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Should I Use Diesel Fuel Additives?

Featured image for "Should I Use Diesel Fuel Additives?" blog post, Diesel pump station.

As an owner/operator of a fleet of heavy duty diesel equipment, you may ask yourself: “Should I use diesel fuel additives?” That answer would depend on the quality of the diesel fuel you currently use and whether it has been pretreated with a quality diesel fuel additive from your supplier.

Let’s take a look at some of the issues that are being faced today by diesel equipment fleet owners.

Eliminate Deposits from Injectors

Diesel engine equipment manufacturers are all in agreement that modern day diesel fuels are unfortunately changing in composition and quality all the time. This constant changing environment has shown an uptick in fuel injector issues.

Blue diesel tractor.
Modern diesel engines now have to deal with deposits forming inside of fuel injectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typically, in the past, deposit formations formed on the tips of injectors. Today, deposit problems are being found inside the injectors. This new issue is leading to decreased engine performance, a reduction in power, and the life of injectors greatly reduced.

Obviously, if you are encountering such problems, then apparently the diesel fuel you are running is either untreated or treated with a low quality diesel additive. To remedy this problem, utilizing a high performance superior grade diesel fuel additive will definitely be a useful strategy.

Green diesel tractor.
Choosing a high performance fuel additive will help eliminate deposits found inside fuel injectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quality diesel fuel chemistry will go to work to soften and loosen up internal and/or external deposits on diesel fuel injectors. Over time, these deposits will be burned away and either be kept to an absolute minimum or eliminated.

Regardless of whether the fuel used is ultra low sulfur, low sulfur, or bio based diesel fuel, a high performance diesel fuel additive should provide the needed chemistry to keep deposits from forming.

Red semi truck.
An oil based diesel fuel additive chemistry is critical to protect injectors and fuel pumps from wear and scuffing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at some of the basic ingredients in a diesel fuel additive package.

Oil Based Diesel Fuel Additive Benefits

One of the most important components required in an advanced diesel fuel chemistry package would be the use of a heavy oil. With the way diesel fuel is refined today, much of the important lubricant properties naturally found in diesel fuels have been removed. This lack of lubricity is causing unwanted wear and scuffing in fuel pumps and injectors.

In fact, many of today’s lower quality diesel fuel additives are alcohol based. These alcohol based fuel additives are drying instead of adding lubricity where needed, thus exacerbating the problem of excessive wear and scuffing.

Yellow diesel excavator.
Providing upper cylinder lubrication is critical for today’s diesel engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injector pump manufacturers have set lubricity requirements to help combat the ill effects caused by today’s diesel fuel.

Utilizing a diesel fuel additive formulated with heavy oil based lubricity agents will provide your diesel engines with the proper lubrication needed in protecting injectors and fuel pumps from scuffing and wear. Also, this fuel additive provides critical upper cylinder and ring zone lubrication.

Up to this point we’ve discussed only one ingredient engineered into a quality diesel fuel additive. There are still other important components required in helping maintain an efficient fuel system environment.

Cement mixing truck.
Controlling rust and corrosion within your cement truck’s fuel system is important in minimizing fuel system problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect Fuel Systems from Corrosion

If the blog post were to end right here, I think it would be safe to say that your question “should I use diesel fuel additives?” has been answered in the affirmative. Fortunately, there are a few more important ingredients we need to discuss which will further help in your decision making.

Fuel system components are quite susceptible to corrosion. When metal parts within a fuel system start to corrode, diesel engine performance is compromised, which will lead to shorter engine life and unexpected repair costs.

Corrosion affects the stability of diesel fuel by causing to oxidize. This oxidation will create unwanted deposits and sludge that leads to the plugging of fuel filters. At the end of the day, the owner/operator is left with increased operation costs and a reduction in engine performance.

Yellow crane.
A diesel fuel additive must use corrosion inhibitors to keep fuel systems clean and performing efficiently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To preempt these problems from occurring, it is important that the diesel fuel additive chosen contain a robust volume of specialized corrosion inhibitors. These corrosion inhibitors guards against the formation of corrosion and rust within a fuel system. They also help in preventing the fuel from oxidizing.

As you can see, it is critical that fuel be treated with only heavy duty fuel additives that can hold up and perform as was intended by the chemists. The key is to prevent such problems that are known to exist and occur if left untreated.

Prevent Fuel Water Emulsions

Another area that your fuel system is susceptible to is the formation of condensation and water within the system. If water and condensation is not dealt with, then critical fuel system components will be exposed to rust, corrosion, and worse.

Yellow school bus.
Moisture and water are easily handled with a fuel conditioner containing demulsifiers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two places where condensation and water can form: your fuel storage tank and the vehicle’s fuel tank. Specialized additives known as demulsifiers are engineered into a heavy duty diesel fuel additive.

When water in a fuel storage tank is excessive, an emulsion can occur if the fuel is left untreated. By adding a diesel fuel additive that contains demulsifiers, an emulsion will not take place.

By preventing water and fuel emulsions, the fuel is kept flowing freely, thus making it possible for this free water to be drained off from the fuel storage tanks.

When dealing with any water or condensation issues in the vehicle’s fuel tank, the properly engineered diesel fuel additive will allow a specific amount of moisture to be safely absorbed and burned with the fuel, thus helping maintain a dry vehicle fuel tank.

Improve Fuel Economy Up to 6.5%

The next factor to consider when asking the question “should I use diesel fuel additives?” is fuel economy.

Diesel mining tractor.
Large dump trucks can save up to 6.5% in fuel economy through the use of a high performance fuel additive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If all of the issues we have discussed so far are left untreated, they will drastically hinder engine performance and cause excessive money-wasting fuel consumption. The simple act of choosing the highest quality diesel fuel additive that can maintain fuel system and injector cleanliness will provide your engine with maximum combustion efficiency.

The end result of having your engine perform at peak efficiency through the use of a high performance fuel additive will lead to enhanced fuel economy reaching up to 6.5%.

Should I Use Diesel Fuel Additives? Yes!

So back to your question: “Should I use diesel fuel additives?” The better question would be why aren’t you using them? There are too many important factors to ignore because if any one of these factors are left untreated, then the damage done to your operation will be far more hurtful in terms of downtime and cost to your bottom line than the meager investment required to protect your equipment from any potential breakdown.

Semi Truck Diesel Engine.
Avoid downtime and lower repair costs by choosing the highest quality diesel fuel additive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits far outweigh the cost of choosing the best possible fuel additive for your operation. You have too much money invested and your equipment needs to be operating at peak performance so you can get whatever job you have done on time and in the most cost-effective manner.