Fuel additives (long?)

G

Guest

Guest
Julian, we have gone though all this before but I will try not to
repeat what I have written previously. My use of them is from
personal experience of the benefits.
In 1989 I bought a new Vauxhall Carlton 2.3D and had an IHI turbo kit
fitted before delivery. At the time diesel engined cars were
still not so common, but I still went ahead and soon after bought a
second-hand Citroen Visa with the beautiful 1.7 XUD engine, probably
the diesel car I have ever had most fun with. As the quality of
diesel for sale was much the same between brands and still perhaps
more suited to trucks, additives were a hot topic. At the time diesel
car magazine did some trials and found that Miller's additive was of
benefit for reducing smoke and increasing mpg with the added bonus of
a smoother engine due to increased cetane rating.
I just found that it gave me more mpg, usually about 3-4mpg on the
Carlton which could go up to 42 mpg with a soft foot.
Soon after this I started to work more overseas where I encountered
very poor quality fuel for road vehicles, especially in Russia. I had
one driver with a Mercedes saloon which had five filters/water traps
on it. But even then, when we did one regular trip of 350km he would
often have to change the final in-line plastic capsule filter before
arriving at our destination. Then STP diesel additive came on the
market and he immediately found that it reduced the amount of water
that he had to drain from the traps. One claim for it being that the
additive dispersed water harmlessly into the body of the fuel.
Another plus point. But he still added 10% petrol in the winter, my
brother-in-law in Minsk still does.
My experiences then doubled in the Balkans when I got more involved
in managing fleets of vehicles that had to be reliable way off the
beaten track. In Bosnia most garages are privateers who have their
own tanker which goes to one of two refineries every week to pick-up
their very special own brand. In the case of diesel, usually raw gas
oil with a dash of water.
Use of additives is a must with such dodgy diesel. But the plus side
is that with the older Toy engines which do not have enough lube from
modern low sulphur diesel, rough gas oil has more free sulphur in it
which is providing plenty of lube. To the point that I always
filled-up with 'D2' or truck diesel rather than anything claimed to
be 'Euro diesel'. But the burning quality may be poor, so an additive
helps with this by raising the cetane number. And most important, a
good additive takes care of any water and disperses it. This was
proved not so long ago when I filled-up from the local Sarajevo city
centre 'Al Tariq Oil Company' site. (Again a one-off privateer with
his own tanker). The same day two office VW cars were also filled
with the same diesel. The next day both VW's had shot their injection
pumps. In this office the logistics manager was of a mind not to put
additive in the vehicles under his control. As always I had added a
full bottle of additive to my tank before I filled-up, and had no
problem with the watered diesel which passed through the engine with
no problem. I did bleed-off the water trap but found nothing in it.
Over the years I have seen problems in marine diesels, notably with
condensation in the fuel. My own boat has exterior fuel tank plating
directly in contact with the water outside the hull, so the potential
for condensation is great. There are special water dispersant
products available from boat chandleries, but I am happy to once
again use Miller's to keep the water dispersed in my boat tank. The
boat central heating tank is also prone to condensation although
surrounded by the atmosphere - its Miller's again !
So I believe in additives.
Using the 14 year-old 80 and my 18 year-old Pajero in UK I always use
Millers at a cost of 1.6 pence per litre of diesel treated because
modern forecourt diesel is low in sulphur. Now that is fine for new
modern diesel engines designed for it. But with two trucks fitted
with engines designed before the introduction of low sulphur diesel I
want to ensure that I am adding a good lubricant at least to ensure I
am doing my best to give long life to the pumps. Obviously water
should not be a problem and smoking is no problem either.
I agree that the BP Ultimate burns smoothly, but of all the benefits
claimed on the leaflet, they do not claim extra lubricity. Neither
have I managed to get better fuel consumption. I phoned their advice
line number and the technical staff also said that they would not
claim extra lubricity and would not disagree that there would be
benefit from using a lubricity additive extra to that higher grade
fuel. (Mentioned here recently 'Honest John' of the Daily Telegraph
often sings the praises of BP diesel, but within the past two weeks
recommended Millers additive to someone who asked for a
recommendation for a lubricity additive.)
So yes in UK/ western Europe I am happy to use additive to ensure
that my pump is lubricated. In countries outside the EU I would
always use additive to make the rough stuff burn better and also
disperse water in the fuel, plus as an insurance for pump lubrication
'in case'. A common problem in less developed countries. In the
Balkans the American 'ABRO' brand of additive is favoured, Millers is
not available. Currently whilst in UK I would buy my Millers more
cheaply in 5 litre cans if I was doing a high mileage, but the more
expensive 500ml bottle is sufficient for my current needs. (Its the
Scots in me Reno!)
Sorry that's a bit long Julian
Cheers
Jon
Tring, Herts
'92 HZJ80 ex UN Bosnia surplus.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Hi Jon,
Thanks for the post. Yes I do recall your posts on this in the past,
but am still intrigued to establish if they are actually worth it.
Maybe I'm just getting more cynical in my old age ;-)
For your Carlton on old style fuel it probably was worth it just for the
improved fuel consumption, however does it hold true for your 80 on
modern fuels.
You say it improves lubrication, but to what extent - will the pump now
last extra 100,000 miles between major service or what?
If that is the case are you ever likely to see that benefit?
Also, if you haven't had the car since new the chances are a lot of the
possible damage has already been done.
You mention benefits when used dodgey fuel. Fine, not really such an
issue in the UK, but then you quote an example of two VWs dieing as a
result of some fuel that your TLC used and survived - hardly a
scientific bit of reasoning so not worth mentioning.
You mention water disperal properties. OK, I can see the benefits with
boats where moisture and diesel bug are a major problem, but for our
cars it's not really an issue - if there is so much water in the fuel
that it seperates out then we have the water trap in the filter for
that, a simple case of twisting a screw when the warning light comes on.
Sorry to be pedantic about this but I am constantly seeing 'snake oil'
style remedies for improving fuel consumption or improving engine
longevity, etc, however am almost never seeing any actual hard impirical
data to back up the claims.
I have used several additivies like Slick 50 and various fuel cleaners
in the past and have never seen any noticeable difference in performance
or fuel consumption, etc. Sometimes injector cleans give you nice
satisfying clouds of black smoke out of the back, but you can never tell
if it makes any difference in the long run.
The only time I have found an additive actually work and be worth the
money was some Molyslip on the noisey diff of my old Triumph Spitfire -
it quietened right down to point that it didn't make any noticeable oil,
although I suspect chucking in some thicker diff oil would have done the
same sort of thing.
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Skype: julianvoelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
G

