Should You Put Additives In Diesel Fuel?

While the country’s diesel fuel supply is generally reliable, it is not always consistent. When constructing and certifying diesel engines, manufacturers take into account quality swings. In general, they oppose or advise against the use of fuel additives.

“We do not advise Volvo truck owners to add additives to their diesel fuel.” If additives are required, they should be added at the gasoline supplier terminal, according to John Moore, Volvo Trucks North America’s powertrain product marketing manager.

Last year, Cummins became the first company to publicly support a fuel additive, endorsing two Power Service products, Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost and Diesel Fuel Supplement + Cetane Boost.

“Cummins engines are designed, developed, graded, and built to certify and function efficiently on commercially available diesel fuel,” according to Josh Hahn, Cummins Filtration’s coolants and chemicals business leader. “However, Cummins acknowledges that there are low-quality fuels on the market that don’t always meet ASTM D975, and that these fuel concerns can cause a range of problems for customers, including poor lubricity, low cetane numbers, low-temperature operability issues, and injector deposits.” When pour-point depressants, wax-crystal modifiers, or de-icers are required in cold weather operations, fuel additives may be required.”

“In recent years, diesel fuel quality has become increasingly critical as engines evolve and the diesel fuel manufacturing processes change,” said Roger England, director of technical quality and materials engineering for Cummins, when the Power Service alliance was announced last year.

That’s easy to comprehend when emissions regulations tighten and engine technology advances, resulting in tighter mechanical and engineering tolerances. In summary, because fuel supply uncertainty is unlikely to improve, engine manufacturers such as Cummins are taking steps to level the playing field.

Meanwhile, Detroit Diesel says it has no additional requirements beyond current ASTM specifications, but recommends that customers take steps to ensure they are utilizing high-quality gasoline.

“While Detroit does not directly advise any brand or type of fuel additive, we recommend Top Tier diesel fuel since it addresses many of the flaws in ASTM regulations addressing diesel fuel quality,” says Jason Martin, HDEP thermodynamics and fuel map management manager at DTNA. “Top Tier is a voluntary retailer program that addresses fuel stability and lubricity, as well as detergency, water, and particles – factors that help sustain the fuel system’s performance over the engine’s lifespan, which is a contributing factor to ensuring top engine performance.”

In North America, Top Tier diesel is available from a variety of vendors. “Because shops may also offer non-additized diesel fuel or diesel that does not satisfy the Top Tier regulations,” the website warns, “always verify the dispenser.”

How often should I use diesel fuel additives?

  • For best performance, add Diesel Kleen +Cetane Boost (silver bottle) if the temperature is above 30°F. To ensure peak diesel performance, this Max HP Formula is infused with cetane, detergent, and lubricity improver.
  • Add Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost (white bottle) for winter operability if temperatures are below 30°F. This Arctic Formula will keep your fuel from gelling and your fuel filter from icing.
  • If your vehicle won’t start or get power in the cold, call Diesel 911 to reliquefy gelled fuel and de-ice frozen fuel filters.
  • To remove water, scatter impurities, and stabilize fuel for long-term storage, use Clear-Diesel Fuel & Tank Cleaner.
  • To destroy bacteria and remove remaining water and pollutants, use Bio Kleen Diesel Fuel Biocide and Clear-Diesel Fuel & Tank Cleaner.

Can fuel additives damage your engine?

Even though most gasoline additions are safe, Trotta advises against using engine cooling system additives that claim to remedy leaks. According to her, these products will only work momentarily on little leaks, will have no effect on larger leaks, and if used excessively, could harm your car’s mechanics.

Do fuel additives really work?

They may help you avoid difficulties with your fuel injectors and buildup in the future. Fuel additives, on the other hand, may not immediately enhance your vehicle’s fuel economy after just one tank. Additives can help clear out those deposits and save you money on future car maintenance.

Should I use diesel fuel conditioner?

Adding a high-quality fuel conditioner to your diesel fuel system has many benefits (as long as it’s good quality, like our recommended brand, Stanadyne), and while it’s not a necessary part of your fuel mixture, it will really help maximize your engine’s efficiency and lifespan in a few different ways.

When should I add anti gel to diesel fuel?

During the winter, use your diesel fuel anti-gel every time you fill up. Before pumping the fuel, remember to add the anti-gel. This will ensure that the anti-gel is evenly distributed throughout the gasoline. This could indicate that your fuel is starting to gel.

Are fuel additives a waste of money?

A friend of mine swears by the fuel additives that claim to improve gas mileage. They’re all worthless in my opinion. Am I correct?

It’s understandable why consumers would want to believe that such a product works. Wouldn’t it be great if you could add an additive to your gas tank or take a tablet that would dramatically improve your car’s gas mileage at each fill-up? However, both commercial and homebrewed fuel additives are virtually always a waste of money. These additives will not boost your car’s mpg, with one important exception (read on). If you really want to save money on petrol, you should buy a fuel-efficient vehicle and drive it carefully.

