Should I Use Diesel Fuel Additives?

Heavy duty diesel equipment operators have asked themselves the question: should I use diesel fuel additives? To answer that question, first one must learn the quality of the diesel fuel currently being run and also know if the diesel fuel has already been pre-treated by the fuel supplier. Today, diesel equipment fleet owners must deal with certain issues plaguing their fuel system. Let’s take a deeper look into those issues so that we may answer the question: should I use diesel fuel additives?

Eliminating Fuel Injector Deposits

All diesel engine OEMs realize that today’s diesel fuels are in a state of flux and constantly changing in both quality and composition. Due to the inconsistent quality of diesel fuel, there has been a rise in fuel injector problems. Historically, deposits were found on the tips of fuel injectors. Due to new fuel system designs and how they function, deposits are now being found and formed inside the injectors. Now that deposits are forming inside the injectors, diesel engine performance is decreasing, power is being reduced, and diesel fuel injector life is being reduced.

If you are currently experiencing these problems, then most likely your diesel fuel is untreated or the diesel fuel additive currently being used is of low quality and ineffective at controlling and eliminating deposits. The simplest solution to this issue is to seek out and use a high performance diesel fuel additive.

A properly engineered diesel fuel additive will work to soften and loosen any internal or external deposits found on diesel fuel injectors. By using the proper diesel fuel additive, deposits will be burned away over time and then kept to the absolute minimum or eliminated. No matter the type of diesel fuel that is run, whether it is bio-based diesel fuel, low sulfur, or ultra-low sulfur, a heavy duty diesel fuel additive should deliver the proper performance to keep deposits from accumulating onto the diesel fuel injector tips or internally.

The Benefits of an Oil Based Diesel Fuel Additive

One of the key ingredients of a high performance diesel fuel additive would be the use of a heavy oil. Modern diesel fuels are being refined differently than they were in the past. Current refining processes are removing the important lubricant properties that were naturally found in diesel fuels. The end result are diesel fuels lacking the necessary lubricity to protect injectors and fuel pumps from unwanted wear and scuffing.

The diesel fuel additive market is filled with low cost, low quality diesel fuel additives formulated with alcohol instead of heavy oil. Alcohol based diesel fuel additives tend to dry instead of lubricate. This lack of lubricity further exacerbates the issue of wear and scuffing of diesel injectors and fuel pumps.

Manufacturers of injector pumps fully realize the shortcomings of modern day diesel fuels and their lack of lubricity. To deal with these issues, these pump manufacturers have established lubricity requirements to help solve the excessive wear caused by today’s diesel fuel. The simple act of choosing a quality diesel fuel additive whose chemistry contains heavy oil based lubricity agents will definitely give your diesel motors the needed lubrication required to minimize and eliminate unwanted wear and scuffing to fuel pumps and injectors.

Additionally, an oil based diesel fuel additive delivers important ring zone and upper cylinder lubrication.

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of utilizing a heavy oil based diesel fuel additive, let’s take a look into other critical ingredients that go into the formulation of a superior diesel fuel additive.

Protecting Fuel Systems from Corrosion

Were the blog post to end now, it would not be presumptuous to say that the answer to your question “should I use diesel fuel additives?” would be in the affirmative. Still, we would like to continue discussing other key ingredients that go into a properly formulated diesel fuel additive that can further support and help in your decision in choosing a proper diesel fuel additive.

The chances of corrosion appearing in a fuel system are quite possible. If metal components within a fuel system started to corrode, diesel engine performance would be compromised. If corrosion were left unchecked, this could lead to engine life being shortened and also unexpected downtime and repair costs.

Corrosion definitely can affect the stability of diesel fuel by allowing the fuel to oxidize. Oxidation leads to deposits and sludge. As sludge and deposits accumulate, fuel filters begin to plug up. The end result for the fleet owner is reduced engine performance, downtime, and higher operating costs. The best proactive strategy to eliminate the potential of corrosion leading to oxidation would be to utilize a high tech diesel fuel additive formulated with a large volume of specialty corrosion inhibitors.

If the chemistry contains a robust volume of corrosion inhibitors, they will guard against the formation of corrosion and rust inside a fuel system. As mentioned before, by eliminating corrosion, one also helps in preventing any oxidation from occurring.

Knowing up front the potential of problems that could occur within the sophisticated fuel systems will help in the thinking process of how to prevent such issues from taking hold. Choosing the finest possible oil based corrosion fighting diesel fuel additive will preempt any downtime causing problems from appearing.

The key to preventing issues that are known to exist is to act beforehand, and in this case, pre-treat your diesel fuel with the proper fuel additives. Don’t allow a downtime causing issue to rear its ugly head. It is infinitely cheaper to invest in the best possible diesel fuel additive that delivers solutions rather than choose the cheapest additive on the market.

Preventing Fuel Water Emulsions

The diesel fuel system in your engine can be susceptible to the formation of water and condensation within the system. When condensation and water is not effectively eliminated, then important diesel fuel system parts can come under attack from corrosion, rust, and possibly worse. Condensation and water can begin to form in your vehicle’s fuel tank and also your fuel storage tank. To combat against this problem, unique additives known as demulsifiers are formulated into a quality diesel fuel additive.

