I was wondering if I should use a Diesel Fuel Additive on a regular basis to maintain my 2011 Jetta Sportwagen TDI. If not, what about during the winter? Are the modern ULSD Fuels delivered with anti-gelling mixtures in the winter?
Thanks for sharing!
Marc, I am brand new to the TDI fold but I can share my research, which boils down to the diesel fuel sold in the US is of inferior quality and lacks the lubricity of European diesel. As a result, there appears to be a problem with the fuel pump going, which takes with it about $6,000 in other parts, for which it seems VW's response is to blame the problem on the fuel. Although it appears a snotty response knowing there is a problem, VW is probably also technically correct. This appears to be a non-existent problem in Canada where our diesel is made to European standards. My plan will be to carry a lubicating additive any time I travel in the States. My primary source of information was the TDICLUB.
Your research sounds extreme. Since I wrote this post, Ive put on 19,000 miles with no ill affects. The only development worth noting here is VW just issued a recall notice on the fuel lines. Apparently, vibration at certain RPMs causes premature wear. The solution is installing 4 vibration dampers around the lines.
If you have a link to your research on the TDICLUB, id be intrested in reviewing it.
Many thanks for your post.
Hi Marc, I am also new to owning diesels but I have been researching heavily since I got my first diesel a couple of weeks ago. There are many advocates that swear that fuel additives will do no good on new OR old diesels. They are firm believers in changing your oil frequently, having injectors and glow plugs serviced when necessary and using the proper Volkswagen approved 505 synthetic oils. Along with the regular maintenance of the air, fuel, and oil filters I would feel quite satisfied in doing just that with my new VW. All of this done properly eliminates the need for any additives.
Some high mileage diesels seem to show success (increased MPG, and "pep") using products like LubroMoly Diesel Purge which attempt to clean out injectors and deposits for a short term fix.
Cetane boost almost sounds feasible but I compare this to octane boost for gas engines. The octane boost you buy for $10 a bottle only actually increases the octane rating of your gasoline by something like 0.1. I mean if the $10 bottle changed your entire tank of gas octane rating from 91 to 98+ as advertised on the bottle, why would all the racers be paying hundreds of dollars for a couple of hours worth of high octane fuel for a track day? I digress. Maybe I've overlooked something regarding cetane additives but I am pretty sure the price tag of a dose of cetane is not going to increase my fuel economy or acceleration enough to pay for itself.
There is a significant discussion about the lubrication qualities of the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel that we now have at the pumps. It is constantly popping up in threads in all of the diesel forums. Whether the lubrication in the ULSD is lacking or not I cannot say. I have only heard one or two horror stories about pumps seizing and it was on the internet. I have never heard of such things happening to anyone in real life in my area. Nevertheless one of the best solutions I have heard of to this "problem" is adding a bit of two-stroke oil to each tank of diesel. There are a number of reasons why I favor this method to address the lubrication issues. This oil is cheap, designed to burn in a combustion chamber, and has excellent lubrication qualities. Normally two stroke oil is used in chain saws and motocross racing bikes among other things. In non oil-injection two stroke gas engines I usually mix at a ratio of 32:1 gasoline to oil. That little bit of oil mixed in with the gas is the only lubricant used in the entire two stroke engine. The little engine in my chain saw screams for hundreds of hours during every summer/fall and after ten years it still works great, all because that little bit of oil in the gas keeps the crank bearings, rod bearings, piston, rings, and cylinder properly lubricated. I have been considering adding two stroke oil to my diesel at the recommended ratios floating around out there at somewhere around 320:1. However having to carry around a bottle of two stroke oil and a funnel in my car for every tank fill-up is not my desire. I suppose a little 5oz bottle wouldn't be so bad to carry around...
Just my 2 cents on some research I've been doing on this topic. YMMV. Hope it will help!