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How clean is the diesel fuel in your tank?

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How clean is the diesel fuel in your tank?

“how clean is your fuel and if it is dirty what can you do about it?”

diesel fuel with dirt

Contaminated diesel fuel

We assume that fuel sold at the pump will be clean enough not to damage the engine

Unfortunately this is not always the case your fuel could be dirty and
here are some of the reasons  why:

  • crude oil it is getting scarcer so manufacturers are getting less fussy which oil they use.
    As demand continues to rise this problem will most likely get worse.
  • refining technics sometimes mean quality is sacrificed for quantity.
    The use of certain refining techniques produces high quality gasoline(petrol/essence) but
    lower quality diesel.
    Nowadays most diesel fuels are low sulphur.
    This is good for the environment but not so good for the diesel because
    ironically it reduces the lubricating quality of the fuel.  Unfortunately diesel injection equipment relies on the fuel passing through it to lubricate it at the same time
  • blending – modern blending techniques can reduce the lubricating properties of the diesel fuel

why is clean fuel so important?

High pressure components

The most important components in your diesel engine are the  high pressure pump
and  the injectors.  The components inside of these need to move freely.
Dirt in the form of sediment, bacteria wax and rust can cause them to stick.
The injectors spray a fine  pattern of fuel into the engine the holes in them are only microns wide so any blockages will cause a malfunction of the injector.

holes in diesel injector nozzle

Spray holes in nozzle

So what can you do about dirt and contamination?

here are 2 strategies to extend the life of your engine  and hope it perform better

1. Strategy number 1
fit a primary diesel fuel filter you will need to fit it up-stream of the existing fuel filter
so it goes between the existing filter end of the fuel tank

now you will have two fuel filters
so proper filtration is the number one strategy you can employ.
This is especially important if the fuel you use is likely to have dirt and water in it.
Check out the top quality filter systems like Fram and Stanadyne

2. Strategy number 2  reduce the impact of water and dirt already in the fuel.
your diesel system has precision components and their greatest enemy is  water

Unfortunately there is usually water in diesel fuel
and if it gets into the system it will cause rust, corrosion and wear.

In addition to all this  modern common  rail diesels work at much higher pressure and finer tolerances
than earlier diesel engines.
Water is usually emulsified into the diesel like oil and vinegar in a salad dressing
ideally you need to demulsify the water so the filter can remove it efficiently.

Search on line for good quality, proprietary brands of demulsifying solutions or visit your local diesel shop.