If you drive a car, SUV or truck with a diesel engine then you know it can sometimes be hard to find a filling station that also sells diesel fuel. That can also mean that they don’t sell a lot of diesel so the fuel may have been stored in their underground tanks for quite some time. This can lead to contamination such as moisture build up from condensation.
Water and other contaminants in your fuel can lead to all kinds of problems. Some can even cause major repairs to be necessary. We all know how expensive diesel maintenance can be.
What do you do if your diesel starts running rough? What do you do when the check engine light comes on?
Is there anything that you can do to help reduce or eliminate some of the common fuel related issues?Table could not be displayed.
Diesel fuel additives can help prevent some repair headaches as well as improving your engines performance and increasing your MPG.
We’ve all seen the diesel fuel additives section at the big box stores and auto parts stores. You may be wondering what exactly these additives are for and do you really need them.
Here is a brief explanation of what these diesel additives can do for your diesel engine (and your wallet).
Better Fuel Efficiency
Diesel fuel additives improve the efficient use of fuel as you drive. This means that you will get more miles per gallon from every tank. With the way diesel fuel prices keep rising that is a good thing! Improved engine performance and fuel economy mean less time spent at gas stations buying diesel fuel and more time spent driving.
Even if you don’t have to meet local emission standards where you live using a fuel additive can help your vehicle lower the amount of carbon dioxide exhaust it puts in to the air. This means we all get cleaner air to breathe so you are helping the environment while you drive.
Less Wear and Tear
Diesel fuel additives increase the lubrication internally on your engine and fuel system. They also help reduce corrosion from contaminated fuel. This means that all of those expensive parts lasts longer.
Maintenance on diesel engines can be very expensive. Using an additive to help reduce wear and tear, corrosion and improve fuel consumption saves you money, time and aggravation.
Improved Engine Performance
Fuel additives do more than just improve fuel usage though. They help improve performance. This is done by helping your engine better control the temperature and fuel burn rate. This leads to more power, better fuel economy and less maintenance. Keeping your injectors clean lets them operate efficiently and lowers the chances of clogs and burn out.
Top 10 Diesel Fuel Additives
These are the additives that are proven to maximize performance and fuel economy of your diesel engine.
Types of Diesel Fuel Additives
These are the most common types of additives and why each should be part of your diesel maintenance routine.
The quality of diesel fuel diminishes as it ages. Fuel stabilizers help preserve the quality of the fuel (just like gas stabilizers help maintain the quality of gasoline) by preventing oxidation, degradation and breakdown of the fuel.
Higher cetane boost equals higher diesel engine efficiency. Cetane boosters improve fuel combustion and reduce ignition timing delay which helps to cut off smoke emissions, deposits and slow down fuel consumption without compromising diesel fuel quality.
Fuel Injector Detergents
Diesel fuel can accumulate contaminants that can clog your injectors and greatly impact performance. Fuel injector detergents can clean unwanted contaminants like microbials from your injectors as well as any other engine parts that are exposed to the fuel. Clean injectors equals better fuel efficiency and more power.
Small amounts of water in diesel fuel are useful for stabilizing fuel temperatures but it can lead to salt buildup which leads to rust and corrosion. Corrosion inhibitors eliminate that salt buildup to prevent rust and corrosion.
Cold climates can cause diesel fuel to turn to gel. This makes it really hard to start a diesel engine. Anti-gel additives prevent diesel fuel in your tank from gelling during cold weather. This helps keep your fuel filters from clogging up and makes it much easier to start your diesel during cold weather.
Key Features of Diesel Fuel Additives
With the plethora of choices on the market, there are a few things you should consider when you choose a fuel additive for your diesel engine. Here are some of the things that we recommend you look for.
You should always check the label to see if the product is EPA approved. Quality additives should improve performance but they should also reduce emissions. You don’t want to use an additive that is harming the environment by releasing toxic chemicals into the air.
Alcohol will damage engine parts like seals and O-rings. The labor to replace these parts can be very expensive. Quality additives will use detergents instead of alcohol. Detergents are less likely to cause any damage to your engine.
Always check additives to see if they remove water via dispersants or emulsifiers. Proper water removal will let your diesel engine perform better and last longer.
Because diesel fuel can turn to gel, especially in cold weather conditions, it is important to use an additive that has good anticoagulant properties. Thick, gel like fuel can cause cold start problems as well as fuel system clogs.
Modern emission requirements forced fuel companies to reduce the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel. They added sulfur to help lubricate diesel engines. Since the amount of sulfur in fuel has been reduced, you need an additive that will help lubricate your diesel engine to reduce wear and tear.
Even though there is a wide selection of fuel additives for diesel engines there isn’t one additive that can cover all of your needs. This is because everyone’s needs are different. You may live in a warm weather climate so you don’t need an additive with anticoagulant properties. Or you may be looking for all out performance instead of better fuel economy.
Decide what you needs are, then you can find an additive or additives that give you the best combination of features for the price.
You needs will also determine how often you need to use certain additives. Some need to be added at every fill up, others can be done monthly or quarterly.
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