Originally Posted by Bacchus
The linked article states:
"ULSD fuel, on the other hand, is considered to be very “dry” and incapable of lubricating vital fuel delivery components. As a result, these components are at risk of premature and even catastrophic failure when ULSD fuel is introduced to the system. As a result, all oil companies producing ULSD fuel must replace the lost lubricity with additives. All ULSD fuel purchased at retail fuel stations SHOULD be adequately treated with additives to replace this lost lubricity. The potential result of using inadequately treated fuel, as indicated above, can be catastrophic. There have been many documented cases of randomly tested samples of diesel fuel. These tests prove that often times the fuel we purchase is not adequately treated and may therefore contribute to accelerated wear of our fuel delivery systems. For this reason it may be prudent to use an after market diesel fuel additive to ENSURE adequate lubrication of the fuel delivery system."
The premise is that oil companies aren't adding the required additives and therefore the user should to "make sure"
I have searched for studies of "randomly tested samples of diesel fuel...not adequately treated " but haven't been able to find any - are you aware of any that substantiate this.
I also wonder if this is an ongoing non-compliance issue w/ refiners or if it was an issue during the transition to ULSD?
I'm curious if anyone has seen any of these "many" tests of ransom samples.
We test when filling but not for lubricity. We have had fuel tested for lubricity, however and talked to some in the industry.
Here's what we've generally found. No quality issues with any major marine fuel suppliers in our area, whether marinas or fuel trucks. None in any major US marina. No problems with major marine suppliers. For instance, Petro provides fuel in most of the Alaska locations and their quality always checked out perfectly.
In all our fuel purchased in the last three years, we've only seen issues in fuel from the pump on diesel twice and on gas once (for tenders). In a small town on the East Coast we did once have diesel we checked test to have a high acid number. That would often be accompanied by low lubricity but we didn't have the ability to test for that on site. We discovered they were just being supplied from a home heating oil supplier and not a normal marine or road suppliers. We found a very small amount of water once in gas in a small volume marina in Washington. We found a small amount of water once in diesel in Central America.
I doubt that we would have experienced problems from the diesel in either case tested. The gas that failed I'm less sure of, although no one purchasing at that marina had expressed a problem. However, they were very low on fuel and upon checking felt their low fuel plus normal water in their tanks was probably responsible. They got filled that day and retested themselves with a strip we'd left them. They were fine then.
So, my conclusion, not scientific or guaranteed by any means is that in any marina doing any sort of volume, you're highly unlikely to have fuel issues. The only time you are at greater risk it seems would be winter or early spring in a northern climate marina that left their tanks low and has sold very little fuel during the off-season. That's when you do want to choose your marina carefully.
I have been told by others that many have gotten fuel with water in it in small marinas in the Eastern Caribbean and further south. The worst culprits have been those marinas where someone took a truck with cans to go get fuel. Even when we were in Central America we were on a heavily traveled route at high volume marinas.
As to lubricity I've been told there have been virtually no issues from any major fuel brand. This information comes from those in the trucking industry who use far more fuel than any of us and so check fuel at their terminals regularly plus occasionally send samples to Intertek to have lubricity tested.
There are strips available from multiple suppliers to test fuel as you're filling. It takes less than 5 minutes.
For those of you who store your boats over winter, I would recommend a water test kit to check as part of de-winterizing.