectors or a turbo does not take the place of a complete engine overhaul. The inevitable will eventually happen, but you can stay ahead of a catastrophic failure by performing a overhaul. If not, you will be driving on borrowed time.

Does your home dealer perform engine overhauls?

Overhauling at your home dealer can save you money. Not only can you schedule the service during a vacation week, you can save money by avoiding tow, hotel or airline bills, not to mention the cost of covering your load. Or, if you decide to keep driving during the overhaul, you can save money by scheduling a rental in advance. Depending on availability, last minute rentals can cost more.

Also, be sure to check if your dealership is running any parts or service specials. They might offer discounts on labor rates, parts, or packages containing both. They may, also, have negotiated exclusive discounts with engine manufacturers, like Caterpillar or Cummins.

Do you need other repairs performed?

Along with all the “normal” overhaul parts–bearings, pistons/liners, cylinder head, turbo and injectors–an overhaul is the perfect time to think about having other components replaced or repaired. An EGR cooler, EGR valve and oil cooler are a few examples of items that have evolved and are now more reliably built. Don’t forget about the engine wire harness. Nothing is more frustrating than having a check engine light come on a few weeks or even days after you pick up your truck, just to learn that the harness needs to be replaced because wires broke internally from being moved during the overhaul. During an overhaul is also a excellent time to have your emissions system–brakes, suspension, clutch, etc.–cleaned and inspected.

Call a JX service professional today to get a quote on your diesel engine overhaul, because we understand that having your engine overhauled is a big commitment, one of the most important commitments you can make to your truck and your business. When you leave a JX dealership you can go back to work with the peace of mind of having a factory-backed warranty performed by certified professionals.

Author: Keith Shadof, JX Assistant Service Director