Does Diesel Fuel Type Matter?
Diesel fuel comes in a couple of different grades, but drivers generally don’t need to worry about which grade they’re using, thanks to government regulations. What’s more important for your vehicle’s fuel injector and engine is the condition of the fuel you use.
Grading Based on Type
Just as gasoline is rated by how much octane it has, diesel fuel is graded according to cetane. There are two grades: Diesel #1 (1-D) and Diesel #2 (2-D).
Diesel #2 is almost exclusively used for driving, and this is the grade that’s at nearly every truck stop and gas station. It’s less volatile than Diesel #1 and provides greater fuel efficiency. From driving a pickup locally to taking a semi cross-country, 2-D is the grade of diesel you want.
(These ratings are different from the ratings used by the American Petroleum Institute for lubricating oils, and the two ratings shouldn’t be confused.)
Rating Based on Temperature
In addition to being graded according to cetane, diesel is also rated for various temperature ranges based on its viscosity. This isn’t an issue when driving around Las Vegas, and even if you go north during winter, it’s still not normally something you need to worry about. Most fuel stations carry diesel fuel appropriate for their regional climate at that time of year.
Breaking Down and Being Polluted
Regardless of grade and temperature rating, all diesel fuel can break down and/or be contaminated by pollutants. Storing diesel above 86 degrees Fahrenheit – which is virtually unavoidable once the fuel is in your vehicle if you’re in Las Vegas – shortens its lifespan by 6 to 12 months.
Pollutants can remain in the fuel from refining, or they can enter as the fuel passes through rusted production lines. The government allows far fewer contaminants into diesel fuel now than it did before 2007, but even today, there can be contaminants that enter your fuel injector and clog it.
Taking Care of Your Fuel Injector
While you don’t have to worry about using
the right diesel when filling up, you should take steps to prevent old diesel fuel and pollutants from causing problems for your engine. Try to fill up at stations where the equipment appears to be in good shape and doesn’t look rusted inside.
Also, watch for warning signs. Should you ever notice excessive dark smoke, foul smells from the fuel, cloudy-looking fuel or reduced power, you might have a diesel fuel problem or clogged injectors. The issue should be diagnosed by a technician. The experts at J&S Diesel have worked on many vehicles, and they’ll know exactly what your fuel system needs. Contact us at 702-736-8526 to schedule service.