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Old 12-04-2006, 09:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
RayMich
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GM's Position on Diesel Fuel Additives

As we all know, this is a very controvertial subject.

Below are statements from GM's diesel engine supplement as well as GM Bulletin #03-06-04-017B stating General Motors position on this subject.
___________________________

From the Duramax Diesel Engine Supplement (Page 5-2)
Diesel Engine Fuel
Notice: Diesel fuel or fuel additives not recommended in this manual could damage your fuel system, fuel-operated heater (FOH) (Van models only) and engine. Your warranty would not cover this damage. And:
  • Diesel fuel that has been mixed with engine oil or automatic transmission fluid could damage your engine and emission controls.
  • Aftermarket diesel fuel additives are not tested by General Motors. Some additives, particularly those which contain alcohol or water emulsifiers, may damage your fuel system. If you believe that unique circumstances call for a fuel additive to be used, consult your dealer for advice.
  • If you ever run out of diesel fuel, it can be difficult to restart your engine. To avoid all this, never let your tank get empty.
If gasoline is ever accidentally added to the fuel tank, to avoid severe engine damage, do not run the engine until the fuel tank can be drained.
___________________________

General Motors Corporation

Bulletin No.: 03-06-04-017B

Date: September 07, 2005

INFORMATION

Subject:
Information on Diesel Fuel Additives

Models:
·2006 and Prior Light duty and Medium duty Trucks
·2006 and Prior Isuzu Commercial Medium Duty Models
·2006 and Prior HUMMER H2

with 6.5L, 6.6L Duramax®, 7.2L or 7.8L Diesel Engine (VINs D, F, P, S, Y, 1, 2, 3 – RPOs L65, L49, L56, L57, LB7, LLY, LBZ, LC8, LG4)

Supersede:
This bulletin is being revised to add model years, enhance the content and add GM diesel fuel conditioner. – Please, discard Corporate Bulletin Number 03-06-04-017A (Section 06 – Engine/Propulsion System).

Important:
The use of diesel fuel additives is not required or recommended for the 6.5L or the 6.6L Duramax® Diesel engine under normal conditions. The filtering system is designed to block water and contaminants without the use of additives. However, some customers may desire to use fuel additives to improve the characteristics of available diesel fuels.

Water Emulsifiers and Demulsifiers
If the customer desires to use a fuel additive, care must be taken in its selection. There are two common methods that fuel additives use to cope with water in the fuel. One method is through demulsification of water in the fuel. This method causes water particles to combine together to form larger particles, which drop out of suspension. This allows the fuel-filter/water-separator to separate the water from the fuel as it is designed to. The other method of coping with water in the fuel is through emulsification . This method, often using alcohol as the emulsifier, keeps water particles suspended in the fuel. Emulsification of water in the fuel can allow water to get past the fuel-filter/water-separator, in most cases causing damage to the fuel system. Only alcohol free water demulsifiers should be used in General Motors diesel engines. GM Diesel Fuel Conditioner®, P/N 88861009 (in Canada 88861038) or both *Racor Power Shot® and *Stanadyne® diesel fuel additives are alcohol free and utilize water demulsifiers to cope with water in the fuel. Other brands may be available in different areas; be sure that they clearly state that they are alcohol free demulsifiers before use.

* We believe these sources and their products to be reliable. General Motors does not endorse, indicate any preference for or assume any responsibility for the products from these firms or for any such items which may be available from other sources.

Common Diesel Fuel Concerns

Fuel Waxing/Icing
Fuel distributors blend #1 and #2 diesel fuels for seasonal requirements in a particular region. No other blending of fuels is recommended. However, a customer may desire to use a winter fuel additive to prevent fuel waxing or icing during extreme cold snaps. If a winter fuel additive is to be used, it should not contain alcohol or other water emulsifiers that may compromise the water removal effectiveness of the fuel filtering system.

