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Note: Before starting the engine, do all the recommended pretrip inspections and daily maintenance. Check the engine oil and fuel levels, and drain contaminants from the fuel/water separator (optional).

Note: If you drain the fuel/water separator completely, you may have to prime the fuel system.

Read the appropriate chapters in the driver's manual for detailed information on instruments, gauges, and controls. Be sure you are familiar with all of the instruments, gauges and controls which are needed to operate the engine. ‪

Note especially the location and function of the following: ‪

  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Low oil pressure warning light
  • Coolant temperature gauge
  • High coolant temperature warning light
  • Water in fuel warning light
  • Tachometer
  • Air restriction indicator

When you start the engine, and while you are driving, watch for any signs of engine problems. If the engine overheats, uses excessive fuel or lubricating oil, vibrates, misfires, makes unusual noises, or shows an unusual loss of power, turn the engine off as soon as possible and determine the cause of the problem. Frequently, engine damage may be avoided by a quick response to early indications of problems. ‪

Checking the Batteries

Use only batteries that have been correctly filled and serviced. To provide corrosion protection, apply pumpable dielectric grease, part number 48-02349-000, liberally to the terminal pads. Approved suppliers are listed in Table . ‪

Manufacturer ‪

Lubricant or Part Number ‪

Shell Oil Co. ‪

No. 71032; No. 71306 ‪

Texaco, Inc. ‪

No. 955 ‪

Quaker State ‪

No. NYK-77 ‪

Approved Electrical Lubricants

Checking the Oil Level

Check the oil level as follows: ‪

  1. Check the oil level using the oil dipstick. See Figure 42141 .

    1. Maximum Fill Level ‪

    2. Minimum Fill Level ‪

    Oil Dipstick

  2. If necessary, top off by filling engine oil through the oil fill cap until the maximum fill level on the oil dipstick has been reached. See Figure 42503 .

    1. Oil Dipstick ‪

    2. Oil Fill Cap ‪

    Oil Fill Cap

Checking the Coolant Level (Cold Check)

Check coolant level as follows: ‪

  1. Ensure that all coolant plugs in the bottom of the radiator and on the radiator outlet pipe are secure and tight.
  2. Check the coolant level. The cooling system is correctly filled when the coolant is between the maximum and minimum marks on the surge tank.

Adding Fuel

When adding fuel, pay attention to the following: ‪

  • Add winter or summer grade fuel according to the season of the year.
  • Work in the cleanest conditions possible.
  • Prevent water from entering the fuel tank.

Priming the Fuel System

Prime the fuel system as follows: ‪


Correct torque on the high-pressure lines is critical. Incorrect torques could result in leaks or lack of power due to restricted fuel flow.

  1. Make sure that all high-pressure lines have been tightened to 30 Nm (22 lbft) and all banjo bolts to 40-50 Nm (30-37 lbft).


    Diesel engine exhaust and some of its constituents are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm.

    • Always start and operate an engine in a well ventilated area.
    • If operating an engine in an enclosed area, vent the exhaust to the outside.
    • Do not modify or tamper with the exhaust system or emission control system.
  2. Crank the engine for 30 seconds at a time, but no longer. Before cranking the engine again, wait at least two minutes. The engine should start within four 30-second attempts.

    Note: DDC does not recommend opening the high-pressure lines and bleeding the air from the fuel system while cranking.

  3. With the engine running, check the fuel filter for leaks. Shut down the engine.