Why Diesel Fuel Quality Matters
A lot of people aren’t aware of just how diesel engines work – or how precise the parts under the hood really are. While they operate, for all intents and purposes, on the same principle as gasoline engines, the demands of the components in a diesel system are much, much higher.
You may know that bad fuel filters and low fuel quality can be costly, but you probably didn’t think they could set you back $10,000 or more. It’s true – poor fuel can really wreak havoc on your entire engine! This is so important in diesel vehicles because of the extremely high tolerance points of each piece. For example, it's not uncommon for modern diesel engine fuel systems to produce upwards of 30,000 PSI; obviously, a pump, its fuel lines, and junction points that can handle this massive pressure have to be in optimal condition in order to operate.
If you’re thinking that you’ve never had this problem in your old gas car, you’re probably right. The fuel pressure in a gasoline engine is far less, and even lower quality fuel (i.e., regular vs supreme) will still work well, if not quite as efficiently. In a diesel engine, though, any dissolved contaminants or loose particles in the diesel will very quickly overcome the strict operating parameters of the parts – high quality fuel directly correlates to a longer engine life, better lubrication, and properly working fuel injection systems.
So what’s one way to ensure that the diesel you’re putting in your tank is of a sufficient quality? Many people simply look for “Diesel Max” stations, which claim to have higher quality fuel (though it often only means they put additives in, meant to increase lubrication). One trick that you may not think of is to go to a busy station that sees a lot of traffic. The turnover rate of the storage tanks means that the supply is often much newer than a slow station, where the fuel may be sitting underground for months or even years – all the while collecting WATER particulates, debris, and rust contamination. This habit alone is one of the most important things you can do for your diesel vehicle.
If the worst does happen, and you get contaminated fuel into your engine or your filter starts to fail, you’ll notice pretty quickly. You’ll likely hear engine knocks, see black smoke, or encounter rough running conditions like misfires. The bad news is, if you’re already seeing any of these signs, it’s probably too late and you’re most likely on the hook for some costly repairs. But the good news is that such a fate can be avoided by being proactive today!
We can work together to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Schultz Diesel Sports has the best fuel filters and aftermarket supply systems, such as lift pumps or water separators (or even combinations of the two, from suppliers like FASS and AirDog). If you’re not ready to shell out for anything that big just yet, we offer a range of additives that can ensure your fuel supply is clear and your filters are clean. Come talk to us about which is best for your truck, and we’ll be happy to help you get back on the road – worry-free and ready to roll!