It’s a well-documented fact that using the correct diesel fuel additives will yield many benefits over simply using pump diesel fuel. They aid in a more complete diesel fuel combustion, increased fuel mileage and are responsible for the longevity of your fuel system components. But what if I told you that the proper diesel fuel additive will also extend the longevity of your bottom-end engine components? This article will focus on the benefits of fuel additives and how they can increase the longevity of your engine.
Diesel Combustion is Not an Efficient Process
Diesel Combustion is not an efficient process. Much of the potential energy from diesel fuel is wasted due to incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion not only wastes BTU’s of diesel fuel, but it produces soot as a byproduct. We will focus on only two ingredients in common diesel fuel additives that help with diesel fuel combustion efficiency, and their effects on the oil side of the engine. First, using a powerful injector cleaner corrects the spray pattern of the fuel back to a more atomized and uniform shape as originally designed by the engineers. The atomized fuel from clean injectors leaves less unburnt hydrocarbons from the combustion process than dirty injectors due to the increased ability of the smaller fuel particles to burn. The second ingredient is cetane improver. Increased Cetane levels also assist the fuel to burn more completely, which produces less soot with a smaller particle size than fuels with a lower cetane value.
Soot and Engine Wear
Even in well running and maintained diesel engines, soot particles make their way past the rings and into your oil. This phenomenon is most commonly referred to as blow-by. The amount of blow-by varies on an engine by engine basis, but it occurs in all engines. Not only does soot that finds its way past your rings make your oil look bad, it makes the oil perform bad. Soot acts as an abrasive between moving parts. When we go from hydrodynamic lubrication (oil present) to boundary lubrication (no oil present), soot gets caught in the contact points between the rings and cylinders, plus bearings and journals. This abrasive contact gradually wears the components, shortening their life. The largest percentage of the boundary lubrication wear occurs at start-up, where the oil drains back into the oil pan instead of clinging onto engine component. However, it can occur any time the oil layer is thinner than the soot particle size. Typical oil analysis techniques do not show the soot particle size, they only show the amount of soot in your oil. Microscopic evaluations are necessary to determine particle size of the soot in your used engine oil. Microscopic observation proves most soot particles are typically in the range of 0.2 to 1.0 microns. Testing has shown a direct correlation between soot particle size and wear. The larger the particle size, the more wear the soot creates on engine components.
Less soot production not only reduces wear from the lack of hydrodynamic lubrication, but it is also responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the oil. Clean oil is less prone to oxidation, nitration and viscosity breakdown that ultimately ends the life of your oil. Oil free from soot will greatly outlast soot contaminated oil, protecting your engine for a longer period of time.
Hot Shot’s Secret Everyday Diesel Treatment (EDT) helps control the soot production by containing high levels of cetane improver and a powerful injector cleaner. Oil is kept cleaner by the reduction of soot, thus lasts longer. The abrasive wear of soot is minimized by the reduction of the amount and particle size of soot produced during the combustion process. This reduced wear extends the life of your rotating assembly, camshaft, valve guides, rocker arms and bearings.