December 01, 2016

Fuel Additives: Critical Information

We continue to experience excellent performance and reliability in John Deere U.S. EPA Interim Tier 4 (IT4) and Final Tier 4 (FT4) machines. Millions of hours on John Deere Interim Tier 4/Stage 3B engines have shown that ash service is typically not necessary until the first engine overhaul for machines at or above 175 hp (130 kW).

Recently, we have seen a couple of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) with premature ash plugging caused by fuel additives containing calcium. Only ashless fuel additive products should be used in John Deere IT4 and Final Tier 4 FT4 equipment. Ash-containing fuel additive products can plug DPFs and possibly poison catalysts in IT4 and FT4 engines equipped with after-treatment.

In all tiers of engines, ash in the fuel can lead to injector deposits and/or fuel filter plugging. Ash-containing fuel additive products could contain calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc and other metals. Some metals react with the corrosion inhibitors in the diesel fuel, while others can catalyze oxidation of diesel fuel. All John Deere fuel additives are ashless. Check the material safety data sheet (MSDS) of any non-John Deere fuel product before you add it to make sure it does not contain ash constituents.

John Deere also offers diesel fuel analysis as part of its fluid analysis program as an additional safeguard for your fleet. The process includes checking for and reporting on these materials and properties so you can catch any potentially damaging additives before they cause downtime.