The world is coming around to diesel-powered passenger cars with nearly half of European cars run on diesel. Diesel has changed a great deal over the years—they run cleaner, quieter, and have better gas mileage.
Because of this, the popularity of diesel has been on the rise. Outside of those who drive 18 wheelers or operate fleets, some drivers are still learning the maintenance that is required for the car to operate as smoothly as possible.
With diesel engines, you can’t just fuel and go, but it’s worth it in the long run. So, what kind of maintenance are we talking about here?
Why do we need to treat diesel?
Diesel needs to be treated differently than gasoline because it is a more complex fuel and has more properties in comparison. These properties need to be protected by fuel additives, and it’s important to know when and how to treat your car’s fuel.
Those who drive a diesel-powered vehicle know that treating diesel in the winter and cooler months is key to the engine’s performance, so we’ll start there.
When the Temperatures Drop
In the winter, diesel is subject to gelling, which occurs when the paraffin in the fuel begins to solidify.
This gelling can lead not only to fuel clouding but also to a clogged tank and fuel filters. Not good. When this happens, you may not be able to start up your engine and you might have trouble accelerating.
Additives work to lower the number of crystals in diesel fuel and to lower fuel’s pour point. You should use an additive any time temperatures reach or drop below 32°F, or if temperatures drop drastically.
The lower the temperature, the more anti-gelling additive you should add to your fuel. Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle you purchase!
We made a video about winter-time fuel additives. Check it out below to learn more about how to treat your engine when the temperatures drop.
Year-Round Treatment is Just as Important
While winter treatment is very important, we can’t ignore the fuel the rest of the year. Here’s why:
Using additives year-round ensures that you are controlling the lubricity, cetane rating, cold weather performance, and overall fuel stability of your diesel.
Doing this is essential, and these properties have to be protected by additives. Diesel isn’t as refined as gasoline and is subject to undergo more changes as a result.
Storing diesel fuel can lead to some shifting in its properties. Here, additives help keep the fuel stable so that it meets legal requirements.
NOTE: If diesel is stored in the winter, this is when winter additives are needed once again to ensure it doesn’t gel.
Using additives helps prevent future damage and repair costs. One way to do this is to always add a Cetane booster every time you fill up your tank. This will help to increase engine power while lubricating pumps and injectors, leading to better fuel economy.
Also, use a fuel and tank cleaner to remove water and ensure fuel remains stabilized when stored for an extended amount of time.
Recently, Cummins, Inc.—the leading diesel engine manufacturer—endorsed and recommended Power Service additives for use with diesel engines. Learn more in the video below! Also, be sure to check out Power Service’s guide to year-round maintenance.
Shop Power Service Diesel Fuel Additives today with Petroleum Service Company!