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26 July 2017

Should I use diesel fuel additives?

Should you use diesel fuel additives? Read on to find out more.

 It is widely believed that diesel fuel additives are for two things:

  • Increasing engine power
  • Improving fuel efficiency

In reality, diesel fuel additives, their applications, and their results extend far beyond these uses and can provide a range of benefits.

When deciding if fuel additives are necessary, it is important to consider the issues that can arise with standard, untreated diesel.

These issues are often broken down into four main focus points: 

  • Cleanliness - excess deposits can lead to clogged fuel lines resulting in a deterioration in fuel flow. This can cause extra wear on the engine and untimely breakdowns and costly downtime. Fuel additives can help to reduce the build-up of deposits and can work to prevent the thickening of the fuel during storage periods (or in colder weather when fuel is susceptible to gelling). Increasing the cleanliness of the fuel also helps to increase energy efficiency and horsepower.
  • Starting problems – heavier fuel will encounter more issues during engine ignition than lighter fuel. However, starting problems are a common problem in all diesel engines. Untreated diesel that has been stored for a short time, even as little as a few days, can have trouble igniting or burning. Poor combustion can lead to:
    • A decrease in fuel efficiency
    • Lower output
    • Increased smoke emission
    • Deposit formation
  • Engine wear and abrasion – untreated diesel fuel can trigger excess abrasion and wear to engine parts (meaning that the total operating costs of the equipment will increase as components may need to be replaced more often). Wear to engine parts can also cause a reduction in the optimum level of fuel to cylinders, causing a reduction in horsepower. 
  • Corrosion and contamination – diesel fuel naturally degrades over time and will develop a level of excess water. The extra moisture in the fuel can cause contamination such as dirt particles and bacterial microbes. This contamination can lead to damaged engine parts and can also affect the combustion rate and make the fuel more difficult to burn. Corrosion and rust are also a major factor when excess water is present in diesel.

Why you should consider diesel fuel improvers

When determining whether to use diesel fuel additives, it is important to consider all of the points mentioned above. Diesel fuel additives should be used as a preventative method before irreplaceable damage is done to a vehicle, engine or machine.  

Using a supplement to enhance poor quality, degraded fuel can aid in:

  • Reducing the cost of parts replacements and downtime
  • Keeping the fuel cleaner and more efficient
  • Improved combustion - reducing problems with engine starting
  • Reduced wear

NCH Asia provides a range of fuel additives designed to help you increase the life of your diesel engine. Find out how diesel fuel additives improve the longevity and productivity of your engine by clicking here.

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