For example, if your fuel storage tank contains too much water and your diesel fuel is not treated with the right additive, an emulsion can take place. Adding a diesel fuel additive formulated with demulsifiers will effectively eliminate the potential of any emulsion occurring. By not allowing fuel and water to emulsify, the diesel fuel can flow, which allows you to drain off any free water from your fuel storage tanks.

In regards to dealing with any condensation or water found in your vehicle’s fuel tank, it is imperative to use the best possible fuel additive designed to deal with moisture. Such a diesel fuel additive allows a set amount of moisture to be absorbed and then burned off with the fuel, which helps to keep your fuel tank dry.

Improve Diesel Fuel Economy Up to 8%

When asking the question should I use diesel fuel additives, it is helpful to also learn whether adding a diesel fuel additive can help improve fuel economy. If fuel economy can be improved simply by adding a diesel fuel additive to the fuel you run, then it seems logical to pursue such a simple strategy.

If one were to ignore what is happening to your engine and to your fuel system by choosing to not investigate any loss of engine power, efficiency, and abnormal fuel consumption, this lack of knowledge can and will directly affect your operation’s bottom line. Accepting decreases in engine power and increases in fuel consumption as commonplace will ultimately prove costly. There are reasons why an engine is sluggish. There are reasons for abnormal amounts of fuel consumption. This blog post has briefly presented common issues that are being experienced by countless diesel fuel operators.

Power robbing and fuel consuming deposits will occur if a fuel is not properly treated. All the myriad of other issues we’ve outlined here will not suddenly disappear simply by choosing to use and untreated fuel or a low cost alcohol diesel fuel additive. You get what you pay for. If these issues are left unchecked, they will cause the engine to run inefficiently, which leads to an unnecessary amount of fuel being consumed. All these issues create a negative vicious cycle. One thing leads to another and the problems only get worse, not better.

The decision you make regarding the type of equipment you run in your business can have profound effects on how your operation will function throughout the year. At the end of the day, most diesel owners and operators know that the best results are attained by utilizing the best possible equipment and creating the best preventive maintenance program for that equipment.

For all the reasons that we’ve mentioned already, choosing to add the finest possible diesel fuel additive will not only improve the performance of your equipment but also improve profits. Solving the problem of excessive fuel consumption is possible and doable simply by treating your fuel with a better fuel additive. Real world field experience has shown that adding a high performance diesel fuel additive with the right chemistry will bring fuel economy benefits.

For example, AMSOIL manufactures various diesel fuel additives. The AMSOIL Diesel All-In-One will deliver improved fuel economy of up to 8%. Do the math and any diesel owner would be happy at the end of the year to show those kinds of savings. This high performance diesel fuel additive addresses all the issues we’ve discussed in this blog post, plus more.

AMSOIL Diesel All-In-One.
AMSOIL Diesel All-In-One

It will clean up dirty injectors, it provides the proper lubrication for injectors and pumps, and it reduces wear. Fuel filter life will be extended. This additive provides the necessary protection against corrosion for the fuel system. It is alcohol-free and can be effectively and safely utilized in all kinds of diesel fuels, including bio-diesel. It helps to restore horsepower and allows the engine to deliver maximum power.

Some potential problem areas that this AMSOIL fuel additive effectively deals with is that it prevents wax settling in during storage. It can lower cold filter plugging point (CFPP) by up to 40 degrees F. It is able to increase cetane by up to 4 points. As you can see, there are superior diesel fuel additives out there that not only solve the basic problems but also offer other value added benefits.

AMSOIL has a respected reputation inside the lubricant industry. They are not followers of trends but rather trend setters. Their philosophy has always been performance first, selling price secondary. It is important to understand this type of philosophy, especially for the diesel equipment operator. It goes without saying that the average professional fleet owner has invested a huge amount of money into the cost of their equipment. Knowing that this investment needs to reap dividends, it behooves the operator to carefully consider what lubricant company to partner with.

There are many choices out there when it comes to lubrication. AMSOIL, in our humble opinion, stands apart. They were the first lubricant manufacturer to have the first API approved synthetic engine oil. The are a premier formulator in the synthetic oil market. They completely understand the diesel engine market and their philosophy involves solving problems and providing users of their products real attainable benefits. They have the data to back up the products. In terms of diesel fuel additives, choosing AMSOIL will be a good choice and one can expect that your fuel system will stay in peak operating condition, your engine will deliver consistent performance, and the thought of wasting fuel will be a thing of the past.

AMSOIL’s Diesel All-In-One can be used in all types of heavy duty and light duty, on and off road, and marine diesel motors.  The beauty of this diesel fuel additive is that is can be used for all seasons. It is a product that offers better lubricity, superior detergency, improved cold flow, and enhanced cetane.

So, to answer the question: should I use diesel fuel additives? The answer is a resounding yes!