Contaminants can decrease your engine's efficiency, increase your costs, accelerate wear and eventually, cause expensive repairs. So what should you do to keep your fuel as clean as possible? Here are three common culprits of dirty fuel and a few simple recommendations that may save you money down the road.
Sediment: it decreases the amount of usable energy in the fuel. How do you get rid of it and how can you prevent it from entering the fuel tank?
1. The most cost effective method to remove sediment is to let it settle in the bottom of the tank and drain it.
2. Most sediment will be caught in the fuel filter, but excessive amounts will require that you change the filter more often.
3. To decrease the amount of dirt entering the fuel tank, add an air filter to the fuel tank breathers.
Water: it can condense in fuel storage tank, becoming a subsequent source of corrosion and a breeding ground for microorganisms. Here's how you can reduce the level of water in your fuel:
4. Drain the fuel tank regularly.
5. Buy fuel from reliable sources and monitor the quality frequently.
6. Use water separators.
Speaking of Microorganisms... bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms grow where water and fuel meet. How can you get rid of them?
7. Use a biocide to kill microorganisms when the tank is full so any growth on the inner side of the tank will be eliminated.
8. Filter the fuel after using the biocide to avoid plugging engine fuel filters with dead microorganisms.
Here are a few more miscellaneous tips:
9. Clean dirt, dust and other debris from the engine compartments before removing the fuel filter and other fuel system components for maintenance and repairs.
10. Any time your fuel system is open, contaminants can enter the system. Tightly cap or plug all openings during repairs even if they are needed only for a few minutes.
11. When working in especially dusty sites (construction, mining, etc.) airborne contaminants can be drawn into engine fuel tanks through the vent tube. Likewise, a vent in the fuel tank cap can ingest dust. Be sure vents are properly sealed. Contaminants can also develop during storage or enter the system through improper fuel transfer.
12. Clean reusable parts with solvents using proper cleaning and drying methods.
13. Never place components directly on the ground.
14. Don't reuse seals, replace them.
15. Perform routine inspection of fuel line connections from the tank to the fuel pump.
16. Test your fuel regularly to ensure it's of the best quality.
So... I'd like to know:
- Do you have any tips you've used successfully?
- How old are your fuel storage tanks? Do you have them inspected?
- Are you testing your fuel from your vendor before and after entering your fuel storage tanks?
- Have you switched over to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) Fuel? If so, did you clean you fuel storage tanks prior to switching?
- Are you changing your filters more often than recommended? If so, have you considered the causes?
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