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Properties & Business for Sale (Members Only)

Independent Gas Station Owners Association

July 17, 2019

Tips of the day.

 
You can change your driving habits to increase miles per gallon but there are more corners you can cut. Fuel prices are rising and they will continue to do so if we like it or not.

Filling up your car with fuel is expensive and time consuming, so you should ensure you are getting the best. The best in terms of value for money and fuel quality as you should expect. There are little known tricks of the trade that can keep more money in your back pocket and better health for your car. Of course.
 

Lets take a look at some hacks that you might not know


1. Fill Your Car Up When Its Cold

If you took a science class, you will know that liquid is heavier when the temperature is cold. This means that you will get more fuel than if you were going to fill up when its warm. Of course, when its sunny, this would be harder to pull off. If that is the case, fill your car with fuel when its night/dawn for the extra savings.

In some counties, fuel stations will increase prices during certain periods or days. For example, the start of the week or the weekend, prices of fuel will increase as people set on their working week.
 

2. Don’t Fill Up When The Gas Station Is busy

Not many people will know about this trick but its an important one to remember. 

Why? Each time the tanker fills the underground storage of fuel at the station, it mixes with the leftover debris. This sort of dirt can have an impact on your cars engine and fuel components thus costing you money. Use a different fuel station or return after a few hours once the sediments/debris has settled and moved to the bottom.
 

3. Use Premium Fuel Once Every So Often

The more expensive premium fuel is not your first choice at the pumps which is understandable. However, the cheap fuel has no added benefits other than getting you from A to B.

Premium fuel has cleaning and other additives that ensure your car runs efficiently.

Premium fuels will also provide additional power but only if your car is performance based.

If you are on a budget, as a rule of thumb, fill your car up with premium fuel every 3rd tank. This way your car is getting the additives before its too late.

If you drive a performance car, you should be using premium fuels anyway otherwise you will see error codes on your dash. An example of this is the Mercedes C63 AMG that runs from 98 octane and above.
 

 

4. Squeeze The Pump Slower

The majority of pumps that you will use at regular fuel stations will have 3 speeds (slow, medium, fast). Using the fastest speed may seem the logical approach to reduce the time spent at pump but its not good for your wallet.

At maximum speed, more fuel vapors escape as well as fuel that results in a more costly refill. A slower rate will reduce the amount of vapors, meaning you get more for your money.
 

5. Tighten Your Fuel Cap Fully

The gas in your fuel tank will transform into vapor at higher temperatures. These vapors can escape through any air pockets and the only air pocket will be the fuel cap.

Ensure that the fuel cap is twisted tight. The vapors will return back to the fuel once the temperature drops back down.
 

6. Never Top Off Your Tank

A very common sight on the forecourt and something I personally used to do until I found out. The majority of fuel pump nozzles are designed to take back up surplus fuel and recycle it back into the pump.

This means that you are paying for fuel to go back into the stations pumps.
 

7. Use Fuel Injection Cleaners

Many car owners believe fuel system cleaners are “urban myths” but they do actually work.

For gasoline engines, there are octane boosters and cleaners, whereas diesel have fuel cleaners with additives.

Fuel Injection Cleaners provide benefits such as performance, cleaner running and more efficient operation. The small cost of the injector cleaner will add years to your cars engine health and of course provide better fuel economy.
 

8. Fuel Station Partnership Cards

Not advertised that well online (as of yet) are the membership cards that fuel stations offer. For the car owners that cover thousands of miles monthly, a fuel card can provide you with many rewards that you would not have otherwise received.

These rewards range from anything to a free car wash, free coffee and more. One of the best and well known “fuel rewards” schemes if provides by Shell Fuel. Grocery stores may also provide their own loyalty program, which you can then use in stores that may be more of interest.
 

9. Fill Up Full Tanks, Not Small Amounts

Similar to the fuel tanker at the station, your car will have sediments at the bottom of its tank.

As part of your cars care, every 20 years you are meant to clean out your fuel tank, but until then you will need to make do.

If you are the type of car owner that fills up at $10 each time, you are actually causing harm to your car. Your fuel pump will be working extra hard to get the pressure, thus over stressing the pump until it breaks. You will also have more potential of the car picking up dirt/water at the bottom of the tank.

I would advise that you fill up every 1/4 tank to avoid this problem.
 

10. Research The Cheapest Fuel Stations

Researching the cheapest fuel station may seem pointless for the sake of a tiny amount of money but it does add up.

I personally use Sam's Club or the website GasBuddy.com for US fuel stations that provides an invaluable resource.
 

Fuel Tricks and Tips Conclusion

Hopefully you would have learnt a thing or two and every little helps. Fuel companies are billion dollar companies that are probably making even more money from car owners falling for the mistakes.

A mixture of changing your driving habits and abiding by the 10 hacks, you will certainly save your hard earned money.

