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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N57 / M57 Turbo Diesel Discussions - 335d > Do you run a Cetane booster?



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      07-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
hotrod2448
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Do you run a Cetane booster?

I've been reading that these cars are designed to run best with 50 cetane fuel. Unfortunately I can't find anything even remotely close to that here. Nothing even has the cetane rating on the pump and there are no "premium" diesel pumps. Based off what I've read that means they are closer to the minimum rating of 40.

After filling up at my local Shell station I believe it too as the car seemed noticeably louder after just a few miles. I bought some redline cetane booster and dumped in about 6oz. They claim this can raise the rating by 7 points. It must have done something because it seemed to quiet the car down considerably in a short amount of time.

So what if anything are you guys adding to your fuel?
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      07-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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That sounds right. Higher cetane fuel will ignite sooner which leads to more complete burn which means less smoke and a tad more power and efficiency. You could also try powerservice since it's available in larger quantities which lowers you cost per dose. Also the relationship between dosage and increase in cetane isn't linear. The cetane level of the fuel prior to dosing also plays a part with how much of an increase you'll get.

Last edited by Socom; 07-19-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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      07-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom View Post
That sounds right. Higher cetane fuel will ignite sooner which leads to more complete burn which means less smoke and a tad more power and efficiency. You could also try powerservice since it's available in larger quantities which lowers you cost per dose. Also the relationship between dosage and increase in cetane isn't linear. The cetane level of the fuel prior to dosing also plays a part with how much of an increase you'll get.
I understand that. I've been around long enough to assume like anything else there is probably a decent amount of snake oil out there and I was looking for specifics on what additives if any people are using and if they are happy with the results. I'm assuming the more reputable companies like Redline, AMSoil, etc... are good but, some of the others I've never heard of.

Last edited by hotrod2448; 07-19-2011 at 01:24 PM.
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      07-19-2011, 01:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
I understand that. I've been around long enough to assume like anything else there is probably a decent amount of snake oil out there and I was looking for specifics on what additives if any people are using and if they are happy with the results. I'm assuming the more reputable companies like Redline, AMSoil, etc... are good but, some of the others I've never heard of.
Oh I don't know about snake oil. The concept is simple and there are a variety of chemicals which will get you to the same end result. As a rep from powerservice once told me. Not all additives react to the same extent with all types of diesel fuel. I do know that you want to avoid catane boosters which use certain types of alcohols. I can't remember which other than ethanol being one. It's a shame we didn't adopt euro levels or cetane with the switch to ULSD. God only know the politics of that decision
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      07-19-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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I alternate between OptiLube XPD and Powerservice. I haven't seen a significant difference between the 2 in terms of performance, but that might be me not paying enough attention.
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      07-23-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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if you're using powerservice it is a HUGE disservice to your engine. Have any of you ever tried burning the additive alone like on a glass plate or something before putting it in your engine? The shit is nasty and the naphta or aromatics they use to "boost" cetane artificially are going to gum up and tarnish your engine.

Natural cetane and artifical cetane do not work the same way.
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      07-23-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
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if you're using powerservice it is a HUGE disservice to your engine. Have any of you ever tried burning the additive alone like on a glass plate or something before putting it in your engine? The shit is nasty and the naphta or aromatics they use to "boost" cetane artificially are going to gum up and tarnish your engine.

Natural cetane and artifical cetane do not work the same way.
Ok, so what is your recommendation on how to raise our low cetane levels in areas that don't have high cetane options out of the pump?
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      07-23-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalPower View Post
if you're using powerservice it is a HUGE disservice to your engine. Have any of you ever tried burning the additive alone like on a glass plate or something before putting it in your engine? The shit is nasty and the naphta or aromatics they use to "boost" cetane artificially are going to gum up and tarnish your engine.

Natural cetane and artifical cetane do not work the same way.
Welcome back. Like I've said to you before. Ethanol being one of these alcohol s is bad bad bad. Powerservice is one of a handful of well known companies who sell a good product. Burning ethanol on a plate and saying that it performs better than ps because it produces no smoke is nonsense.
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      07-24-2011, 02:19 PM   #9
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power service cetane booster is a petroleum based product with aromatics and nitrates. These products are known carcinogens and simply increase temperatures without really increasing power.

Like socom says ethanol is an oxygenate added to our fuel to reduce CO and increase fuel mileage in the winter months and now more and more often. Unfortunately ethanol has no heat of combustion and produces no energy for propulsion therefore your fuel mileage decreases...similar to using power service.

