Tech Tips: Biodiesel and Your Fuel System

If you’re getting your fuel from the gas station around the corner you’re getting a mixture that can be up to 20% biodiesel.  Here’s what that means for your machine:

Know Your Engine  Biodiesel will work in most engines as long as you buy from a reputable source with a pre-blended mixture that meets quality standards.  That being said, check to see how much your engine is rated to handle.  For example, our New Holland skid steer loaders have no trouble with fuel blended with up to 20% biodiesel, but many of our older Kubota machines can only take up to 5% unless they’re equipped with a special fuel pump.  It’s important to know this because your local gas station can’t necessarily tell you the exact concentration of your fuel.  As much as we like seeing customers, we’d hate to see you down with fuel system problems.

Making the switch  If you’re making the switch from pure diesel to a bio-mix you may need to inspect and change the fuel filter a few times before returning to a normal maintenance schedule.  Biodiesel can break up fuel tank debris and these particles will need to be removed from the fuel system by changing the filter.  One or two changes should do the trick.

Storage and Shelf Life  With winter fast-approaching it’s also important to note that biodiesel has a storage shelf life.  It should only be stored for a maximum of 3 months.  This includes on-site storage tanks and the machine’s fuel tank.  If a machine sits for more than 3 months be sure to run the machine on pure diesel for 30 minutes to rid the system of unstable biodiesel.

Know your engine and what fuel it can handle, buy your fuel from a reputable source and if you have a question, ask an expert!  We know a few 😉

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