James Christiano

Hi Allan, I recently had a problem with my import diesel Toyota Surf being way down on power. I’ve only owned it for a month but it was very difficult to rev and it would cough and splutter all the way from idle. I took it to a workshop and they diagnosed a very old and clogged fuel filter.

It’s been swapped for a new one and the problems seem to be gone, but I was wondering if I could have caused lasting damage and if there’s anything else I should look at or change before I’m up for further costs?

Thanks Allan


James, I suggest a full service changing all fluids and filters. If the fuel filter was crook the others could be too. Also, if there’s no service history a reco set of injectors from Terrain Tamer would be good preventative maintenance.

Diesels can be difficult to ascertain their state of health as they’re generally a bit noisier than petrols. I check 6 things:

  • The noise you hear at a distance from the vehicle,
  • Difficulty starting from cold,
  • Oil consumption,
  • Color of the exhaust at various engine loads,
  • Blow-by in the engine, and
  • Gas bubbles in the coolant

You’ll need a good diesel guy to check all these things fully, but I’d suggest there’s probably no lasting damage by your blocked fuel filter.

Phew, how ‘bout that! Just don’t let that happen with a common-rail diesel or you’ll be up for a lot of money.

Thanks James.