Diesel fuel – Fossil or Bio, Green or dirty?

Should you use diesel with added bio fuel or should you avoid it?

Do you buy your fuel from supermarket outlets or do you insist on buying fuel from an independent supplier?
Do you know how much biofuel has been added to the fuel you put in your vehicle?

A lot has been written about diesel but diesel fuel quality is a question that still remains.

To begin: there’s fossil fuel and there’s biofuel.

Fossil fuel is pumped out of the ground and then cleaned and refined. Biofuel is manufactured using plant material of different types.

Biofuel:  is it good for your engine?

The government and some environmental groups want to increase the amount of biofuel added to the mix. This might be good for the environment and it might be good politically but engineers remain to be convinced that plant oil can be mixed in with fossil oil without harming the engine.

Steven Smith is managing director of Feather diesel he says “Biofuel is more unstable and tends to degrade progressively”

He went on to say oxidisation creates formic and acetic acid, which attack  the fuel injection equipment.

The problem seems to be that to refine biodiesel you have to use a certain types of chemicals and these in themselves can cause problems.  In addition to this biofuels attract free water that is in the atmosphere and water is the enemy of common rail diesel.

Supermarket fuel is it good or is it bad?

Many people have raised a question mark about supermarket fuel.

The fuel firms that supply supermarkets do add different ingredients to the fuel but it’s difficult to find out what these additives are as they are closely guarded secrets.

The big diesel fuel injection manufacturers Bosch Delphi Denso and Siemens VDO have issued a common statement. They agree that diesel which includes 7% biodiesel should be the maximum – they’re not happy with anything higher than that.  

Modern common rail diesel engines have a lot of advantages over the old conventional diesels.   

Quieter and smoother

They are quieter,  they are smoother and a great deal more fuel efficient and less polluting,  but to achieve all this they work on  much closer tolerances.

Because of this higher level of precision good servicing is absolutely essential.

This means regular oil changing as well as fitting OEM quality filters. Some of these filter down to a level of less than 10 microns.  And trying to ensure that the fuel you are using is good quality resulting in good lubrication for pump and injectors and other components in the diesel system.