Guest

Guest
Hi guys
More thought on this.
The rate of 1ml to 1 litre when mixed for the additive seems small, 1 part
per 1000 and it may or may not be depending on your knowledge or opinion.
But if you take a swimming pool like what the kids use in the back garden,
2 parts per 100,000 of clorine is enough to kill any bacteria in the water.
So would 1 part per 1000 for the fuel additive be enough to make a
difference.
If these refineries add an additive package to their fuels to make them
different I wonder what the ratio is for that.
Its just as I use the additive and when I blew the feeder pipe, there was
dirt like I previously explained and now I am wondering if the additive
works at all.
I see the cost as not much if you dont analysis it but when you do its
another cost to bear in the running of the vehicles.
At ?7 per 500 mls I think thats ?70 plus postage if you have to for 5
litres.
So say you get 20,000 miles for that, about one years say.
Now thats ? 70 x 5 if its five years motering.
How long do our pumps last without the additive or with the addditive.
Is there 15 year old or older cruisers out there that have never used an
additive and have never had pump problems.
As Jon says is it to keep us guessing for our entire lives, just in the
hope.
Is it as Julian points out , is it a case of the damage is done before we
buy our cruisers and is this damage ireverseaable or will the additive make
a difference even after the pump not using any for years before hand.
Ok we know there is evidenceout there for the engine oil, the more you pay
the better the additive package and the better the oil.
cheers
john 92HDJ 80 1HDT
 
G

Guest

Guest
Hi Julian
This doesn't qualify as empirical data, but a good recommendation. 2
different garages in a week, both of whom had provided excellent, otherwise
unrelated, service. Fuel additves to clean injectors are worth using on a
fairly regular basis, especially as Japanese systems apparently place some
reliance on the high sulphur content of Japanese fuel for lubrication, which
they don't get over here. Not only will this help the pump, but it may
improve the life of other parts of the engine, the cleaner combustion
contaminating lubes less. And apparently slick 50 is very good for cold
start protection, but offers no benefits at any other time.
Cheers Anwar
 
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G

Guest

Guest
Hi Anwar,
Sorry, but my point is that is it worth it from the point of view that the
chances are you may not have the vehicle long enough to actually recieve
those benefits, and unless you have a rebuilt engine and pump, etc you
will always have the issue of previous damage.
A noticeable improvement in fuel consumption is an immediate and
attainable benefit which is easy to quantify. Anything else relating to
longevitiy is difficult, almost impossible to quantify.
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Skype: julianvoelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
G

