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Three diesel engine problems that might not be what you think

May 4, 2020
Fuel and exhaust-related issues can be some of the most difficult to diagnose: A symptom in one system can often arise from a problem in the other.

The fuel and exhaust systems inside diesel engines work closely together. As a result, fuel and exhaust-related issues can be some of the most difficult to diagnose: A symptom in one system can often arise from a problem in the other. Here are three common fuel and exhaust issues that might not be what they first appear.

Your equipment is releasing more exhaust than normal

A sudden spike in emissions can mean something in your fuel system is amiss — possibly the injector, which supplies fuel to the engine. When functioning correctly, the fuel injector facilitates a clean, efficient burn by spraying a fine, even mist of pressurized fuel and air into the combustion chamber.

Increased exhaust can be a sign of deposits building up on your injector. Deposits make for an uneven spray, leading to an incomplete burn and thus higher emissions.

To reduce injector deposits and the added emissions they can cause, Cenex Roadmaster XL Premium Diesel Fuel contains an injection stabilizer, giving the fuel the strength to stand up under the intense heat and pressure inside modern injectors.

Your equipment is emitting sooty exhaust

Thick, black exhaust is a sign of a soot problem, which can often be traced back to an issue in the fuel system: a plugged fuel filter. Critical for keeping contaminants out of your engine, a properly working filter allows clean fuel to flow freely through.

Fuel filters are prone to plugging when fuel that has already passed through it fails to burn completely during combustion. This leftover fuel, now chemically damaged, will gradually plug the filter as it makes its way back into the fuel line for a second cycle.

To help prevent sooty exhaust — not to mention decreased power resulting from restricted fuel flow — Cenex Premium Diesel contains aggressive detergents that clean your entire fuel system, including the filter.

You’re dealing with regens

Regeneration, a normal self-cleaning process inside your engine, is a prime illustration of how fuel and exhaust systems work together. Typically unnoticeable, regens occur inside a component called the diesel particulate filter (DPF), a part of the exhaust system designed to control emission levels.

If fuel doesn’t burn completely, the additional soot puts extra strain on the DPF, sometimes to the extent that it can’t keep itself clean enough to operate. When this happens, the equipment can’t be used while it completes an aggressive and time-consuming reboot.

To help equipment owners have less downtime, Cenex Premium Diesel is enhanced with a cetane improver that provides a more complete burn, generating cleaner exhaust for a longer-lasting DPF.

Engine components depend on each other to keep your equipment running, especially when it comes to your diesel and exhaust systems. By taking care of one, you’re also benefitting the other. For an easy proactive way to keep both systems going strong, find Cenex Roadmaster XL at a Cenex location near you.

About the Author

Akhtar Hussain | Director of Refined Fuels Marketing, Refined Fuels

Akhtar Hussain is the director of refined fuels marketing at CHS, where he is responsible for Cenex® brand marketing, retail development and retail imaging and equipment for Cenex, which has more than 1,500 convenience store locations across 19 states. 

In his more than 10 years at CHS, Hussain has held a number of roles including manager of petroleum equipment and manager of refined fuels marketing. A Minnesota native, he received his degree in marketing from Metropolitan State University.

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