Is your diesel fuel sick? The Doctor is in. Let's review the symptoms, shall we?
- Clogged and slimy filters - CHECK
- Dark or hazy diesel fuel - CHECK
- Sludge build-up in storage tanks and fuel delivery systems - CHECK
- Loss of power and RPM in diesel engines using this fuel - CHECK
- Excess smoke and shortened DPF regeneration intervals- CHECK
- Corroded or pitted injectors - CHECK
- Foul diesel fuel odor - CHECK
It’s no secret that diesel fuel is continually altered by oil companies to maintain and maximize their profits. The cracking processes at the refinery level that these companies use are essential to squeezing every last bit of profitable gasoline and diesel from each barrel of oil. Accordingly, diesel fuel quality itself is often suffering miserably and takes a toll on the health of the engines it powers.
At the heart of the problem is fuel instability. Whether it be caused by exposure to water or air (producing hydrolysis or oxidation reactions), exposure to catalytic metals like copper and brass, heat and light exposure that provide extra energy to speed up harmful chain reactions in the fuel or even microbial contamination that will break apart stable fuel molecules, sick fuel brings with it negative and costly effects on engines including:
Loss in Energy Value and Mileage -As heavy end components fall out of the diese fuel, it creates a new mixture that does not combust as cleanly or efficiently.
Raised Emissions - Burning unstable fuel increases CO, PM and HC emissions. Engines linked to DPF systems may fill those filters up faster, with the ensuing regeneration process presenting a real cost.
Engine Deposits - Buildup of performance-robbing deposits in key areas: Valves, Combustion Chambers, Fuel Filters and Injectors.
The Prescription for Diesel Fuel Problems
Treating these sick fuels with stability agents will provide an ounce of prevention that's worth more than a pound of cure. Bell Performance manufactures a couple of fuel medicines - Dee-Zol and Dee-Zol Life treatments. The Fuel Doctor's recommendation: add these stability agents to the fuel before symptoms become apparent, and you'll have fewer headaches to deal with from sick diesel fuel in storage.
You may be interested in these related posts:
- Diesel Fuel Additives: Top 5 Things You Never Knew You Didn't Know
- Generator Owners: How to Tell if You Have a Diesel Fuel Fungus Problem
- Water In Diesel Fuel: 7 Must-Knows For Getting Rid Of It
This post was published on December 10, 2013 and was updated on September 4, 2014.