Fuel additives for Diesel engines can be very helpful, but what are they? Fuel additives are chemicals which are mixed with fuel (in the case diesel) to change the properties of untreated diesel fuel.
You mostly see additives used for distributors, refineries and premium grade diesel fuel. In 1999 the NCWM set five properties of diesel fuel which can qualify it as “premium.” Distributors and regular diesel drivers use additives every day to achieve a premium diesel experience without paying big bucks. However, there is no “universal additive,” meaning you cannot just mix and match. Doing so could damage your engine, which would result in a visit to diesel repair shop like Wayne’s Automotive Center in Sparks.
Different additives and the perks of using bottled additives in your Diesel:
- Most people will want to jump on and get a water remover additive. It is cheap and easily available. Water enters fuel at refining, transport, engine operation, and storage. Water in fuel damages combustion, lowers energy content, ruins injectors, and causes gumming and garnishing. During winter, the water can also freeze and block fuel lines. You can only get water remover through a bottled additive. Some diesel repair shops will use this additive to fix various other water problems as well.
- Premium fuel doesn’t have all the additives to make it truly “premium.” The NCWM set a standard of 5 properties to deem as premium fuel. However, distributors only have to include a minimum of 2 additives to make it premium, meaning there are 3 chemicals not added to the fuel, making it cheaper to manufacture truly premium diesel fuel. For instance, the NCWM standard for centane in premium is 47, but some fuel’s claiming to be premium only had a centane of 35 which is below the standard for REGULAR diesel fuel.
Good additives can get you “good energy content” which basically means you get better gas mileage; a “high cetane number,” which results in a better cold start and a healthier idle; better fuel filter cleanliness; smoother low-temperature operation; and lubrication. Best of all, additives are highly affordable. Additives cost 2-5 cents per gallon of Diesel fuel you use. Whereas premium diesel fuel costs 15-25 cents more per gallon than regular fuel and only includes 2 additives to deem it “premium.”
So, should you use additives in your diesel fuel? As long as you are adding the correct chemicals, the answer is absolutely! If you have questions about what additives you may want to use, contact the knowledgeable pros at Wayne’s Automotive Center.