It depends what your looking for. If you want added power, you need to boost more or take in more oxygen basically with an air intake or an oxygenating fuel additve. You need to look for a detergent fuel additive that will keep your fuel system clean also.
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      07-28-2011, 10:08 PM   #10
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So where does this leave us? stay with a cetane rating of 40?

How else would you propose to boost it if not with PowerService?
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      07-29-2011, 06:46 AM   #11
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So where does this leave us? stay with a cetane rating of 40?

How else would you propose to boost it if not with PowerService?
It's really not that big of a deal but if you insist on using a booster there a ton of products out there which offer either a booster or some combination of booster, lubricity enhancer, water remover. Drive more worry less.

Now I know of a guy who reconditions diesel injectors and he said that h has seen a couple which were run on powerservice and they still popped very close to factory specs after a couple of hundred thousand miles.

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      07-29-2011, 11:51 AM   #12
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My position at this point is I will run whatever comes out of the pump for the following reasons:
  • It just so happened my first fill up was at a station with crap diesel and the car got quite clattery because of it. I've since tried a few other stations and found the car to be considerably quieter leading me to believe they have better quality fuel. So, I'll stick to stations I know locally and roll the dice when traveling.
  • The car is new and I while I wouldn't mind having a higher cetane rating and pump lube to keep the noise down and be more efficient a lot of these products also have chemicals that swell o-rings and extra detergents that I'm not sure are necessary or even good for the engine.
  • It says right on the filler cap "No additives". So, I'm not going to put them in there and if shit goes south within the next 4 years BMW can deal with it. I'd rather not give them something to point the finger at. I'm not in it for the long haul anyway, I'll have a new one before the warranty expires.
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      08-03-2011, 08:11 AM   #13
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Below is a page taken from an independent test conducted on diesel fuel additives by Arlen Spicer. This test is not so much focued on increasing the cetane rating of diesel fuel as it is and more importantly improving the lubricity of ULSD fuel. Interesting and informative...

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Lubricity Additive Study Results

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following are the preliminary results of a research study on diesel fuel Lubricity Additives. There is likely to be further commentary and explanation added at a future time.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this research was to determine the ability of multiple diesel fuel additives to replace the vital lubricity component in ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel) fuel.

HISTORY:

ULSD fuel is the fuel currently mandated for use in all on road diesel engines. This fuel burns cleaner and is less polluting than it’s predecessor, called Low Sulfer Diesel Fuel. Low sulfer fuel contained less than 500 ppm of sulfer. ULSD contains 15 ppm or less.
As diesel fuel is further refined to remove the polluting sulfer, it is inadvertently stripped of its lubricating properties. This vital lubrication is a necessary component of the diesel fuel as it prevents wear in the fuel delivery system. Specifically, it lubricates pumps, high pressure pumps and injectors. Traditional Low sulfer diesel fuel typically contained enough lubricating ability to suffice the needs of these vital components. ULSD fuel, on the other hand, is considered to be very “dry” and incapable of lubricating vital fuel delivery components. As a result, these components are at risk of premature and even catastrophic failure when ULSD fuel is introduced to the system. As a result, all oil companies producing ULSD fuel must replace the lost lubricity with additives. All ULSD fuel purchased at retail fuel stations SHOULD be adequately treated with additives to replace this lost lubricity. The potential result of using inadequately treated fuel, as indicated above, can be catastrophic. There have been many documented cases of randomly tested samples of diesel fuel. These tests prove that often times the fuel we purchase is not adequately treated and may therefore contribute to accelerated wear of our fuel delivery systems. For this reason it may be prudent to use an after market diesel fuel additive to ENSURE adequate lubrication of the fuel delivery system. Additionally, many additives can offer added benefits such as cetane improver, and water separators or emulsifiers.

CONTENT:

In this study we will test multiple diesel fuel additives designed to replace lost lubricity. The primary component of this study is a side-by-side laboratory analysis of each additive’s ability to replace this vital lubricity. Additionally, claims of improving cetane, water separation or emulsification, bio-diesel compatibility and alcohol content will be noted. These notes were derived from information that was readily available to consumers (via the label and internet information) and none of this information has been evaluated for validity and/or performance. Cetane information has only been noted if the word “cetane” was used in the advertising information. The words “improves power” has not been translated to mean “improves cetane” in this evaluation. Information on alcohol content is provided by indicating “contains no alcohol”. Omission of the words “contains no alcohol” does not imply that it does contain alcohol. This information was simply missing in the information available to a consumer. However, the possibility of a form of alcohol in these products is possible. Additionally, information on dosages and cost per tankful are included for comparison purposes.

