Addressing Diesel Lubrication Concerns
With the arrival of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, several questions surfaced concerning the need for additional lubrication.
Who Can I Trust Regarding Diesel Fuel Lubricant Information?
Because of the concern for additional lubrication in diesel fuel, there has been the unfortunate, but not unusual, preying upon the consumer with many companies claiming lubricity but lacking any proper testing to back it up. Most people do not have access to good information concerning such things, and this makes them vulnerable to those trying to take advantage of the situation.
Quality Diesel Fuel Lubricity Testing
One thing to look for when purchasing a lubricant is to make sure the product has been tested, and I do not mean in somebody’s basement. Many products claim an increase in lubrication. Some may even volunteer to show you how well their product works using one of the so-called friction testing machines or some home-built contraption, some even light their additive on fire, claiming that the smoke indicates lubrication. Unfortunately, these methods are not valuable.
The methods and equipment used to evaluate diesel fuel lubrication are extremely complicated and expensive. Only qualified labs with the proper equipment can test a fuel’s lubrication or the lubricating benefits of an additive. A person trying to show that a product lubricates with the use of a friction machine or match are simply blowing smoke. This is simply hocus pocus.
Some additive companies have had their products tested for lubricity. This may have been done for the right reasons, but some were unfortunately done with the wrong tests. It is not impossible to create a product with an effective lubricant, but the proper testing must be conducted to prove its quality. In many cases, products that claim lubricity may show little or none when properly tested. Also, if an additive uses solvents to clean—as many do—they simply wash away the lubricity they just added.
PFS Diesel Conditioners showed up to a 25% increase in lubricity using the HFRR (High Frequency Reciprocating Rig) testing method and use a detergent dispersant to clean, ensuring that lubricity remains at its peak performance.
Understanding the HFRR testing results: The HFRR test is designed to create a scar (or flattened area on the surface of a steel ball). The width of the scar created during the testing is measured. A wider scar indicates less lubricity, and the number shown in the test results as seen above is the width of that scar. Therefore, the smaller the number shown in the testing results the better the lubricity performance. PFS diesel treatments bring even the poorest of fuels into the recommended lubricity range: under 460. The lower the number the better.
What Dosage of the Diesel Fuel Lubricant Is Used?
Another way companies can deceive you is with dose variation. When you inquire about an additive be sure to ask the question what dose ratio of the additive was used for the tests. Some products claim that you need to use more of their product only during cold weather. However, when they have their products tested, they use the maximum dose ratio and maybe even an additional product; of course, this is to show the best results possible. They can then claim the results without explaining that they tested their product using more of the product than they say you need. If a product is supposed to work for you at a given rate, then it should be tested as such.
Any quality additive supplier should be delighted to show you the actual test results of their product using the proper methods yet some of the biggest names in the industry simply make claims with no data available. If not, beware. There are quality lubrication chemicals available, and when used properly they can be extremely helpful in increasing the life of your fuel system and be cost effective too.
Other Fuel Lubrication Concerns
Any time you are working with fuels, there are going to be variables. Some fuels naturally have more lubricity than others depending on the crude used to make the fuel and the refining techniques. If you blend your fuel, you also have reduced the lubrication. Therefore, products that claim if you need more lubricity simply add more of their product or an additional product does not make sense. Every time you fuel it is different. Can you look at the fuel you are putting in and see if it needs more lubricity or even how much more you need? These are simply sales gimmicks to make you feel like you are getting something for nothing.
Additionally, many people think that winter is the only time you need lubricity because a blended fuel maybe is used; unfortunately, this is not always true. In the summer, some fuel is no longer in demand and No. 1 diesel that does not have a home may be added to No. 2 fuel in order to simply get rid of it. You do not always know you are getting a blend. Always protect your expensive investment and use PFS diesel treatments in every tank: our Power Plus Diesel Fuel Additive for warm weather and Arctic Xtreme Diesel Anti Gel for the cold. Both have the same lubricity results plus many other benefits.