Diesel Fuel Ecomony Drop

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 08:55
ThreadID: 32502 Views:1717 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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Hi guys, just wondering if everyone's found that they're getting worse fuel ecomony since the start of the year. I read in a fourbie mag that they were dropping the sulfur content in diesel 1st January 2006, from 2000 parts/million to around 50 parts per million, something to do with Kyoto(?). In my turbo diesel shortie maverick I haven't been driving any different but have dropped around half a km a litre to 7.8km/L, where I used to get low to mid 8's. Talking to some relies that have diesels have dropped too... My cousin's 4.2 TD GU is only getting 6.5km/L and another cousin's better half has a 3 litre and gets around 7km/L!!!

In anyone else in the same boat?

Cheers,
Ben
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 09:38

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 09:38
My economy has gone to pot as well. But I suspect it has more to do with the 700KG odd I carry and the 1500KG I tow than the sulfur in the fuel. Used to get 10.5 lt per 100KM when the 'Lux was new and unladen. On a recent trip I got 14 lt per 100KM. Glad I got that long range tank now.

Perhaps the fuel change is making it even worse???
AnswerID: 164695

Reply By: 3.0turbob - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 09:39

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 09:39
Ben,
I have a 3ltr TD Patrol, haven't noticed a drop in economy, but I'm on my 3rd tank of ultra low sulphur diesel from the local Caltex (they have a yellow tag on all thier diesel pumps now, saying "Now Ultra Low Sulphur") and it seems to be running a bit smoother & "free-er?" Maybe just my imagination. I'll keep an eye on the consumption and see if there's any difference to before.

Rob
AnswerID: 164696

Follow Up By: Redback - Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 08:36

Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 08:36
Thats because your 3.0lt is like my TD5 it's designed to run on low sulfur diesel (ie) it's a modern common rail Turbo diesel.

Not an old clunker like the 4.2lt
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FollowupID: 419823

Reply By: Member - Wilgadene (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 12:04

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 12:04
Hi Ben,
Yes, A definite change noticed, I'm getting about 80k's less per tank (65L) on my 4Runner. I haven't changed vehicle weight or driving habits. Same roads travelled etc.

Cheers
Kev
AnswerID: 164713

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 12:52

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 12:52
I recall reading that on older diesels (pre 1994) the low sulfur fuels may lead to leaking seals. Apparently an additive to the sulfur fuels makes the seals expand. With the new fuel,they contract, which may lead to leaks.

BP had trouble when they first bought out the low sulfur fuel and paid for a lot of fuel pumps to be repaired.

Might some of the economy loss be leaking seals?
AnswerID: 164724

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 12:57

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 12:57
Hi there Norm, I have noticed a small increase in fuel usage probably around 50/70 klms on a full tank, when you refer to leaking seals are you meaning external on the pump or internal there for burning more fuel unoticeable, doesn't seem to be blowing any more black smoke or any leaks visible around the outside of the pump ?? Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 13:11

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 13:11
I don't know the answer to that Steve. I read about the problem in the current RACQ magazine (Road Ahead). It is a story about why diesel is so expensive at the pump, despite being cheaper to produce. The following is an edited extract from the article:

' The material used in fuel pump seals of many diesel cars, trucks and tractors built before 1994 remains prone to leaking, due to age and differences in make up of low sulphur diesel batches.
According to RACQ, ULSD (ultra low sulphur diesel) minimal aromatic levels will continue to cause problems in old seals until they are replaced with more resilient new seals.
Removing sulphur from fuel has a couple of side effects. It reduces the fuels lubricating properties, although this has been resolved in Australia by the use of a additive to increase lubricity.
The second effect is the reduction in aromatic content. Aromatics add to exhaust emissions so it is desirable to keep levels to a minimum. Aromatics have a swelling effect on older seal materials in fuel pumps, which in effect keeps them from leaking. But when aromatic content is reduced, the seals shrink and depending on their condition, may leak.'
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Follow Up By: udm - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 18:21

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 18:21
I reckon there has gotta be some problem with the new diesel... I have just changed a few seals/orings on my pump, next was my brother, and now a friend of mine.

Ulises
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Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 19:32

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 19:32
Norm C,

A coupla litres of new supermarket vege oil in each tankful will add heaps to the lubricosity of diesel, with no detrimental affect or mods needed to any diesel engine - inc common rail.

Tim
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 14:15

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 14:15
Interesting observations, my brand new Lux is a little shy of reaching the manufacturers claimed combined economy, 9.7 litres / 100km vs 9.5 litres/100km. What is the best diesel to buy, ultra low sulphur, or shell vs mobil vs whoever..? Like to know if anyone has an opinion on the varying diesel fuels or is it a case of they are all the same..?
AnswerID: 164742

Follow Up By: Muzzgit (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 00:30

Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 00:30
In most capital cities (not all) the diesel is imported by one of the big three and sold on to the others. In Perth, Shell is the importer/distributor.
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FollowupID: 419794

Reply By: traveller2 - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 15:19

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 15:19
Rumour has it they are adding biodiesel to improve the lubricity back to pre low sulphur levels.
anyone know?
Apparently Caltex owns the biodiesel plant at Berkley Vale.
AnswerID: 164756

Reply By: Aandy(WA) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 21:35

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006 at 21:35
I have been getting 9km/l from a TD Prado for the last 3years. No change at all.
AnswerID: 164858

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 00:32

Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 00:32
If infact they are adding biodiesel to the mix then that is axactly why fuel consumption has risen.

One thing I am absolutely sure of, my 3.0 patrol doesn't stink like it used to!!!
AnswerID: 164900

Follow Up By: Member - Marquis - Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 08:21

Wednesday, Apr 05, 2006 at 08:21
Maybe less sulfur = less stink
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Reply By: DesC - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 17:33

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 17:33
i find that if i use Shell diesel i get a decrease in performance and economy. sitting on 100k i could get 8 kl now i only get 7.23 in same temps and vehicle loads.
AnswerID: 166726

Follow Up By: Member - Ben P (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:25

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:25
Cheers DesC, what do you use then?

Ben.
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Follow Up By: DesC - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:46

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:46
Last little while been using caltex and mobil when i can. Used mobil for years and had no problem until they closed down. Had terrible runs with shell, engine temp high when towing and all sorts of things. Could be just related to some of the servo's that i use as there are probably only a few major suppliers of fuel in the north.
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FollowupID: 421796

Follow Up By: Member - Ben P (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:59

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:59
I think it might just be a service station thing... The 2 times I've used Mobil I got a bonus with some water in my diesel. Cost me injectors and a new fuel pump, so I'm still a little hesitant to use Mobil.
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FollowupID: 421798

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