How Clean is Your Engine?

How Clean is Your Engine?

BG Products explains how keeping the engine’s vital components clean can restore and maintain power and economy.

We have all heard of the adverts from the major fuel companies extolling the benefits of keeping the engine clean – and it is true.

However, the additives in premium fuel might help to keep an engine cleaner but, by using a carbon-based fuel (and particularly dirty ones) there will always be emissions and deposits.

These deposits will attach themselves to critical components, in particular the fuel injectors and, together with oil deposits, the vitally important piston rings. BG Products, a research and development company specialising in lubrication and fuel deposits, has found horsepower losses, through lost compression alone, of 8% after as little as 45,000 miles in large diesel engines.

These losses are caused by the build-up of carbon from the combustion process filtering down onto the piston rings, plus deposits coming up from the oil side, getting behind the piston rings into the ‘ringland’ area of the piston. Together, these deposits restrict the ability of the combustion gases to get behind the rings and expand them to create the seal required for compression.

Injectors have always been susceptible to deposits on the injector pintle. These deposits form quickly because of the position of the injectors – directly in the cylinder. The impact of these deposits is to interfere with the precise delivery and atomisation of the fuel molecules. This is critical as, if the atomisation does not happen, the oxygen cannot circulate amongst the fuel molecules and facilitate combustion.

BG has also identified a new deposit that is occurring with newer injectors that are being developed to deliver fuel under higher pressure. The high pressures are creating heat, and that heat is breaking down the fuel inside the injectors before it has even reached the combustion chamber, leaving carbon deposits inside the injector.

A number of haulage operators have benefitted by including BG Products’ treatment to clean the injectors and the piston rings in their service schedule. Fresh data from a trial with a major UK road haulier with four depots has returned results that are consistent with other studies carried out in the UK and in the US: Vehicles from the BG Products-treated depot showed a 5.6% improvement in fuel economy compared with their counterparts.

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