How Diesel Fuel Is Evaluated For Lubricating Ability:

Diesel fuel and other fluids are tested for lubricating ability using a device called a “High Frequency Reciprocating Rig” or HFRR. The HFRR is currently the Internationally accepted, standardized method to evaluate fluids for lubricating ability. It uses a ball bearing that reciprocates or moves back and forth on a metal surface at a very high frequency for a duration of 90 minutes. The machine does this while the ball bearing and metal surface are immersed in the test fluid (in this case, treated diesel fuel). At the end of the test the ball bearing is examined under a microscope and the “wear scar” on the ball bearing is measured in microns. The larger the wear scar, the poorer the lubricating ability of the fluid. Southwest Research runs every sample twice and averages the size of the wear scar.
The U.S. standard for diesel fuel says a commercially available diesel fuel should produce a wear scar of no greater than 520 microns. The Engine Manufacturers Association had requested a standard of a wear scar no greater than 460 microns, typical of the pre-ULSD fuels. Most experts agree that a 520 micron standard is adequate, but also that the lower the wear scar the better.

METHOD:

An independent research firm in Texas was hired to do the laboratory work. The cost of the research was paid for voluntarily by the participating additive manufacturers. Declining to participate and pay for the research were the following companies: Amsoil and Power Service. Because these are popular products it was determined that they needed to be included in the study. These products were tested using funds collected by diesel enthusiasts at “diesel**********”. Additionally, unconventional additives such as 2-cycle oil and used motor oil were tested for their abilities to aid in diesel fuel lubricity. These were also paid for by members of “diesel**********”.
The study was conducted in the following manner:
-The Research firm obtained a quantity of “untreated” ULSD fuel from a supplier. This fuel was basic ULSD fuel intended for use in diesel engines. However, this sample was acquired PRIOR to any attempt to additize the fuel for the purpose of replacing lost lubricity. In other words, it was a “worst case scenario, very dry diesel fuel” that would likely cause damage to any fuel delivery system. This fuel was tested using the HFRR at the Southwest Research Laboratory. This fuel was determined to have a very high HFRR score of 636 microns, typical of an untreated ULSD fuel. It was determined that this batch of fuel would be utilized as the baseline fuel for testing all of the additives. The baseline fuel HFRR score of 636 would be used as the control sample. All additives tested would be evaluated on their ability to replace lost lubricity to the fuel by comparing their scores to the control sample. Any score under 636 shows improvement to the fuels ability to lubricate the fuel delivery system of a diesel engine.

BLIND STUDY:

In order to ensure a completely unbiased approach to the study, the following steps were taken:
Each additive tested was obtained independently via internet or over the counter purchases. The only exceptions were Opti-Lube XPD and the bio-diesel sample. The reason for this is because Opti-Lube XPD additive was considered “experimental” at the time of test enrollment and was not yet on the market. It was sent directly from Opti-Lube company. The bio-diesel sample was sponsored by Renewable Energy Group. One of their suppliers, E.H. Wolf and Sons in Slinger, Wisconsin supplied us with a sample of 100% soybean based bio-diesel. This sample was used to blend with the baseline fuel to create a 2% bio-diesel for testing.
Each additive was bottled separately in identical glass containers. The bottles were labeled only with a number. This number corresponded to the additive contained in the bottle. The order of numbering was done randomly by drawing names out of a hat. Only Spicer Research held the key to the additives in each bottle.
The additive samples were then sent in a box to An independent research firm. The only information given them was the ratio of fuel to be added to each additive sample. For example, bottle “A” needs to be mixed at a ratio of “480-1”. The ratio used for each additive was the “prescribed dosage” found on the bottle label for that product. Used motor oil and 2-cycle oil were tested at a rationally chosen ratio of 200:1.
The Research Laboratory mixed the proper ratio of each “bottled fluid” into a separate container containing the baseline fuel. The data, therefore, is meaningful because every additive is tested in the same way using the same fuel. A side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of each additive is now obtainable.

THE RESULTS:

These results are listed in the order of performance in the HFRR test. The baseline fuel used in every test started at an HFRR score of 636. The score shown is the tested HFRR score of the baseline fuel/additive blend.
Also included is the wear scar improvement provided by the additive as well as other claimed benefits of the additive. Each additive is also categorized as a Multi-purpose additive, Multi-purpose + anti-gel, Lubricity only, non-conventional, or as an additive capable of treating both gasoline and diesel fuel.
As a convenience to the reader there is also information on price per treated tank of diesel fuel (using a 26 gallon tank), and dosage per 26 gallon tank provided as “ounces of additive per 26 gallon tank”.

