Should You Use a Fuel Additive in Your Diesel Engine?

What is Cetane?

Most diesel engine owners are familiar with the term Cetane, but what does it mean and why is it important? Cetane is like octane in gasoline fuel in that it measures the fuel combustion efficiency. A higher cetane number means the fuel combusts more quickly; a lower cetane number means the fuel combusts more slowly. Most diesel fuels available on the market today are rated at only 40 Cetane. Meanwhile, studies show modern diesel engines perform best with a Cetane rating of 45-50. This means if you are not treating your fuel with a diesel fuel additive, you are most definitely losing power and fuel efficiency. Another added benefit of a higher cetane number is fewer emissions which is better for the environment.

Keeping your fuel injectors clean

Another feature of using a fuel additive is keeping your fuel injectors clean. To enhance the combustion efficiency of diesel fuel, fuel injectors are designed and manufactured with very tight tolerances (1-3 microns). These tolerances help to inject the fuel as a very fine mist. Engine manufacturers have discovered the finer the mist, the more power is produced from a lesser amount of fuel. However, these exacting tolerances also make the fuel injectors more susceptible to fuel and carbon deposits, leading to interrupted spray patterns. Do your homework when choosing a fuel additive because not all brands clean fuel injectors. Alpha Diesel Fuel Guard boosts the cetane number in your fuel and cleans your fuel injectors.

Taking care of your engine in the winter

Diesel fuel is susceptible to gelling during cold outdoor temperatures due to the naturally occurring wax present in the fuel. Once the wax begins to crystalize in the cold, it thickens the fuel and begins to plug the fuel filter as well as the fuel injectors. This is referred to as the Cold Filter Plugging Point. The Alpha Diesel Fuel Guard formulation has specific additives that prevent gelling of diesel fuel during cold temperatures. It will lower the Cold Filter Plugging Point by up to 40⁰F (28⁰C).

Contact Alpha Lubricants for more information

Alpha Lubricants offers a variety of performance boosting fuel additives. We are ready to take your questions and offer expert assistance with your engine oil questions. You can contact us on our website or call us at 724-941-4454

Alpha Lubricant’s Mission

As a leader in performance and protection lubricants, it is our mission and responsibility to help our customers in achieving operational excellence for all their vehicles and machinery. Our goal is to greatly increase your engine life expectancy, performance and fuel efficiency while simultaneously lowering operation and maintenance costs to an absolute minimum.

About the Author

Jim Silvestros, Jr learned the oil business from his father Jim Silvestros, Sr. He has been CEO of Alpha Lubricants since 2010. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children.