Guest

Guest
Julian wrote...
For your Carlton on old style fuel it probably was worth it just for the
improved fuel consumption, however does it hold true for your 80 on
modern fuels.
You say it improves lubrication, but to what extent - will the pump now
last extra 100,000 miles between major service or what?
If that is the case are you ever likely to see that benefit?
Also, if you haven't had the car since new the chances are a lot of the
possible damage has already been done.
SNIP
-----------------------------
Who knows how long we prolong the life of a pump. But I would be much
happier putting in the right additive and knowing that I was giving
it the best chance. I appreciate that it can be questioned. If it
makes this old git happy, then let me believe in what others may
think is an illusion !
As for the one previous 'careful owner'. The good thing about the UN
is that they have their own fuel supplies brought direct from
refinery, not local supplies. So I am very happy that the fuel was
good quality and that the servicing of the filter etc. was on time
and with genuine parts.
-------------------------------
THEN WROTE...
You mention benefits when used dodgey fuel. Fine, not really such an
issue in the UK, but then you quote an example of two VWs dieing as a
result of some fuel that your TLC used and survived - hardly a
scientific bit of reasoning so not worth mentioning.
SNIP
------------------------------------
You are oh so dismissive. I think it was a practical demonstration of
my theory. By the way, the US embassy also filled their fleet there
and had the same problem with failure of pumps in some of their
vehicles. But in a country with no notion of a trading standards
agency, its just one of those hazards one has to 'insure' for. My
insurance is a healthy dollop of additive at every fill. The American
stuff I used was at a rate of 1 bottle - about 230ml - per 75
litres'ish fill-up. I think I showed a bottle to you the day we met
at Oxford last year.
---------------------------------
FOLLOWED WITH...
You mention water disperal properties. OK, I can see the benefits with
boats where moisture and diesel bug are a major problem, but for our
cars it's not really an issue - if there is so much water in the fuel
that it seperates out then we have the water trap in the filter for
that, a simple case of twisting a screw when the warning light comes on.
SNIP
-----------------------------------
The light does not always work, believe me. There can also be such
quantities of water that emptying the bowl can be an event every
40km. This is a different environment/culture to anything you
encounter in Europe. Experienced colleagues with tropical experience
also told me that they had not seen so much water in hotter climates.
We put the heavy condensation down to the Balkan conditions of hot
Mediterranean climate days and cold mountain nights. It happens and one copes.
----------------------------------
AND FINALLY...
additivies like Slick 50 and various fuel cleaners
in the past and have never seen any noticeable difference in performance
or fuel consumption, etc. Sometimes injector cleans give you nice
satisfying clouds of black smoke out of the back, but you can never tell
if it makes any difference in the long run.........
SNIP
-------------------------------
I have never mentioned increased performance or better consumption in
my 80. Just giving it a chance for better lubricity - or at least
maintaining it to a standard - and water dispersal. I forgot to
mention the 'anti-freeze' aspect for winter fuel specifically as that
is part of the cleaning action of dispersing gums resins and waxes.
Again, in UK it is accepted that fuel receives an additive for the
winter after a date in October. This is not the case when one gets
outside western Europe. You just don't take chances.
--------------------------------
AND ANWAR HELPFULLY WROTE...
Fuel additves to clean injectors are worth using on a
fairly regular basis, especially as Japanese systems apparently place some
reliance on the high sulphur content of Japanese fuel for lubrication, which
they don't get over here.
SNIP
Well Anwar I am pleased someone backs me up! - thank you.
Cheers
Jon
Tring, Herts
'92 HZJ80 ex UN Bosnia surplus - running on snake oil and I don't care ;o))
 
G

Guest

Guest
JB wrote...
The rate of 1ml to 1 litre when mixed for the additive seems small, 1 part
per 1000 and it may or may not be depending on your knowledge or opinion.
But if you take a swimming pool like what the kids use in the back garden,
2 parts per 100,000 of clorine is enough to kill any bacteria in the water.
So would 1 part per 1000 for the fuel additive be enough to make a
difference.
If these refineries add an additive package to their fuels to make them
different I wonder what the ratio is for that.
SNIP
JB we are talking a different form of additive here. Fuel, be it
gasoline or diesel is refined into a raw flammable liquid which is
indeterminate in the way it burns. It is then modified with a whole
cocktail of chemicals that gives it specific burning characteristics,
plus also other minor additives for anti-waxing, pump lubrication
etc. It is said that its the last few additives that are sometimes
subject to 'economising' for some fuel destined for discount brands
or cheap forecourts. There is a minimum standard for the fuel which
it will always reach, but its not too high. Though go outside Europe
and you will bless the standards we have in the EU. An example might
be a UK brand like Jet which has always been cheap, but some engines
just find it difficult to run well on it, due to it not having the
combustion properties of other brands. Pay a premium for BP ultimate
and the way the engine runs is noticeable with some makes of car. I
wonder what that JCB diesel car was running on?
Cheers
Jon
Tring, Herts
'92 HZJ80 ex UN Bosnia surplus.
 
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