Diesel Fuel Quality

The designs of diesel engines striving to increase
performance have made a lot of advancements in engine
fuel delivery to the combustion chamber. The diesel
engines of today are much quieter, smoother, and
also more powerful. The quality of diesel fuel on
the other hand has not advanced at the same rate as
the improvements of engines.

As soon as it is produced, diesel fuel begins to
deteriorate. Less than 30 days of refining, all
diesel fuel, regardless of the brand, goes through a
natural process called oxidation. This process forms
varnishes and gums in the fuel by causing the
molecules of the fuel to lengthen and start bonding
together.

Now, these components will drop to the bottom of the
fuel tank and form diesel sludge. The fuel will
begin to turn very dark in color, smell bad, and
cause the engine to smoke. The engine starts to
smoke as some of these clusters are small enough to
pass through the engine filtration and on to the
combustion chamber.

As the clusters begin to increase in size, only a
small amount of the molecules will get burned, as
the rest will go out the exhaust as unburned fuel
and smoke.

Its estimated that eight out of every ten diesel
engine failures are directly related to poor quality
and contaminated fuel. The build up of contamination
in the fuel systems and storage tanks can clog
filters, thereby causing the engine to shut down,
and damage to the engine to occur.

The number one reason for bad fuel is due to the
increasing popularity of diesel power and the
accompanying increased demand for more diesel fuel.
Long ago, diesel fuel remained in the refinery
storage tanks long enough to naturally seperate and
begin to settle, allowing the clean fuel to be
drawn apart. Now, with the demand getting higher
than ever, the fuel is never stationary long enough
to settle, and the suspended water and solids are
passed on to the person buying the fuel - you.

The changes in refinery techniques is also a
problem. In order to get more products, diesel
fuel is being refined for more marginal portions of
the crude barrel. This results in a lower grade
product that is thicker and also contains a lot
more contamination.

As time continues to pass and technology gets better
and better, one can only hope that the quality of
diesel fuel improves. As it stands now, the quality
isn't good at all. If you run diesel fuel, all
you can basically hope for is that the fuel you
are getting isn't contaminated.

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