It’s an age-old question for diesel truck drivers and anyone else who drives a diesel-powered vehicle. ‘Does diesel fuel have a shelf life?’ In actuality, there is no such thing as an expiration date for diesel, but the longer you store it, the worse it performs.
In reality, keeping diesel without properly treating it can cause a slew of problems, not just for the fuel but also for any vehicle into which you chose to put it later. We’ll go over exactly what happens to untreated diesel fuel when it’s stored for a long period, as well as how you may avoid these bad consequences by simply treating the diesel before it’s stored.
Diesel fuel’s performance deteriorates when it sits in storage for extended periods of time. When the fuel reaches the final stages of the process, we call it “diesel fuel gone bad.” It may be too late to save your stored diesel fuel if you notice these things occurring to it. However, there are a few things you can do to extend its life, which we’ll go into later.
- As a result of being exposed to environmental variables, chain reactions occur: Light, water, and heat are the most prevalent environmental variables that have a negative impact on diesel fuel. If the diesel fuel is stored in a location where any of these things might affect it, the molecules in the fuel will produce chain reactions that will cause the fuel to slowly but steadily change from an oil to a varnish.
- The gasoline darkens, and the gums get swollen: As a result of the chain reactions that occur between environmental variables and the molecules of diesel fuel, the fuel thickens and darkens, turning into more of a gum or sludge.
This process alters the molecular structure of diesel fuel, and because most modern diesel fuels do not contain the same amount of sulfur as older diesel fuels, bacteria begin to thrive in the fuel, forming biomass. This can result in acids that completely degrade the fuel over time.
- The sludgy fuel won’t burn properly, resulting in black smoke: This thicker, darker dieselfuel won’t run as smoothly as a diesel fuel that hasn’t been influenced by external factors, resulting in black smoke and engine sputtering, which is never good for your car.
- Internal vehicle damage due to lubricity: Because this diesel fuel no longer has the lubricity it once did, the acidic nature and thickness of the fuel will begin to negatively affect the fuel pump, diesel injectors, and engine, and you may not be able to start your engine if the problem is severe enough.
You may be wondering if there is any solution that will allow you to keep diesel fuel without it becoming a sludgy mess now that you know what it means when you hear it has gone bad.
The solution is significantly more straightforward than you might have assumed. You can ensure that your stored diesel fuel is safe at all times by using a diesel fuel stabilizer. Although there are numerous brands and formulations to pick from, we recommend Opti-Lube, which is the world’s #1 rated additive that more than doubles the shelf life of diesel fuel.
Despite the fact that diesel fuel does not have a specific expiration date, the performance of stored fuel might be harmed over time if improper storage and additives are not used. If you intend on storing fuel or not driving your truck over the winter, it’s important to use a reliable additive like Opti-Lube and take precautions before it’s too late.
We at Gem State Diesel understand the damage that gummed-up diesel fuel can cause to a vehicle, which is why we’ve decided to offer this knowledge and show you how we maintain our fuel working at its best no matter what. After all, it’s always better to be cautious than sorry, especially when dealing with something as precious and impressive as a diesel engine.
How long does it take for diesel fuel to go bad?
There are two issues here. First, because diesel fuel is a carbon-based petrochemical, it begins to oxidize as soon as it leaves the refinery, forming the sediments and gums that choke fuel. So, how long will a gallon of diesel fuel last? Without diesel fuel additives, diesel can go bad in as little as 30 days, causing deposits that can harm fuel injectors, fuel lines, and other system components, reducing fuel economy and performance.
Water is a significant issue in diesel fuel for several reasons. One is that new diesel mixes frequently include biodiesel, which has a higher water content by nature. If the water isn’t separated from the fuel, it can make its way into the fuel injectors. Pressures of up to (40,000) PSI are used in newer common rail fuel systems. If even a single droplet of water makes its way to the fuel injector through one of the new high-pressure systems, it can blow the tip-off, which is an expensive repair. This slime, like oxidation, can clog the fuel and cause long-term damage.
