Can Seasonality Affect Diesel Lubricity?

February 13, 2019

Lubricity is a need within any engine where mechanical motion requires or produces contact of two or more elements. Be it in a car, truck, tractor, lawn mower, generator, snowmobile, motorcycle, large equipment to small, consumer engines to high performance, lubricity can affect the wear and tear on your engine, future repair costs, and the overall life of your motor. The more impactful the demand on the engine, the more impactful the demand for lubricity.

The need increases because the higher the RPM, or the greater the consistency in strain on the motor, the more the engine parts are challenged to move through their cycles thereby, applying more and more pressure on the parts in contact. Be it through repetitive motion or compounded pressure part to part, the lubricity in motor oil and diesel fuel works to provide a barrier between the two parts in contact, helping reduce the actual contact time and compression.

Gecovey Coffman of Coffman Customs (Amarillo, TX), explains lubricity as the measurement of friction-reduction provided by a lubricant. “Proper lubrication,” says Coffman, “reduces the detrimental wear of friction. The more lubricity in a product, the better it protects the moving parts of an engine.”

Every internal metal on metal component of the engine requires lubricity in either the fuel or the motor oil. For example, the reduction of friction is required for an engine’s range of parts from the camshaft, pistons, rings, injectors, and bearings in the lower end to the variety of high pressure pumps required in power steering, turbos, fuel systems, and oil transfer. Without the proper lubricity within these systems, friction will cause catastrophic failure to the parts. Stipulations and government regulations determine minimum amounts of lubricity in a product, at times, based on external factors other than the core function. For example says Coffman, “The Clean Air Act is probably one of the most recognized, that impacted diesel operations by demanding an ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. Removing sulfur in petroleum refinement process removed a lot of the lubricity that was naturally occurring from the baseline crude.” During treatment for sulfur in #2 diesel fuel, proper bonding agents and detergents are removed, imperative to the needs of diesel fuel systems. With varying degrees of compliance, different vendors began delivering differing fuels to the tanks, containing inconsistent measurements in lubricity.

Weather and the seasons also affect an inconsistency in diesel fuel. For the winter months a blend is available with the addition of Kerosene to help reduce the freezing of the paraffin in diesel fuel. Diesel #1 is available more in the north than the south areas of the country. #1 Diesel can also include varying ratios of Kerosene to #2 Diesel as well. “We use a mild blend here,” says Coffman. “Ours is usually around 80/20 #2 fuel to kerosene, to prevent gelling. Some up north even measure 50/50 to keep the fuel flowing in the harsh cold. Added kerosene however, involves more dilution and more residue in the motor. Coffman says, “It’s a much dirtier fuel combination. It’s less processed so it creates more carbon build-up in the fuel and oil systems, causing a lot more friction and wear to the engine components.”

In the winter months, the regulations may vary based on the manufacturers and fuel vendors compliance in the quality of the fuel and the transportation thereof. “Semi’s and big commerce allowances for transport from point A to point B, as I understand it,” says Coffman, “are held to varying standards, especially up north with the struggles that winter weather adds in the mix.” Coffman notes that “during the winter months, from a performance-diesel perspective, we see a higher rate of catastrophic fuel system failures in the newer higher-pressure vehicles, lead by a lack of lubricity from poor quality fuel.”

Coffman recommends the Everyday Diesel Treatment from Hot Shot’s Secret to help stabilize diesel fuel and combat the questionable fuel blends in distribution. “Especially in the wintertime, the EDT boost helps at the pump as well as rejuvenating the fuel back to regulatory standards,” he says. “The Hot Shot’s Secret cetane additive helps return the lubricity back to your diesel that could have been over processed out of the fuel at the manufacturing plant. We call it ‘cheap insurance’ when we never really know what quality we are getting at the diesel pumps.”

Coffman in his own business uses the Hot Shot’s Secret Green Diamond 15w-40 for the majority of his customers, standard with the FR3 friction reducer included, for higher lubricity. “For the DIYer we recommend the FR3 friction reducer when they are not using Hot Shot’s Secret oil products. When using a conventional oil, the FR3 is a must to help protect your engine,” he says. “For all of our repeat customers, and our fleet maintenance customers, in every third oil change, we add a quart of Stiction Eliminator as a detergent, cleaning the carbon and stiction deposits on the cylinders, cams, lifters, turbos and anything else the oil system reaches, thereby allowing the new oil to flow easier and provide additional lubricity to all of the parts.”

“I’ve been in the diesel industry for the last 14 years. Up until a few years ago, I’ve always felt that fuel and oil additives are basically snake oil. That was until I met the Hot Shot’s Secret reps at the NHRDA Diesel World Finals three years ago. I spent a couple hours at the booth learning a vast amount of proper education in the line of their products. I am a very results-oriented person and the HSS reps gave far more facts and data, than sales pitch about their additives. They provided the scientific proof and results from their testing, and we have been selling nothing but Hot Shot’s Secret additives, oil, treatments and more since then.

I was instantly convinced and have been a believer from that day on. We signed up on the spot as a reseller and we have not looked back. We host a huge display in our lobby and always stock 300 gallons of Hot Shot’s Secret motor oil. It’s the only oil we use for our customers’ oil changes.

For diesel fuel system preventative and maintenance, we offer the full line of products and our customers could not be more happy with the results. We show them how the products help coat the tank, clean out the carbon build up on the injector nozzles, and improve fuel flow, cold starting, black smoke reduction, and that the products simply provide a high-grade detergent for the entire fuel system.

I was the biggest critic before. I didn’t do additives. There is a lot of misdirection in the performance diesel industry over the last many years, keeping us on our toes avoiding another scam. Hot Shot’s Secret has provided a pleasant surprise for us in the last three years. They had the facts and the data, and I’ve seen the results ever since.

We don’t have a lot of displays built in our lobby, but the one we do have is a Hot Shot’s Secret display, stocked full of their additives. The stuff flies off the shelves because we pass along the same educational information that they passed along to us. And the product results back it up.

I don’t sell anything I can’t stand behind. It’s my name on the building and I push the products that I know work. I run Hot Shot’s Secret products unanimously in my own truck. I use their product for every application they offer. If there was something better, I’d sell that instead.”

Gecovey Coffman
Coffman Customs (Amarillo, TX)