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Fuels & Lubricants Discussion all about Fuels & Lubricants. synthetic oil, conventional oil, brands, change intervals, diesel grades, gelling and such debated items like that. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed. This forum is NOT for the discussion of biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

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Old June 24th, 2017, 13:19   #1
jason0423
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Default Kind of a noob question on cetane and additives

So I just bought my first new tdi and plan to drive it a minimum of ten years, and likely much longer. I've got an '01 beetle tdi i bought used and have a lot less money at risk with that one, so I just fill it at the gas station by my house. One diesel pump, probably has the same diesel in the tank from when it was built. With this new car, I want to know what SHOULD be done. I've got that station by my house, and there's a Loves truck stop by my work. It's a small truck stop, and it's currently closed for some renovation, but they will reopen soon. There's also a BP right next door. Does it really make much difference what I put in, so long as it comes out of the diesel pump? Should i be concerned with cetane ratings?
Secondly, I see a lot of people putting additives in their car. Powerservice, etc. necessary? Every tank?
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Old June 24th, 2017, 14:43   #2
ZippyNH
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I suggest buying from higher volume stations....
This tends to help keep their tanks clean a dry...
When fuel gets wet, it tends to harbor algeee and slime growth...
This can cause issues.

You might notice the car seems to run slightly better when fueled at one location...but most fuel comes out of one if two or three shared pipelines...so Honestly, differences are more about how it was stored locally, and what the local station added. Some add PS or 1-5% bio to add lube to meet the requirements of the diesel spec.
I use power service in the white bottle year round...it has additives that keep moisture from settling out when big changes in temps happen.
Likewise I fuel before the tank is too empty...my gut feeling is foaming fuel with air is bad for the pump.

I do avoid the local gas stations that never seem to have anybody using their pumps....
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Old June 25th, 2017, 06:03   #3
jason0423
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I typically fill up between at between 1/4 and 1/2 a tank. It's a rule my employer has with vehicles, and I've just brought that over into my personal vehicles, too.
My guess would be that truck stops have the most turnover then. There's a station a little bit out of my way near home that has a lot of usage, and separate islands on the other side of the building that have nothing but diesel.

I'll look for some power service. Probably could use something since the car has basically just sat for two years. The dealer serviced the battery and drove it 5 miles once a month during those two years, but still.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 10:32   #4
Jetta_Pilot
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I need to clarify, I do not spend winters in the cold. In October I head south and I return late April.

Since 12 years ago I have been using PowerService in the silver bottle which gives you a higher cetane boost compared to the white bottle.

Silver bottle is for warm weather use !
White bottle is for cold weather use !

PS: I buy my fuel at high turnover stations, one reason for the high turnover is that they offer the best price.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 11:59   #5
MichaelB
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Originally Posted by Jetta_Pilot View Post
I need to clarify, I do not spend winters in the cold. In October I head south and I return late April.

Since 12 years ago I have been using PowerService in the silver bottle which gives you a higher cetane boost compared to the white bottle.

Silver bottle is for warm weather use !
White bottle is for cold weather use !

PS: I buy my fuel at high turnover stations, one reason for the high turnover is that they offer the best price.
Water is water warm weather or cold it's just that in cold weather it can freeze. Anyhow your fuel pump and injectors don't like water period. High turn over stations can still accumulate water over time. What benefit do you see in a higher cetane than pump fuel? And white bottle also increases the cetane not as much but can you honestly tell the difference?
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Old June 25th, 2017, 12:03   #6
ZippyNH
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The cost is minimal for most additives...
For about 250 gallon of PS fuel treatment it typically $15-20 for the largest typical bottle.
I usually just splash in a dose, with a funnel...I typically use about 2x the suggested level.
Yes...ps has a silver, aka Summer, but lacks the additional additives to keep water in suspension.
The white has this...also has anti gel, admittedly not needed in the summer.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 12:12   #7
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I've been driving Diesel cars since the mid 1980's and have never ever had a problem with water in the fuel.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 12:17   #8
MichaelB
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I've been driving Diesel cars since the mid-1980's and have never ever had a problem with water in the fuel.
Until you do. Maybe never I'll give you that. You didn't answer the question of what high cetane does for your car.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 12:41   #9
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Until you do. Maybe never I'll give you that. You didn't answer the question of what high cetane does for your car.
Maybe it's a placebo ?
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Old June 25th, 2017, 13:05   #10
MichaelB
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Maybe it's a placebo ?
Thank-you
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Old June 25th, 2017, 13:14   #11
MichaelB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZippyNH View Post
I suggest buying from higher volume stations....
This tends to help keep their tanks clean a dry...
When fuel gets wet, it tends to harbor algae and slime growth...
This can cause issues.
And it helps keep their tanks dry by passing along in very small amounts to the fuel you buy hence why I use PS white year round.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 13:57   #12
ZippyNH
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Quote:
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And it helps keep their tanks dry by passing along in very small amounts to the fuel you buy hence why I use PS white year round.
+1
Exactly. The fact you can usually buy it cheap every spring is nice too!! Pick-up a couple jumbo bottles...good for a long time!
My gut feeling is that many fuel pump failure like are from two main reasons...
Running low on fuel....foaming fuel is bad lube...
And water is terrible lube...a slug of it going through a pump is bad...
And after 6 hours parked, and maybe a big temp drop, water settles out if fuel.

PS white helps to prevent the water from settling out...
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Old June 25th, 2017, 14:03   #13
IndigoBlueWagon
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I've been driving diesels longer than Jetta_Pilot and have never had a problem with water in fuel, either. And I do a fair amount of traveling and fuel up all over. I've also never seen water come out of a fuel filter when changing it.

However, I always use a lubricity additive in my fuel. Right now I'm using Opti-Lube, but I've used Stanadyne, Powerservice, biodiesel, even 2 cycle engine oil in the older cars. I don't think it matters what you use, but I do recommend using something.

Having said that, my two sons have driven diesels only since they got their licenses, 10 and 12 years ago, respectively. They don't use additives. And they're usually shopping for the cheapest fuel. No problems, ever.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 14:12   #14
MichaelB
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[QUOTE=
However, I always use a lubricity additive in my fuel. Right now I'm using Opti-Lube,
Having said that, my two sons have driven diesels only since they got their licenses, 10 and 12 years ago, respectively. They don't use additives. And they're usually shopping for the cheapest fuel. No problems, ever.[/QUOTE]

I was going to hit on the fact that many here do not use any additives and have had zero fuel issues just like your sons. You use Optilube because you sell it. The only one I use is PS white for prophylactic value against water. That's it in a nutshell
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Old June 25th, 2017, 14:19   #15
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I use a lubricity additive because HermTDI recommended it when he did my first timing belt change on IBW in '05. That's when I started using 2 cycle engine oil, at his suggestion. And it did make the car run quieter. Lots of the engine noise an a rotary pump TDI is actually the pump, not combustion.

Since then I've used B20 in the older cars, but switched to an additive only when I got my '12. In that car I was interested in doing whatever I could to maintain the HPFP. I'm not as worried about that now with the '15 or the BMW, but I still think the additive is a good idea.

And I suppose you're right, I do use Opti-Lube because we sell it. It's not uncommon for a gallon or two to get damaged in shipping to us. I have a 275 gallon diesel tank at my house with a pump, so I dose it when I have the tank filled. It's a good way to dispose of the damaged gallons.
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