A diesel engine is known for being very strong and durable, which is why it's often the engine chosen for vehicles that haul heavy loads. Diesel engines are also very efficient, as they actually convert heat into energy, so they use heat and not just fuel to operate.
That said, note that diesel engines don't just convert heat to energy, but they also need heat in order to burn fuel and create combustion. Understanding this about diesel engines can help you to keep your vehicle's engine better maintained and running smoothly. You never want to start the engine cold and should always keep it warm so that it uses less fuel to operate. Along with the glow plugs installed in the engine compartment to provide the heat needed to protect the engine, note a few other ways you can ensure a diesel engine is always warm and running smoothly.
There are small electric heaters you can attach to your diesel engine and which work like the glow plugs, but which provide even more heat. These heaters can operate while the engine is off, so that the temperature in the engine never drops below a certain range. In turn, the engine won't struggle to burn fuel when you turn it on, and you'll avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
Coolant heat exchangers
Excessive coolant heat can be transferred from the coolant system to the fuel system with a coolant heat exchanger. This will mean a more fuel efficient engine, as this heat from the coolant is also not wasted, along with heat from the engine.
Hot return fuel blenders
Diesel engines will typically return large amounts of unused fuel back to the fuel tank as the engine runs. You can add a special filter that will mix this unused but warmed fuel with cold fuel coming out of the tank, rather than allowing that warm fuel to just settle into the tank itself. This can keep the fuel in the tank from getting cool and will also take advantage of the heat from the unused fuel to heat up fresh fuel. Both operations will keep the engine itself warmer. In turn, the warmer engine may need less fuel to run, and it won't work as hard to warm up fresh fuel coming from the gas tank to the engine. All of this means more fuel efficiency and less wear and tear on your diesel engine.