Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: N.E. MN
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Diesel fuels with cetane number lower than minimum engine requirements can cause rough engine operation. They are more difficult to start, expecially in cold weather or at high altitudes. They accelerate lube oil sludge formation. Many low cetane fuels increase engine deposits resulting in more smoke, increased exhaust emissions and greater engine wear.
Cetane number is a measure of the ignition quality of a diesel fuel. It is often mistaken as a measure of fuel quality. Cetane number is actually a measure of a fuel's ignition delay. This is the time period between the start of injection and start of combustion (ignition) of the fuel. In a particular diesel engine, higher cetane fuels will have shorter ignition delay periods than lower cetane fuels.
There is no benefit to using a higher cetane number fuel than is specified by the engine's manufacturer. The ASTN Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils (D-975) states. "The cetane number requirements depend on engine design, size, nature of speed and load variations, and on starting and atmospheric conditions. Increase in cetane number over values actually required does not materially improve engine performance. Accordingly, the cedtane number specified should be as low as possible to insure maximum fuel availability." This quote underscores the imnportance of matching engine cetane requirements with fuel cetane number.
Is a additive needed or required? No
Now and then I will run some Howes for a couple of tanks just to make sure I don't have any gunk developing in my tank or when the temps drop below 20*F
Last edited by Snofarmer; 03-20-2012 at 10:20 AM.