Bacteria and Fungi Growth
Bacteria and fungi growth can occur in diesel fuel when there is water present, especially during warmer weather. The best prevention against bacteria and fungi growth is to use clean fuel that is free of water. There are diesel fuel biocides available that are designed to kill bacterial growth in the fuel system. However, the dead bacteria can still cause blockages throughout the fuel system. If bacterial growth is found in the fuel system, the proper method of removal is to flush the fuel system using the service Manual procedures, replace the fuel filter element and refill the tank with clean diesel fuel. If a customer desires to use a biocide after flushing the fuel system, it should not contain alcohol or other water emulsifiers.

Low Cetane Number
The cetane number is one indicator of a diesel fuel's ability to ignite. There are may indicators of overall fuel quality such as cleanliness, specific gravity, volatility, viscosity, detergency, corrosion inhibiting abilities, and lubricity. Increasing the cetane number alone is not a fix for poor quality fuel. Additionally, increasing the cetane number beyond the engine's requirements will not increase performance. However, the cetane number of diesel fuel is not always consistent and some customers may desire to use a cetane improver to ensure full performance of their engine. If such an additive is to be used, it must not contain alcohol or other water emulsifiers.

Poor Lubricity
The 6.5L diesel and the 6.6L Duramax® Diesel engines are designed to operate on today's low sulfur fuel without the use of additives. A fuel additive designed to increase lubricity is not a fix for poor quality or contaminated fuel, but some customers may desire to use a lubricity additive to aid in the longevity of their fuel system components. If such an additive is to be used, it must not contain alcohol or other water emulsifiers.

Fuel Source Issue
If a vehicle is properly maintained but has fuel contamination issues, consider obtaining fuel from a different source. Purchasing fuel from a high volume fuel retailer increases the chance that the fuel is fresh and of good quality.

GM Diesel Fuel Conditioner®
Part Number___________________Description______________________
88861009(in Canada 88861038)_ Conditioner, Diesel Fuel (11 oz)_

___________________________

(NOTE: Underlined emphasis added)

I highly recommend reading the Duramax® Diesel Engine Supplement included in the glove box.

It's your truck and you should do whatever makes you comfortable. Just keep in mind that if you have a problem while using something that is NOT RECOMMENDED, particularly if GM has specifically said NOT to use it, you could have difficulties getting GM to provide warranty coverage.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
DMAX154
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I really don't understand all of this. #1 If you do actually have a problem while using a non GM approved fuel addative #2 How are they ever gonna prove there is something in the fuel other than what they recemmond and that you put it there.

Just my .02
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some dealers have been known to pull a fuel sample and have it analyzed at GM's request if there was an injection system problem.

The sample can come from the fuel tank or in some cases from the injection pump or fuel rail itself.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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All well and good but how do they prove that you were the one that put it in the fuel. Not the place were you got your fuel?
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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All they have to say is that THEY won't cover the damage. It's up to you to prove that someone else cause the damage and then YOU have to make whoever caused the damge pay for the repairs. It is not GM's responsibility if your local fuel station put the wrong fuel in your truck; it's between you and the station owner.

I know, it sucks, but it is still NOT GM's fault.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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GM did approve 2 additives when needed.

Stanadyne and Racor

Here's the link to Stanadyne's pdf bullitin that mentions GM's bullitin number for the approval:

http://www.stanadyne.com/new/ppt/showfile.asp?id=1687

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Old 12-04-2006, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dragon;1447993;
GM did approve 2 additives when needed.

Stanadyne and Racor

Here's the link to Stanadyne's pdf bullitin that mentions GM's bullitin number for the approval:

http://www.stanadyne.com/new/ppt/showfile.asp?id=1687

.
Yes, they are both included in the Bulletin posted above.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sparknotes version: stay away from additives with alcohol and do not use alcohol in your tank if your fuel gells up.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ray,
Thank you for posting that. I hope all of the DP members that still have questions about fuel additives will read it.

As an aside, the most commonly available additive Power Service does not contain emulsifiers (alcohol). You're safe with it as far as I and many many others are concerned.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Can a Mod mak this a sticky? Sounds like a good idea, and will kill a bunch of repeat questions in this area.
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