How often should I use fuel additive?

Fuel injector cleaners are typically recommended to be applied every 3,000 miles or at every oil change. You can actually go longer between fuel injector cleanings if you have a modern automobile and utilize high-quality gas. Some companies even recommend doing it once a year or every 10,000 kilometers. Of course, some products can be used every time you fill up your petrol tank.

Do diesel cleaner additives work?

Have you heard the phrase…. “Increase power and save up to 10% on fuel”? If it was that good, no one would need to sell it since customers would line up outside the supplier’s door. Â Few people have seen any benefits as a result of this fact, leading to the assumption that chemicals are pricey and useless.

Diesel is no longer made from easily sourced sweet crude.

Fuel has changed dramatically, and refiners are under constant pressure to reduce costs. They now get 80 percent more refinement out of a barrel of oil than they did in the 1980s, and these barrels come from fields that were considered uneconomical and of poor quality in the 1990s. As a result, today’s crude contains more sulfur and undesirable components, posing greater problems to refiners as they try to meet ever-increasing environmental requirements as well as engine builders’ expectations. All of this occurs at a time when fuel margins have been slashed to the bone, business is slowing down, and additives are an expense, so only the bare minimum is applied to meet specifications.

The Truth About Additives

For decades, two additives have been freely accessible, one to ostensibly “reduce fuel consumption” and the other to ostensibly “kill Diesel bugs,” with a plethora of providers promising everything from both.

Engine manufacturers are now producing smaller, lighter, cleaner engines thanks to enormous technological advances, yet the humble diesel has been deteriorating.

Finally, there is a demand for well-chosen additives that can make a significant contribution to modern diesel. They can ensure the diesel is maintained, slow degradation, and prevent the inevitable deposits that come with low sulphur diesel by addressing lubricity, deposits, cold flow, and cetane decrease, among other things. Did you know that for diesel, all manufacturers recommend a maximum life of 6 months? After all, diesel is made to be burned, not to be stored for months or even years.

Sludgy Filters and Deposits

If you have sludge in your filters, you should inspect your tank for the presence of âDiesel Bug.â Enzyme and biocides are two forms of diesel bug treatments. Enzymes don’t kill bugs; they just take away their sustenance. They are killed by biocides, which are similar to the antibiotics we use when we have an illness. More on Enzymes vs. Biocides can be found here.

Is the muck, however, from Diesel Bug?

It could be asphaltenes that have clumped together and settled to the bottom as an oily tar-like sludge, or diesel that has oxidized and degraded, resulting in globules of dark sludge.

Stabilizers have a place in modern common rail engines and can help avoid oxidation. Dispersants can protect against asphaltenes, while detergents protect the fuel components. Only the chemicals required for the engine’s duty cycle and geographic location should be included in a proper additive package. Our DieselAid LDB, for example, is created for fishing vessels and labor boats operating in the ECA (see below) regions of Northern Europe and comprises Lubricity, Detergent, and a Biocide. It is incredibly cost effective, ranging from 1 litre to 4000 litres of fuel.

Manufacturers are encouraged (but not always required) to add stabilizers, lubricity improvers, and other additives to fuel. Some responsible people do, whereas others who aren’t very responsible don’t. After all, additives are a cost to the manufacturer, so it’s understandable that they’ll use the bare minimum.

A word about water

As previously stated, additives have a place in modern diesel and provide obvious benefits. However, if water is allowed to accumulate, many of these advantages will be quickly lost. Water in the bottom of a fuel tank is by far the most dangerous contaminant, and it will quickly cause a slew of issues.

Water speeds up the decomposition of diesel, provides a home for the Diesel Bug, diminishes fuel lubricity, aids in the agglomeration of asphaltenes, corrodes tanks and fuel systems, and in extreme situations, when absorbed in the fuel, can turn to superheated steam and blast the tops off the fuel injectors!

Water is obviously bad, but it can be readily evacuated simply opening the drain valve on a regular basis. We propose installing a Diesel Dipper in tanks that do not have a drain valve. This simple bypass system will suction water and sludge from the very bottom of the tank, ensuring that all water and sludge is sucked up and emptied.

ECA Zones

If you bunker in the Emission Control Areas (ECA) on a frequent basis, you should use a lubricity and deposit control additive. In an ECA, modern diesel requires a lubricity additive, which should be applied by the supplier; however, some do not, thus adding your own assures that the fuel system is protected. Furthermore, newer diesel engines, especially current common rail engines, suffer from larger system deposits known as IDID (Internal Diesel Injector Deposits) and require the use of a detergent. Here are some IDID videos.

Snake Oil is Still Out There Folks

The claims are still being made, but at a recent expo, I was shown a product that claimed to save 10% on gasoline expenditures. To summarize, fuel additives will not reduce your fuel consumption, while a higher cetane rating may provide some benefits. They will help to reduce the rise in fuel consumption caused by clogged fuel components, as well as fuel system wear.