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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 March 4th, 2010, 17:58   #1
twincam2000
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Default Fuel additives

Is it OK to use a fuel additive like Power service or Sea Foam occasionally in my 2010 Jetta TDI ? I use about half a quart in my Cummins 5.9 about every 3rd tank. I haven't seen any talk about this on this forum and was just wondering if it would be alright to use it.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 18:47   #2
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I would definitely use an additive on a 2010. Stanadyne Lubricity Formula would be my first choice. Not sure how well the Power Service is with lubricity. I don't know what's in Sea Foam, so I personally wouldn't use it with the expensive exhaust aftertreatment on the CR engines.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 18:58   #3
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In short, yes.

A couple of good reads:

http://www.enertechlabs.com/Ultra_Lo...esel_Facts.htm

Note the section on why manufacturers are silent on additives.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...&Number=974029

Whatever you use, make sure it is ULSD compatible.

I use Opti-Lube XPD
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:39   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twincam2000
Is it OK to use a fuel additive like Power service or Sea Foam occasionally in my 2010 Jetta TDI ? ..
Do you have a problem that you believe an additive would help solve? I would have to guess that most additives sold are not needed for the car, but makes the owner happy and the manufacturer wealthy.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Meehan
Do you have a problem that you believe an additive would help solve? I would have to guess that most additives sold are not needed for the car, but makes the owner happy and the manufacturer wealthy.
You might want to read up on the problems with ULSD in the U.S...
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI Believer
You might want to read up on the problems with ULSD in the U.S...
I have and I don't see good evidence that there is a problem. I have seen a lot of theories, but no real data. Do you have a source you could point me to with real statical data showing real issues.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 04:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Meehan
I have and I don't see good evidence that there is a problem. I have seen a lot of theories, but no real data. Do you have a source you could point me to with real statical data showing real issues.
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

http://www.clean-diesel.org/vehicle_performance.html
"Like Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, ULSD fuel requires good lubricity and corrosion inhibitors to prevent unacceptable engine wear. As necessary, additives to increase lubricity and to inhibit corrosion are added to ULSD fuel prior to its retail sale. With these additives, ULSD fuel performs as well as Low Sulfur Diesel fuel."

Just Google "ULSD" and "Corrosion" and you will find a wealth of into.

In my personal experience, I lost a full set of injectors on a relatively new Dodge RAM Cummins CR due to lack of lubricity in the fuel. The replacement set of injectors was starting to go when I caught on and started using a lubricity additive. No more problems after that.

Believe what you wish.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 04:21   #8
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I'm not using an additive in my 2010 TDI until VW tells me which one. I frankly don't believe the lubricity issue. Mercedes was using direct fuel injection in gasoline engines since the 1950s. Gasoline has nil lubricity.

I do believe that there is a problem with wax drop out with ULSD because I experienced this in my 2004 diesel tractor. The engine on it was cutting out after 30 minutes to an hour's use. I emptied the tank and found a couple globs of whitish/yellowish wax near the outlet line from the tank. So, I use an additive in its fuel to protect against this. It seems that the old additive called kerosene is less effective in preventing wax formation in ULSD than it did in the preULSD diesel.

This wax formation is only a problem below about 10 F. My TDI is parked in the garage where it seldom goes below about 40 F. So, I don't need an additive in its tank for wax protection.

I use Seafoam in my carbureted engines. It's great for those. I've heard that it isn't so good in injected engines. Really don't know. It definitely cleans up and keeps carburetors clean on both 4 cycle and 2 cycle gasoline engines.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twincam2000
Is it OK to use a fuel additive like Power service or Sea Foam occasionally in my 2010 Jetta TDI ? I use about half a quart in my Cummins 5.9 about every 3rd tank. I haven't seen any talk about this on this forum and was just wondering if it would be alright to use it.
My $.02.

-In order to sell a car in the US it must be able to run for 10 yrs/120k miles. This is why you hear about "lifetime" fluids and components. Many TDIer's intend to keep their cars for 2 to 3 times longer. Keep this in mind.

-The companies who build the fuel injection systems (ex Bosch) have stated that the the lubricity present in Euro quality fuel is the minimium which will not shorten the life span of their components. US spec USLD does not meet Euro for lubricity. IIRC their statement never quanitified what "shorten" is.

