July 17, 2019
By David Hollis
Last winter was a hard one for most truckers, and this spring was little better for drivers in some parts of the country. But, summer’s here and the driving gets easier. Well, not so fast.
Just because you have stowed your parka, turned the heater off and AC on, and won’t need your tire chains for a while doesn’t mean you can stop treating your fuel. It’s a common misconception that you don’t need to treat diesel in warm months. But, with today’s ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels, you ought to consider using additives to get the most lubricity out of every gallon all the time.
Sulfur is diesel fuels’ natural lubricator. By removing sulfur to meet the current federal environmental standards of no more than 15 ppm, it also loses an important characteristic for fuel system wellness and economy.
Proper lubrication helps to eliminate numerous problems, including getting rid of deposits that zap your engine’s performance.
When deposits form, they reduce the effectiveness of each burst of fuel from the injectors. For proper ignition, the fuel must be turned into a very fine mist. Deposits prevent this from happening and the result is that all the fuel may not be ignited. Excess unburned fuel gets eliminated through the exhaust.
There are two types of deposits: coking deposits, which are essentially a carbon build up on the tip of the injector that reduce or change the spray pattern, and internal diesel injector deposits, which are a sticky build up inside the injector that can cause a reduction in flow or spray.
And, if your fuel system is not properly lubricated, you will not be protecting fuel pumps, and injectors from excessive wear caused by ULSD. This can cause a reduction of about 20% in the available fuel for combustion. Proper lubrication of the fuel system will improve your fuel economy and restore lost power by maximizing the amount of fuel for complete combustion.
There are several products on the market that help maintain clean injectors and lubricate fuel. One is Howes Diesel Defender, which uses a proprietary IDX4 detergent to clean the fuel system and injectors. It also takes lubricity to the next level adding up to 2.5 times more than previous injector cleaners.
Diesel Defender is 100% petroleum based and alcohol free. That’s important because alcohol can dry out seals and gaskets. It also emulsifies water, which is important for your truck’s engine.