In Order Of Performance:

1) 2% REG SoyPower biodiesel
HFRR 221, 415 micron improvement.
50:1 ratio of baseline fuel to 100% biodiesel
66.56 oz. of 100% biodiesel per 26 gallons of diesel fuel
Price: market value

2)Opti-Lube XPD
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier
HFRR 317, 319 micron improvement.
256:1 ratio
13 oz/tank
$4.35/tank

3)FPPF RV, Bus, SUV Diesel/Gas fuel treatment
Gas and Diesel
cetane improver, emulsifier
HFRR 439, 197 micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank
$2.60/tank

4)Opti-Lube Summer Blend
Multi-purpose
demulsifier
HFRR 447, 189 micron improvement
3000:1 ratio
1.11 oz/tank
$0.68/tank

5)Opti-Lube Winter Blend
Muti-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver
HFRR 461, 175 micron improvement
512:1 ratio
6.5 oz/tank
$3.65/tank

6)Schaeffer Diesel Treat 2000
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, emulsifier, bio-diesel compatible
HFRR 470, 166 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.87/tank

7)Super Tech Outboard 2-cycle TC-W3 engine oil
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 or newer systems)
HFRR 474, 162 micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
$1.09/tank

8)Stanadyne Lubricity Formula
Lubricity Only
demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 479, 157 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.00/tank

9)Amsoil Diesel Concentrate
Multi-purpose
demulsifier, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 488, 148 micron improvement
640:1 ratio
5.2 oz/tank
$2.16/tank

10)Power Service Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost
Multi-purpose
Cetane improver, bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 575, 61 micron improvement
400:1 ratio
8.32 oz/tank
$1.58/tank

11)Howe’s Meaner Power Kleaner
Multi-purpose
Alcohol free
HFRR 586, 50 micron improvement
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.36/tank

12)Stanadyne Performance Formula
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
cetane improver, demulsifier, 5% bio-diesel compatible, alcohol free
HFRR 603, 33 micron improvement
480:1 ratio
6.9 oz/tank
$4.35/tank

13)Used Motor Oil, Shell Rotella T 15w40, 5,000 miles used.
Unconventional (Not ULSD compliant, may damage systems)
HFRR 634, 2 micron improvement
200:1 ratio
16.64 oz/tank
price: market value

14)Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant
Gas or diesel
HFRR 641, 5 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
427:1 ratio
7.8 oz/tank
$2.65/tank

15)B1000 Diesel Fuel Conditioner by Milligan Biotech
Multi-purpose, canola oil based additive
HFRR 644, 8 microns worse than baseline (statistically insignificant change)
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$2.67/tank

16)FPPF Lubricity Plus Fuel Power
Multi-purpose + anti-gel
Emulsifier, alcohol free
HFRR 675, 39 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$1.12/tank

17)Marvel Mystery Oil
Gas, oil and Diesel fuel additive (NOT ULSD compliant, may damage 2007 and newer systems)
HFRR 678, 42 microns worse than baseline fuel.
320:1 ratio
10.4 oz/tank
$3.22/tank

18)ValvTect Diesel Guard Heavy Duty/Marine Diesel Fuel Additive
Multi-purpose
Cetane improver, emulsifier, alcohol free
HFRR 696, 60 microns worse than baseline fuel
1000:1 ratio
3.32 oz/tank
$2.38/tank

19)Primrose Power Blend 2003
Multi-purpose
Cetane boost, bio-diesel compatible, emulsifier
HFRR 711, 75 microns worse than baseline
1066:1 ratio
3.12 oz/tank
$1.39/tank

CONCLUSIONS:

Products 1 through 4 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 460 or better. This meets the most strict requirements requested by the Engine Manufacturers Association.
Products 1 through 9 were able to improve the unadditized fuel to an HFRR score of 520 or better, meeting the U.S. diesel fuel requirements for maximum wear scar in a commercially available diesel fuel.
Products 16 through 19 were found to cause the fuel/additive blend to perform worse than the baseline fuel. The cause for this is speculative. This is not unprecedented in HFRR testing and can be caused by alcohol or other components in the additives. Further investigation into the possibilities behind these poor results will investigated.
Any additive testing within +/- 20 microns of the baseline fuel could be considered to have no significant change. The repeatability of this test allows for a +/- 20 micron variability to be considered insignificant.

