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Old 15-02-11, 21:29
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T4 Post Icon Does Diesel go off?

Silly question, but does anyone know if Diesel go off, if left in a tank for a long time?

Recently bought another van that has been stood for 2 1/2 years without being started or moved. Fitted a new battery and it started first turn of the key. Was a bit sluggish when I drove it, but given that it hasn't turned over in 2 1/2 years would expect that.

Going to have it serviced in the next couple of weeks and wondered if the deisel in the tank is still any good or does it need draining? Given the price of diesel don't want to dump it if there is nothing wrong with it.
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Old 15-02-11, 21:39
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

Diesel does have a shelf life.

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The solids that form as the result of the inherent instability of the diesel fuel and the debris formed in the natural process of fuel degradation will accumulate in the bottom of your fuel tank. The sludge will form a coating or bio-film on the walls and baffles of the fuel tank, plug your fuel filters, adversely impact combustion efficiency, produce dark smoke from the exhaust, and impact performance. Eventually fouled diesel fuel will clog fuel lines and ruin your equipment.

Filter plugging can have several causes and often critical consequences. For example, low temperatures can cause wax crystallization, which can lead to fuel filter plugging. An example would be using untreated summer diesel fuel in cold weather. Wax or paraffin is part of the diesel fuel.

Contaminant build up resulting from excessive microbial growth and bio-degradation of diesel fuel can cause fuel filter plugging. Micro-organisms, bacteria and enzyme activity, fungus, yeast and mold cause diesel fuel degradation and the formation of waste products. The process is similar to milk turning into cottage cheese, a different form of milk. Of all the microbial debris and waste products in the diesel fuel tank only about .01% is "bugs". Even though microbes may cause and accelerate the process of fuel degradation, it should be clear that the waste products clogging your filter are not the microbes but fuel components which have formed solids.
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Old 15-02-11, 21:44
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

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Originally Posted by Jim Doodle View Post
Diesel does have a shelf life.
Now that's what I call an answer Jim. Thanks.
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Old 15-02-11, 21:46
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

think it can becme contaminated by a bacteria which is treatable not sure of how to test for it or what damage it does your gonna need a new fuel filter i think there is an access point to the fuel tank between the seats take asample out and compare it 2some fresh stuff . did you change the engine oil and filter should do that before it goes anywhere.
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Old 15-02-11, 21:51
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

I'd drain it dude

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Old 15-02-11, 22:02
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

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I'd drain it dude
What's the best way to drain it?
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Old 15-02-11, 22:05
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

pull it from the tank with a suction tank (we call it suck a duck) from the feed to the fuel filter (in front and lower of the battery)

Give me a bell if you want me to talk you through it dude, its easy enough

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Old 15-02-11, 22:10
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

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Originally Posted by GazHow View Post
Now that's what I call an answer Jim. Thanks.
I was adrift out at sea once, when the caption didn't think to ask this question!
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Old 17-02-11, 11:37
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Doodle View Post
Diesel does have a shelf life.
Way to go Jim thats is probably the best answer anyone is going to get. Iv.e heard that all the major road fuel companys now use a microbiological additive to stop the bug problem, as contaminated fuel left untreated, can cause all sorts of problems inc premature corrosion in the fuel system.
I say road fuel because there are some suppliers who don't use these additives. Especially in the marine & heating fuel markets
The additives are available, but highly toxic. In short the best thing is to dump the fuel, clean the system & start again!!! & its Probably the best action to take with petrol in a similar situation.
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Old 17-02-11, 11:56
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Default Re: Does Diesel go off?

Hi,

It is a problem on yachts where the engine is not used much, and large quantities of fuel stay in tanks for a long period,
There are treatments out there, to prevent it re occurring but first off remove as much fuel as possible in the first instance.

Cheers Trev.

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