Super Piston Slap: Fuelish Thought on Additives, Part II

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
super piston slap fuelish thought on additives part ii

Sajeev writes:

I received a brief but telling email from Mr. Hussam Adeni about a previous Piston Slap. The attachments he sent were an eye opener for someone as chemically challenged (so to speak) as yours truly. As you can see from the man’s resume, this won’t be a discussion for the faint of heart. But let me try anyway, it is a great read if you can channel your inner geek long enough in this age of twitter and rapid fire auto-tuned pop sensations.

The attached PowerPoint deck shows 5 major changes that influenced our environment. And while not all of them changed our gasoline-powered world, this shows how Euro standards and Kyoto Protocols changed our global landscape. I honestly don’t have the time (nor the sociopolitical background) to properly comment to their relevance to us Yankees. So, on to the next attachment.

Check out the PDF. For our International readership, the reduction in sulfur is a valid concern for your fuel system, and maybe the portion of an engine’s valve train that’s kissed by fuel on a regular basis. I know this is a problem for stateside motorists with older diesel-powered machinery: the low sulfur fuel does require an additive for older oil-burners to properly function over the course of years. While I am not certain how this impacts gasoline vehicles in the USA, the conclusion looks valid for the world in general:

“Unlike before, it has now become necessary to dose ‘after treatment additives’ to engines.”

So the implications of low sulfur fuels is real. They have less of the desirable properties seen in older, sulfur rich, fuels. Which begs the question, should you use a fuel additive? My guess is twofold: if you have a “keeper” of a vehicle for the next decade or more, yes. Not at every fill up and not if you use a gasoline that’s guaranteed to replenish what was lost from the sulfur. How’s that for an answer that doesn’t answer your concerns?

If this is a short term love, then no way. Which makes this much easier for a large number of our readership. Off to you, best and brightest.

Implications of ULSD or low sulphur regime [PDF]

Environment: Major changes in Fuel Lubes [PPS]

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4 of 19 comments
  • ChuckR ChuckR on Sep 15, 2011

    ComfortablyNumb I don't think you would be quite as sanguine if your engine was damaged due to lower lubricity. You probably couldn't prove it but you'd still be out the repair bill. I'd be comfortable with a car whose manufacturer states that the engine is designed for fuels meeting these standards. But with current cars' longevity, it seems there will be a period of years where owners of older cars might want to review the arguments for and against additives. Unfortunately, the back and forth are enough to cross a rabbi's eyes.

  • Slance66 Slance66 on Sep 15, 2011

    So here's a real question for the B&B. If there is a need for such additives, which additives will provide both the cleaning (I'm guessing: all) and the greater lubrication properties? I'm pretty sure the base STP injector cleaner for $1 does the first job, but have doubts about the second.

    • See 1 previous
    • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Sep 15, 2011

      If the diesel has direct injection, which is fairly common nowadays how does an additive help? The newer DI gas engines have the same problem.

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