CREDITS:

This study would not have been possible without the participation of all companies involved and diesel**********. A special Thank You to all of the diesel********** members who generously donated toward this study and waited longer than they should have for the results. You folks are the best. Arlen Spicer, organizer.
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      08-03-2011, 08:30 AM   #14
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If anyone is REALLY interested in finding out what effect if any a commonly used cetane improver (2-Ethylhexyl Nitrate), found in such products as PowerService, has on engine durability/longevity when combined with ULSD, you can buy SAE International's test paper on the subject.

Test Summary:

A 1000-hour test was conducted to determine the durability effects of 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (2-EHN) cetane improver on heavy duty diesel engines. Two identical 1993 DDC Series 60 engines were run side-by-side on a severe duty cycle. Both were fueled with a commercial low sulfur fuel. The fuel in one engine was treated with 7500 ppm of 2-EHN cetane improver. At the end of the test, engine wear and deposit comparisons were made to determine the effect of high cetane improver treat rates on engine durability.

Link:

http://papers.sae.org/981364/
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      08-03-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
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Everyone should keep in mind that the base fuel used in the Spider test should never be made available for sale. It's "virgin"" ULSD.
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      08-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Everyone should keep in mind that the base fuel used in the Spider test should never be made available for sale. It's "virgin"" ULSD.
While true the test demonstrates a "worst case" senario, IMO that factoid has little bearing on the results and I believe it is the best way to demonstrate the added lubricity properties of each tested product or in otherwords to develope a baseline for each product.

Certainly an argument can be made that ULSD with a lubricity additive may react differently when combined with any one of the tested fuel additives. However, I am of the belief that the addition of a quality fuel additive will enhance the lubricity of retail ULSD.

The more important take-away as I see it is best summarized by Spicer below:

"The potential result of using inadequately treated fuel, as indicated above, can be catastrophic. There have been many documented cases of randomly tested samples of diesel fuel. These tests prove that often times the fuel we purchase is not adequately treated and may therefore contribute to accelerated wear of our fuel delivery systems."
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      11-22-2011, 06:18 PM   #17
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So at the end of the day, should we or should we not run a Cetane booster?

I only see Cetane of 40-45 and its recomended 50. I'm intersted in trying out the Amsoil product. Glad a diesel can run on almost anything and are not very finicky.
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      11-22-2011, 06:34 PM   #18
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I spoke with Chevron while a go and according to them their diesel is rated 49 or 50 Cetane's.Can anyone verify this?
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      11-22-2011, 07:11 PM   #19
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Centine rating by company


BP (Amoco branded), 51;
Countrymark fuels Diesel-R, 50
Chevron, 49; or 51 with Techron D labels in select markets
ConocoPhillips through the 76 stations (California) 47-53
PetroCanada, 47-51
BP (Powerblend 47, otherwise 40-42)
Shell, 46;
Sinclair, 46;
Sunoco Gold, 45 (often +1-5) Sunoco regular is usually 40.
Exxon/Mobile, 43-46
Holiday Stations, 40-43
HESS, 40-42, can be up to 45.
Husky, 40 + diesel Max additives raise another 1-3 from there (41-45 max)
Love's: 40
Pilot: 40
Valero: 40
Sheetz: 40
Flying J, 40
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      11-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by igom3 View Post
I spoke with Chevron while a go and according to them their diesel is rated 49 or 50 Cetane's.Can anyone verify this?
I e-mailed them and while they stated the avg is about 45 at their stations they stated it varies by station/distributor.
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      11-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #21
hotrod2448
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Originally Posted by igom3 View Post
Centine rating by company


BP (Amoco branded), 51;
Countrymark fuels Diesel-R, 50
Chevron, 49; or 51 with Techron D labels in select markets
ConocoPhillips through the 76 stations (California) 47-53
PetroCanada, 47-51
BP (Powerblend 47, otherwise 40-42)
Shell, 46;
Sinclair, 46;
Sunoco Gold, 45 (often +1-5) Sunoco regular is usually 40.
Exxon/Mobile, 43-46
Holiday Stations, 40-43
HESS, 40-42, can be up to 45.
Husky, 40 + diesel Max additives raise another 1-3 from there (41-45 max)
Love's: 40
Pilot: 40
Valero: 40
Sheetz: 40
Flying J, 40
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These rating are from Canada I believe, if they are the ones from the TDI forums. It varies from market to market.

In my state minimum cetane is 40 and it is not required that the actual rating be posted on pump. I'm sure some are considerably higher than others but, there is no good way of knowing.
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      11-23-2011, 01:45 PM   #22
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I think # are anywhere between 45 and 50
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