IGSOA is on the way to offer customer the best solution on fueling.

 

Article - 2 : Fuel Quality in Diesel.


Diesel Fuel's Quality Problem

So one might wonder what would happen if you decided to run your car on raw gasoline and just ignored the detergent and performance requirements of modern engines? Likely nothing good. Injectors would clog, emissions would increase, and you just might find yourself stuck on the roadside. Despite that reality diesel fuel users both on the consumer side at home and in commercial fleets at work are doing that very thing. They are dumping raw diesel fuel into a very advanced engine and many are learning the hard way this may not be a great idea.

Diesel has never had the best image. From the black smoke bellowing out of that truck in front of you on your drive home to the scandalous Volkswagen emissions fraud case, diesel seems to work hard at looking bad. But the other side of story is that diesel is a tenaciously competitive fuel. It provides relatively cheap and dense BTU’s that are better at powering the engines that move heavy loads than anything else we’ve come up with.

Despite the many challenges diesel faces engine manufactures have recently made some amazing progress. With the implementation of EPA Tier 4 Final in 2015 diesel engines of all classes now have nearly eliminated their smoke, soot, NOX, and SOX emissions. The chart produced by John Deere below shows just how dramatic the reductions in pollutants have been since 1996.

So if this story is about diesel fuel quality why are we talking about emissions? Well the progress on emissions has resulted in engines that put tremendous new demands on the diesel fuel. The most obvious of these demands was the reduction of sulfur in 2006 for use in the 2007 model year engines. What has been far less obvious is the unintended consequences of removing the sulfur from the fuel. With sulfur removed diesel fuel can hold far less water in solution. When that water drops out of solution in storage tanks the bacteria and algae that feed on the hydrocarbons while living in the water start having quite a feast. In the process these organisms are creating a hideous mess inside diesel tanks of all shapes and sizes.

If we were still running diesel engines with large clearances and tolerances this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. Now however, these 2010 and later diesel engines come with a very different set of technologies. The High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) engines of today operate at extremely high pressures up to 50,000 psi and injectors with clearances down to between 2-4 microns. The example video below shows how many injector ports per cylinder the diesel must flow through. Any one of these clogs with deposits or contaminants then fuel is wasted or the entire injector fails.

Emissions requirements have also resulted in engines with a daisy chain of emissions reduction equipment on the exhaust that includes a diesel particulate filter (DPF), a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit. Each of these components introduces new maintenance challenges and burdens on the engine and the fuel. If injectors clog with deposits from dirty fuel, dirty tanks or unstable biodiesel the downstream impact on each emission control component can be severe.

So is this really a diesel quality problem or a diesel specification problem? The short answer is both. With sulfur out of the fuel diesel tanks simply require a much more stringent maintenance and cleanliness regime than they have had in the past. Keep the water out and the bugs and algae won’t grow. Sounds simple, but that leads us back to the diesel specification itself, or the ASTM D-975 specification for diesel fuels in the US. More specifically for the vast majority of fleets we are talking about, “1.1.4 Grade No. 2-D S15—A general purpose, middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 15 ppm sulfur (maximum).”

To spare you reading the 27 page specification let us summarize the primary areas contributing to our biggest quality concerns:

- Can contain up to 5% biodiesel and still be labeled ULSD #2.
- Can contain up to 500 parts per million of water and sediment.
- No minimum requirement for detergent or dispersant.

Now nothing wrong with biodiesel of course most progressive fuel suppliers are integrating biodiesel into their diesel fuels and in several states you simply do not have a choice. The challenge with using increasing amounts of biodiesel is that at the temperature and pressures of modern diesel engines there are likely to be deposits formed in the engine if no additive chemistry is employed to provide detergentcy.

Water in the fuel may sound like an obvious issue but perhaps at just 500 parts per million it is really not something to worry much about. Well to illustrate just how much water that is consider this if each truck load of 7000 gallons of diesel fuel came in just below the specification that would mean that there are 3.5 gallons of water in every truck load of fuel. You just thought the water cooler guy was the only one delivering water to your business, seems he may have some competition. 

So if you are dumping nearly a 5 gallon pail of water in your diesel tank every time you get a load of diesel and that low sulfur diesel no longer holds that water in suspension let’s guess what we find in our tanks at the end of a year. I am not even going to talk about the sediment part of the specification let’s just assume running dirt through an engine with 2-4 micro clearances is on the face of it a really bad idea.

As a big fan of diesel in general I hope we can clean this up, but like any problem getting to a solution starts with some recognition that the problem is real. On that note I am starting to see a few suppliers run at this problem instead of away from it. They are offering advanced additive treatment programs, tank cleaning and maintenance solutions, and first and foremost talking with their customers openly about the challenges with diesel fuel quality. Those marketers and suppliers that get in front of this to protect their customers are going to take share and win business.

 

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: Tuesday September 03, 2019.