-Auto companies are not in the additive business, and do not offer certification of additives unlike what they do for engine oil. So you will never have an auto company say any additive is ok and most state no additives required. There's an obvious liablity component which can not be ignored. Now for example it's true that VW sold/used Stanadyne years ago, but that appears to be no longer the case, and I know of another german car company which states no additives yet their dealerships sell a gasoline fuel injector cleaner branded in their name.

-You're seeing more and more "premium" diesel which meets Euro spec for lubricity and cetane. Oil companies are not dumb. They've managed to get a min specification below that of Euro quality only to sell Euro quality at a premium. Consequently there's a greater chance that if you buy diesel from a pump which alludes to being premium or above their normal grade you're getting Euro quality diesel.

-I have yet to read any report/instance where a well known readily available diesel fuel additive caused any negative affects or damage to the exhaust treatment systems or injection systems of a diesel powered vehicle. A car company can just as easily deny a warranty claim citing bad fuel as they would for an additive so from a warranty perspective there really is nothing gained when choosing not to use an additive.

-Biodiesel (B2,B5) seems to be the best/cheapest option to insure adequate lubricity for our injection systems and VW allows it. If it's available, it's worth using in my opinion.

Last edited by Cool Breeze; March 5th, 2010 at 11:10.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:50   #10
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Well said!
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Old March 5th, 2010, 15:52   #11
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Coolbreeze...that's worth a ton more than 2 cents...great response
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Old March 5th, 2010, 19:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI Believer
Well said!
From everything I've been able to dig up California diesel pretty much fits the definition of premium. I've contacted Conoco/Phillips, Chevron and ARCO and all of them claim their lubricity is at/below or close to the European standard.

For me. VW Say's 'don't use um' and I don't but I do purchase my fuel from any of the above companies.

I live and work in Southern California so my driving is a combination of freeway and city streets with lots of 'rush hour' type driving thrown in. I have just under 6,000 miles on the clock. My last tank of fuel took me 513 miles and required 12.475 gallons. You do the math. (hint, over 40 mpg).

As you can see from my 'fuelly site' I'm inching up the chart and I expect to break into the 37 mpg ladder after my next fuel up.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 07:07   #13
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So far I am still seeing much the same thing as I have seen before, like

"The lack of real information or hard facts has led some to believe that this "new" ULSD fuel will be a panacea, a wonderful cure-all for all the fuel related problems of the past, present, and future.

While this not a "the sky is falling" moment, we believe it is prudent to investigate the changes in fuels and engines and act to protect the very large investment that is made in today's equipment.

In virtually every case where new rules and regulations have forced dramatic changes to existing technology, there has been a period where failures and unintended consequences have caused significant problems, expenses, and disruptions until the technology "works out the bugs".


While I believe there is some good reasons to be skeptical or the current fuels. I would guess there is equally good reasons to be skeptical of the products marketed to "correct" the possible problems.

I am looking for some solid statical and real world studies that show real world issues.

Once again, I am not trying to say there is evidence that there is no problem, but I am not seeing the evidence that there is a problem.

I would like to thank all those who have taken their time to respond.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 07:16   #14
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Joe, at this point in thime...you will find neither either way. You have to decide what you personally want to do. For many of us, there is enough "evidence" to warrant a well known brand of additive to help supplement the lubricity additives or lack there of in the fuel we purchase. As was stated above, there has been ZERO evidence that any additive has caused any issues reaking havoc with a VW fuel system. On the other hand, there is "evidence" that HPFP have failed for this very reason.

We will continue to go back and forth like DEMS and REPUBLICANS and we will never agree...all the more reason to drive more and worry less and do what you feel is best for your car
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Old March 7th, 2010, 08:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twincam2000
Is it OK to use a fuel additive like Power service or Sea Foam occasionally in my 2010 Jetta TDI ? I use about half a quart in my Cummins 5.9 about every 3rd tank. I haven't seen any talk about this on this forum and was just wondering if it would be alright to use it.
PowerService? Maybe.

Sea Foam? Maybe in a gasoline engine.
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