John Deere Maintenance Monday: Diesel fuel protectants
Radio interview source: Brian Schmidt, Senior Engineer, John Deere
Jamie in Louisiana has heard that the quality of diesel fuel can vary from source-to-source. How can he manage those inconsistencies?
Brian Schmidt is a senior engineer with John Deere. He says inconsistent fuel quality can affect equipment life and performance, so fuel additives are used to protect your engine in a variety of ways.
"Detergents are used to clean and prevent the deposits which may form in fuel systems. Cetane improvers can raise cetane to improve cold starting and power issues. Lubricity improvers are added to prevent wear in fuel system components," says Schmidt. "Cold flow improvers lower the operability temperature of diesel fuel for winter use. Biocides treat and prevent the formation of microbes, fungus, and algae in diesel storage systems, which typically form in the presence of water."
It's important to consult with your dealer for recommendations. The type of additives your system requires depends on where you live, the vintage of the engine, and how you use the tractor. Be sure to follow directions because overuse of fuel protectants could cause more problems.
"Dimer acids are used to make up many corrosion inhibitors. Trace amounts of salts may be present in some diesel fuel due to the refining process, so the overuse of these products can lead to fuel system deposits," says Schmidt. "Detergents are used to remove and to prevent deposits and specific treat rates. Under-use or over-use of biocides may result in the formation of microorganisms that become resistant to these types of chemicals."
Fuel conditioners are available as summer and winter formulas. You can add them directly to the tractor's fuel tank or a bulk storage tank.
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