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  #1  
Old 02-01-2015, 11:24 PM
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Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

f anyone has experience with Diesel fuel please talked about Cetane levels. That is like Octane for gasoline. Ideal Cetane level is at about 50-51 which our engines will run like a dream. From what I have read most truck stops are 40 which is like running a 87 octane car on 85. Not great. It seems what I have read on other diesel sites is that named brand diesel like Chevron, Texaco run at 49 in California all fuels are 50 and above because of CARB requirements. Shell and Sinclair run at 46. Most articles said to avoid the truck stops because of the lower quality diesel. Anyone have any updated information? It is really hard to find the Cetane level of the different diesel brands. Mike

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Old 02-02-2015, 07:09 AM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

I see this is cross-posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaessler View Post
It is really hard to find the Cetane level of the different diesel brands.
That's why I gave up on this same line of inquiry last year. Data was mostly just hearsay, with the most "authoritative" data derived from a way out of date thread post on the TDI forums. Telling people to ask station attendants is a joke suggestion: last time I asked a station attendant about their diesel they didn't even know what "winterized" meant. Hell, the attendant didn't even know if it was #2 or #1.

That, and the first time I filled up at a coop outlet for a brand of "premium diesel" (Cenex Roadmaster XL) I immediately lost 5 mpg and started getting 24 mpg on the interstate. I'm guessing it was dirty fuel. For bonus irony, I had driven 10 miles out of my way to get this "premium diesel".

Anyway. Last time I stopped at a Kwik Star that was selling reputable premium diesel (winterized) I just skipped it and put in straight #2 (i.e. non-winterized).

Furthermore, it's not the truck stops you want to avoid. They have high turnover and therefore have "fresher" 60 million year old diesel. Rather, you want to avoid any station that looks like they sell 40 gallons of diesel a year or otherwise appears poorly maintained.

All this to say: be more concerned about dirty or high-sulfur fuel than cetane levels... the minimum cetane level for highway diesel is a federal standard. If you really want to boost your cetane equivalent, I suggest buying some Diesel Kleen from Walmart and dosing your own tank up to "premium diesel" levels. I do.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:54 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

I've never seen anything over 40 posted here in the DC area.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:31 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

Here in California all diesel is rated at 50 or more. State laws - I guess it makes up for the crappy regular gas we get.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:13 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

California has the highest cetane level in the nation at 50, because of a state law. Elsewhere around the nation, it is 40-50. Stop in and ask at the gas station attendant about cetane levels, and they will look at you with a blank stare. I asked the driver of the diesel truck from the refinery, and he looked at the paperwork and nowhere could he find the cetane level. He said in Minnesota, all diesel comes from one of two refineries, and it is "all the same stuff".
I got hung up on cetane levels when I first bought my jeep. I drove 20 miles to go to a Shell station which is supposed to have a cetane level of 46. I never noticed a significant change in milage. Now days, I only fill at truck stops to get the freshest 6 million year old fuel. High turnover means less contaminates and water in the fuel.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:15 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaessler
It is frustrating that they don't place the cetane levels on the pump.
I totally agree. I spent one evening driving around my metro area to various name brand stations (Shell, BP, etc) looking for a cetane number on their diesel pumps, but to no avail.

True, it was mostly an excuse for my brother and me to drive my brand new Jeep around, but still, the lack of info was disheartening.

Quote:
Did that diesel kleen make any difference in performance? Say MPG or quieter operation?
Hm, my Jeep is fairly quiet regardless. I hear more tire/road noise (stock Forteras) than engine noise when I'm on the highway. I find the diesel engine clatter to be a reassuring "powerful" sound, and this engine is the quietest diesel I have heard.

As for Diesel Kleen, there's a summer type that boosts cetane and claims to clean injectors. There's also a winter type that boosts cetane and prevents gelling. The winter type is unnecessary unless you have non-winterized #2 and are in a cold area. Almost all stations in the applicable areas are selling winterized #2 right now.

