Treat your Fuel with Respect

By: Jon Kalchthaler / March 28, 2018

What’s in the fuel you are pumping into your car, truck or machinery?  Is there a difference in fuel quality from one station/supplier over another?  This little write up may be able to shed some light on these questions.  What is the “Top Tier” additive standard and how did it come about?  If we go back to 1995 you can find that the EPA defined a level of performance additive requirements within fuels to consumers.  According to the Top Tier website they report that since 1995, “most gasoline marketers have actually reduced the concentration level of detergent additive in their gasoline by up to 50%.”  This ultimately means that the lack of additives/detergents within your fuel could really be harming your vehicles with issues like engine deposits, low lubricity levels and filter plugging.  Since these standards were implemented some of the largest vehicle manufacturers have begun to take notice and adopt a new standard for the fuel being consumed by their engines.  The Top Tier movement is coming to fruition and it is beginning to make very large strides, not only within the Tier 2 gasoline engines, but also within the newer Tier 4 diesel engines. 

The term “Top Tier Diesel” is beginning to circulate in the transportation and construction industries and there a number reasons why. It is no secret that vehicle and equipment maintenance is one of the largest expenses for any transportation or construction company.  These machines are the hearts of their industries, the fuel is the life and blood that keeps them running.  Tier 4 diesel engines are evolving but the fuel has not quite kept pace with this transformation.  A major engine-maker within the diesel industry has taken notice and has begun to adopt a new mentality towards fuel.  According to the Oil Express Journal, Detroit Diesel Corp, a Tennessee engine maker, is the first to endorse the Top Tier Diesel movement.  Detroit Diesel Corp. took a more technical look at fuel operability within Tier 4 engines and is quoted as saying, ”Today’s diesel engines typically utilize High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) technology where smaller tolerances and higher fuel pressures are seen. HPCR engines will benefit from the requirements stated in the Top Tier Diesel Performance Standard, developed by a consortium of diesel Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s).”  Quote provided by the Oil Express Journal Issue
No. 9.

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As consumers are beginning to learn further about the Top Tier Diesel additive they are finding out more and more about the benefits of it.  Some of the most common issues within engine maintenance that are being averted by Top Tier additives are:

  • Injector deposits
  • Formation of carbonation deposits
  • Premature filter plugging
  • Provides thermal and oxidative stability
  • Improves and maintains fuel economy
  • Improves and maintains horsepower
  • Reduces harmful exhaust emissions
  • Improves lubricity with fully synthetic lubricity improver;
    and prevents corrosion

So the next question would be….How do you find this Top Tier additive or where can you find fuel that has it already integrated?  There are limited retailers that offer the Top Tier fuel at the pump but over the past several years more and more have adopted the philosophy and have begun to integrate it within their fuel marketing plans.  There are also additive companies that have been approved to begin advertising their products under the “Top Tier Standard”.  Those companies include BASF, Afton Chemical, Lubrizol Corp and last but not least, Innospec.  Innospec’s Top Tier additive, ECOCLEAN 4200, is a product used at Guttman Energy and available to our customers upon request.  The transportation and construction industries are beginning to embrace the change of additizing fuel year-round and are enjoying less of the reactive mindset they had as problems occurred frequently with non-treated fuel.  Truck and machinery downtime is a painful way to lose money quickly and that is one of the main reasons companies are becoming more proactive when it comes to treating their fuel. 


Categories: Industry Update, Additive, Equipment Maintenance


Jon Kalchthaler

Written by

Jon Kalchthaler


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