Winter tests – the diesel fuel did not fail

It is winter in Ukraine, which means that the owners of diesel cars have a new headache. The last month of the past year and the beginning of January turned out to be anomalously warm, but weather forecasters predict fierce cold in February, reaching as low as minus 30 Celsius. Are the sellers of "heavy" fuel ready for this? The Institute of Consumer Expertise wanted to answer this question, for what it has taken samples in the largest networks of gas stations in our country and sent them to a certified laboratory. The experts have some concerns, since a similar study last year showed that one-third of the samples were substandard. The current audit showed that the diesel car owners will be able to drive even in the most severe frost!

What was studied

The experts visited the representatives of almost all major networks, and optionally small chains. Shell, OKKO, WOG, Glusco, AMIC, KLO, ANP, BRSM - Nafta, SunOil, LUXWEN, Motto, and Marshall have got "in crosshairs". We investigated both regular diesel fuel and "branded" varieties, which, according to the statements made by sellers, have a better performance. The parameter list was also quite extensive, i.e. cetane index, fractional composition, a flash point in closed crucible, sulfur content, and density, as well as, certainly, the main "winter" indicators, namely a boundary filterability temperature and water mass fraction. The results surprised the seasoned experts. None had "concoctions", and only one sample appeared to be Euro 4, while the others are consistent with the other high class of Euro-5.

"Polar" records.

First of all, the laboratory tested the most important "winter" value, frost resistance. Substandard "diesel fuel" quickly turns into a jelly at low temperatures, clogs filters, and the car turns into "immovable property". The tests to determine the boundary filterability temperature have shown that only 9 samples are the "true" "winter" fuel. The rest of the participants, whose fuel was fully compliant with the law, had their indicators in the range of minus 17 Celsius and below. Formally, this does not match the "winter" brand "W" (- 20 °C), but while the temperature has not lowered that much, you can use this fuel. And the "polar" record-winner by the filterability temperature was Shell fuel (V-PowerNitro+), below minus 34 °C! This is even lower than the network declares. The ad specifies the freezing temperature to minus 32 Celsius. Further to the catwalk there is OKKO (PullsDiesel), below minus 32, and BT (Ventus diesel), minus 31 °C. In the case of OKKO, the result does not reach the advertised minus 40, but in general, it is very good.

Cetane is never too much.

Further, the experts estimate the cetane index of the subjects. Cetane index is the cetane number of fuel before applying the centane-elevating additives. When it is cold, a high cetane number provides a higher efficiency of the diesel engine and its fast start. The general principle is the more, the better. All participants met the test specification. The largest margin was showed by Shell samples (normal diesel fuel and V-PowerNitro+), 53.6 and 54.2 units, respectively, WOG (MustangDiesel), KLO (Ventus diesel), 53.6 units, LUXWEN (DTEvro) - 53 units.

Flash.

The second important parameter is the flash point in a closed crucible. It characterizes the fuel ignition temperature. Indirectly, this indicator can show whether extraneous components fall into the diesel. The participants showed no violation.

Water.

As a rule, the water gets into the diesel fuel due to improper storage or imperfect logistics. Water will cause the engine to stall very quickly, because ice crystals will clog the lines and filters. Fortunately, this time, traces of water were not detected in any sample.

Sulfur content.

The main "environmental" indicator of the diesel is sulfur content, although the sulfur combustion products are harmful not only to the environment, but also to the motor. Sulfur is fatal for converters and particulate filters, but when the sulfur concentration in fuel is less than 10 mg/kg, it is not a problem. This time, the values of this parameter were excellent. All samples but for the one correspond to the level of Euro-5! Almost complete absence of sulfur was recorded in Shell (normal diesel fuel and V-PowerNitro+) - 3 and 2, BT (Ventus diesel) - 2 mg/kg, OKKO (DF EURO) - 3 mg/kg. Excellent result!

Conclusions.

In general, the operators of filling stations are well prepared for snowstorms and frost. At least, there is no clear "substandard". Well, some networks are trying to earn more selling not quite "winter" fuel, and diesel car owners should be careful, because our climate is extremely unpredictable; a zero temperature can be suddenly replaced by snow and strong frost. Therefore, some large networks, for example, Shell and WOG, have prepared for the cold in advance, and not when the temperature reaches critical values. We can only advise motorists not to follow the low price of single gas stations and, of course, to keep an eye on the weather. At very low temperatures, they should use the Arctic diesel fuel only, because it is the only way to secure a 100% comfortable ride.

Studies according to DSTU 7688:2015 for diesel fuel grade DF-L-Euro5 Cetane index (min 46 units). Density at t 15 °C, kg/m3 (the standard is 800-845, for arctic grades - 800-840) Flash point in a closed crucible, C (the standard is min 55 C) Sulfur content, mg/kg (the standard is max 10 mg/kg)
Shell (Euro Diesel Fuel) 53.6 833.7 65 3
Shell (V-Power) 54.2 818.9 72 2
OKKO (Euro Diesel) 49 827.3 60 3
OKKO (Euro Diesel Fuel) 50.1 835.4 59 8
WOG (Mustang Diesel) 53.6 828.9 66 6
KLO (Euro Diesel Fuel) 51.7 837.4 67 3
KLO (Ventus Diesel) 53.6 835.4 67 2
BRSM - Nafta (Euro Diesel Fuel) 52.6 834.9 57 5
LUXWEN (Euro Diesel Fuel) 53.0 836.3 60 4
SUN OIL (Euro Diesel Fuel) 49.9 832.9 57 10
Motto (Euro Diesel Fuel) 54.1 827.2 62 33
Marshall (Euro Diesel Fuel) 53.5 830.2 63 6
Glusco (Euro Diesel Fuel) 48.6 832.5 63 10
AMIC (Euro Diesel Fuel) 52.3 831.7 67 9
ANP (Energy Diesel Fuel) 51.4 835.7 56 8

Studies according to DSTU 7688:2015 for diesel fuel grade DF-K-Euro5 Water mass fraction, % (the standard is max 0.02%) Boundary filterability temperature, max, °C (standard - to grade S (- 5 °C) for grade W (- 20 °C), for arctic grade (- 30 °C))
Shell (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 21
Shell (V-Power) Not detected below - 34
OKKO (Euro Diesel) Not detected - 18
OKKO (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected below - 32
WOG (Mustang Diesel) Not detected - 21
KLO (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 20
KLO (Ventus Diesel) Not detected - 31
BRSM - Nafta (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 20
LUXWEN (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 21
SUN OIL (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 18
Motto (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 17
Marshall (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 17
Glusco (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 18
AMIC (Euro Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 19
ANP (Energy Diesel Fuel) Not detected - 20

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