I have used the summer type (boost/cleaner). Be aware that it's really hard to tell if one is getting 5% better fuel economy. I mean, can you say for certain you would only be getting 29 mpg instead of 30 mpg at any given moment? I'd say give the Diesel Kleen a try. It's about $5 retail to get a bottle that will "double dose" one tank. It costs less if you buy in bulk and use it at the lower, "normal recommendation" level.

Also, be aware that the stuff is *pungent*. Do *not* plan to leave a container in your vehicle once it has been opened, even if you think "oh, man, I'll just crank the lid on, wipe it down, put it in a Ziplock freezer bag, and it will be fine". No, it won't. Also, really wipe down your funnel and put *that* in a freezer bag. You can still smell *that* a bit. The use of nitrile gloves is basic common sense here.

Good luck, and let us know if you find more data about cetane levels at various places.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:41 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadkill View Post
I totally agree. I spent one evening driving around my metro area to various name brand stations (Shell, BP, etc) looking for a cetane number on their diesel pumps, but to no avail.

True, it was mostly an excuse for my brother and me to drive my brand new Jeep around, but still, the lack of info was disheartening.



Hm, my Jeep is fairly quiet regardless. I hear more tire/road noise (stock Forteras) than engine noise when I'm on the highway. I find the diesel engine clatter to be a reassuring "powerful" sound, and this engine is the quietest diesel I have heard.

As for Diesel Kleen, there's a summer type that boosts cetane and claims to clean injectors. There's also a winter type that boosts cetane and prevents gelling. The winter type is unnecessary unless you have non-winterized #2 and are in a cold area. Almost all stations in the applicable areas are selling winterized #2 right now.

I have used the summer type (boost/cleaner). Be aware that it's really hard to tell if one is getting 5% better fuel economy. I mean, can you say for certain you would only be getting 29 mpg instead of 30 mpg at any given moment? I'd say give the Diesel Kleen a try. It's about $5 retail to get a bottle that will "double dose" one tank. It costs less if you buy in bulk and use it at the lower, "normal recommendation" level.

Also, be aware that the stuff is *pungent*. Do *not* plan to leave a container in your vehicle once it has been opened, even if you think "oh, man, I'll just crank the lid on, wipe it down, put it in a Ziplock freezer bag, and it will be fine". No, it won't. Also, really wipe down your funnel and put *that* in a freezer bag. You can still smell *that* a bit. The use of nitrile gloves is basic common sense here.

Good luck, and let us know if you find more data about cetane levels at various places.
Yes I will let everyone know if I can break the code of silence. Thanks for your input and the warning about that stuff being "pungent". Mike
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:44 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

For once it sounds like California did something correct. Maybe that rule should be for all 50 states. At least when I go to San Diego once in awhile to see my daughter. I will then fill up with the 50 cetane diesel. It will be interesting if I notice anything. If you look at the diesel sites from the US government they state the higher the cetane up to 55 the better the engine will run. Mike
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:30 PM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaessler View Post
For once it sounds like California did something correct. Maybe that rule should be for all 50 states. At least when I go to San Diego once in awhile to see my daughter. I will then fill up with the 50 cetane diesel. It will be interesting if I notice anything. If you look at the diesel sites from the US government they state the higher the cetane up to 55 the better the engine will run. Mike
Yup, the higher cetane will allow the engine to have a more efficient burn which ends up giving us more power per stroke, and lot cleaner particulate emissions (more of the fuel is burned) - which is the REAL reason of the California laws. Just happens to work out better for diesels to be around 50 or more...
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:17 AM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

Sounds like it would be good for the rest of the states also.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaessler View Post
Sounds like it would be good for the rest of the states also.
True. However, what would the per-gallon cost premium of such a mandate be? Would we come out ahead?
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:53 AM
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Re: Quality of Diesel Fuel (anyone have the facts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadkill View Post
True. However, what would the per-gallon cost premium of such a mandate be? Would we come out ahead?
Who knows, but I did check diesel prices in the california direction I was going, around the San Diego area. Most was about $2.75 except Costco which was $2.45. I live in Southern Utah where it's averaging about $2.75. So the 50 mandated cetane is about the same as the 40 in Utah. Except for that good Costco deal which looks great. But I shouldn't wast your time talking about what if's. Sorry. MIke
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