General Diesel Knowledge

A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Diesel Engines

By Mike McGlothlin

It’s no secret that the majority of Americans are more accustomed to gasoline engines than diesels. Statistics gathered by R.L. Polk confirm this, as just 2.8 percent of all registered passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, and vans) ran on number 2 diesel fuel in 2013. To be sure, most folks in the U.S. expect to find spark plugs or coil packs when they pop the hood, not turbochargers and injection pumps (two very key elements on nearly every diesel engine you’ll come across,

About Biodiesel and Biodiesel Blends

As pressure increases to lessen America’s dependence on fossil fuels, biodiesel will become more widely used as a blended component of diesel fuel. Some states have mandated that all diesel fuels contain varying percentages of biodiesel, and the U.S. government has authorized a B20 fuel (20% biodiesel and 80% diesel fuel) for use in non-strategic applications. Poor cold weather performance, high water content and microbial infestation will require biodiesel fuels to be treated for reliable performance.

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) Fuel

In 2006, the EPA mandated that refiners transition to nationwide delivery of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel. ULSD contains less than 15 ppm sulfur and allows emissions on 2007 and newer diesel engines to be the most environmentally friendly engines ever produced. While emissions are greatly reduced, ULSD ushers in newer operational challenges for the diesel engine operator. These challenges include accelerated wear rates on fuel injectors and pumps requiring the use of Slickdiesel® Lubricator technology.