You can reduce the amount of water in your tank by keeping it full, which reduces the amount of condensation area in the tank and thus the amount of water. Second, diesel fuel treatments that demulsify or separate water from the fuel are available. A Fuel Water Separator (FWS) filter is found in almost all diesel engines. The performance of the body is improved by demulsification (FWS). All OEM manufacturers recommend demulsifying diesel fuel to ensure that water may be properly removed without causing damage to your engine. For fuel storage tanks, standard good fuel maintenance standards must be followed. These procedures entail the removal of water that has accumulated at the tank’s bottom on a regular basis. Because water is heavier than fuel, it will sink to the bottom, where it will be safer than in your fuel system. To avoid microbial growth, maintenance dosages of a dual phased (works in both water and fuel phases) biocide should be applied twice a year.
What happens when diesel fuel gets old?
Gum and sediment form when diesel becomes stale and aged. This reaction occurs as a result of the fuel and oxygen reacting together. This debris clogs the filters, which might cause the engine to stall. Sediment and gum also don’t burn properly, resulting in carbon deposits on the injectors.
Can 10 year old diesel be used?
It’s unlikely to take as long as you imagine. After you put fuel in a container, it only takes a few months for the quality to deteriorate much less if the fuel is tainted in any way.
Petrol has a six-month shelf life when stored in a sealed container at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and just three months when stored at 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The more heat it is subjected to, the faster it will blow up.
You’ll be able to maintain the container for even shorter time if it’s not well sealed, and there’ll be an elevated fire risk owing to combustible vapours escaping.
Diesel, on the other hand, can be utilized for six to twelve months before becoming ‘gummy,’ which can clog filters and cause engine problems if used.
How long can diesel fuel sit in a tank?
In temperatures of 85 degrees, diesel fuel can last for 6 to 12 months. The fuel will then start to react with the oxygen in the tank. Diesel may become sticky as a result of this interaction. If diesel turns sticky, it can block fuel filters, causing engine problems. The sticky fuel will not burn properly, resulting in a film of soot and carbon on the engine’s inside. One possibility is to apply oxidation-resisting stability treatments.
Degradation of diesel fuel can also be caused by other sources. Fungus can grow in the presence of water in the fuel. Fungi can produce organic chemicals that break down diesel molecules. The gumming process can be accelerated by high temperatures. When metals like zinc and copper come into contact with diesel fuel, they can trigger a chemical reaction. Certain chemicals have been shown to hasten the aging process.
What does old diesel smell like?
When it breaks down, it should smell like turpentine. I would change it if you notice the odor. Algae can also grow in the gasoline.
When will petrol and diesel cars be banned in the UK?
New gasoline and diesel cars will be phased out by 2030, with hybrid vehicles following in 2035.
Secondhand gasoline and diesel cars will continue to be accessible. However, because no new models are allowed to be marketed, they will eventually be phased out and replaced by electric vehicles.
Diesel car sales have been falling for a while
Due to its lower carbon emissions, buying a car with a diesel engine was long regarded to be the more environmentally beneficial alternative.
However, as a result of increased pollution levels, numerous authorities have increased taxes and fees on diesel automobiles, much to the dismay of many drivers who believed they were making the right choice for the environment.
Hybrid cars will also be banned
Hybrid vehicles were once thought to be the best option for environmentally aware drivers due to their fuel efficiency and semi-electric technology.
But that is no longer the case. New hybrid automobiles will be phased out in 2035, only 5 years after their gasoline and diesel equivalents. This could be due in part to new research indicating that they are not as environmentally beneficial as they appear.
Is it worth buying a 2nd hand diesel?
With the British government vowing to phase out new petrol and diesel automobiles by 2030, many motorists are debating whether it’s still worthwhile to buy one. The short answer is that buying a used diesel automobile is a smart and environmentally beneficial choice for many motorists. While diesel engines have a bad record, they are frequently cleaner and less expensive than gasoline engines. Of course, credentials are dependent on factors such as the car’s year, make, and model, as well as how you want to use it.