Engine installation and initial start-up

checklist for avoiding consequential faults

KS | Kolbenschmidt | Motorservice
Pierburg | Motorservice
TRW Engine Components | Motorservice

Is the engine not working after the repair? What damage may occur when the engine is started for the first time? What mistakes can be made during the engine repair? And how can consequential faults be avoided? You will find an exact description of what to do in this article.


Severe damage often occurs following an engine repair. Faults that are not resolved in the periphery of the engine, whether mechanical or electrical, can lead to costly consequential faults. With the following checklist, the majority of possible sources of trouble can be eliminated during engine installation.


Engine mechanics




Intake system

Check, clean

There may still be fragments, metal chips or other soiling in the intake system from engine damage.
If these are not removed, they can cause more engine damage or premature wear.

Charge air cooler

Clean or

Following engine damage, there are often large quantities of engine oil in the charge air cooler.
If a new engine is connected, this can lead directly to engine damage.

connecting lines

Check, clean,

Supply and return lines are blocked with carbon due to thermal influences, the resulting inadequate oil
supply leads to turbocharger damage. Mechanically clean the lines (with a metal brush), or replace them.
Blowing out lines with compressed air is not recommended.


Check, replace

The turbine and compressor impellers must be in impeccable condition, they must not be deformed or
cracked, or have ground against the housing.

Oil filter, oil cooler and
oil lines

Clean or

Metal chips resulting from engine damage can be flushed to the clean side of the oil filter. Thoroughly
wash out and clean the oil cooler and filter housing. Blowing out lines with compressed air is not
recommended. The oil cooler and connecting lines should be replaced completely.

Oil system


After you have connected it to all components supplied with pressure oil (oil cooler, turbocharger,
hydraulic pumps, etc.), fill the engine with pressure oil to prevent dry running and damage to bearings.
This process is described in detail in Service Information SI 1639.

Exhaust system

Check, clean,

As a result of engine damage, fragments of pistons, valves and the turbocharger, as well as fuel and oil,
enter the exhaust system and cause further damage on the catalytic converter or particulate filter.

Fuel filter and filter

Check, clean

Injectors and high-pressure pumps in diesel engines are extremely sensitive to fuel contamination.
It is therefore advisable to also check these following engine reconditioning and to clean or replace them
if necessary.

contents of the fuel

Check, replace
if necessary

Filling the tank with the incorrect fuel frequently leads to engine damage. If there is any uncertainty
regarding the composition of the existing contents of the tank, empty the tank completely and fill with the
specified fuel.

Cooling system


Before installing the engine, rinse cooling system components remaining in the vehicle with clean water.

Coolant agent


Only use specified coolant agent in the correct dilution. Do not start up the engine, even briefly, without
filling the cooling system. If the water pump runs dry, the sliding ring seal burns immediately and the
pump starts to leak.

Before starting the new engine




Cables and hose


Check correct connections using a circuit diagram of all vacuum lines and electrical plug-in connections.
This also applies to earth cables between the engine and the body/starter battery. This prevents damage
to electrical components and cables due to overstressing.



Before starting up the engine, oil pressure must be built up. If necessary, take suitable action to ensure
that the engine does not start up before oil pressure has built up.


After start-up

After start-up, do not damage the engine through repeated early acceleration. The oil system needs some
time until it has vented completely and all components are supplied with fresh oil.

Electronic components




Engine control unit(s)

Fault check

Read out the fault code memory, note the diagnostic trouble codes and then delete the fault code

Engine electronics with

Actuator test

The actuator test is used to check the function of the relevant components.
This is helpful for flagging up interchanged plugs and faulty actuators, for example.

Carry out

Adapt, teach in

Today, many components have to be adapted following replacement. These include, for example:
Air mass sensors, stepper motors, throttle valves, regulating throttles and EGR valves.
Also see Pierbug Service Information SI 0090 and SI 0092.

Common rail injectors


After being swapped or replaced, common rail injectors must be programmed in the control unit
separately for each cylinder. This is essential in order to compensate for manufacturing tolerances. To
this aim, a code is printed on every injector, which must be saved/entered in the control unit using a
diagnostic tester.
The injectors from some manufacturers do not have a code, and programming is not necessary. These
injectors program themselves via an installed invariable resistor. They can be identified via a 4-pin plug
and the lack of an imprint.

Test run/finishing work/final inspection




Test run

Note OBD
driving cycle

The test run should incorporate a cold start, warm-up, urban traffic, driving on a highway and a
In addition, please bear in mind that in passenger cars, for example, some components are no longer
monitored by the OBD at velocities in excess of 120 km/h.

Fault code memory

Check, delete

Always check and delete the fault code memory before and after the test run, even if the MIL (malfunction
indicator lamp) does not light up during or after the test run. With OBD systems, the malfunction indicator
lamp is often only activated after a fault has occurred twice. However, a diagnostic trouble code is stored
in the fault code memory the first time this fault occurs.

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