If you are like me and are the owner or skipper of either a yacht or powerboat that has been ‘bone idle’ over the past year and a half and you had the foresight to treat the onboard fuel before lockdown, all well and good. However, if not and you are worried as to the condition of your fuel in the tank now is the time to act before you leave your berth! Did you know that you can purchase, for a very reasonable price, a Marine 16 Diesel Bug Test Kit? It can be used to check for microbial contamination of diesel fuels in boats, storage tanks, home heating fuels, road going vehicles etc.
Should you be unfortunate enough to find you have an issue, Marine 16 Diesel Treatment(as used by the RNLI) is the way forward. Marine 16's Diesel Bug Treatment is specifically designed to prevent or eradicate diesel bug contamination. It will disperse into both the fuel and water phases and will remain active in the fuel for over a year. As you use the treated fuel it will eliminate growth throughout the fuel feed system.
Cure: Ideally the tank should be cleaned out as much as possible prior to treatment in order to remove sludge deposits. The treatment will break down this sludge over time but several treatments may be required. Diesel Bug Treatment breaks down the slimes and dead organisms to small black particulates that pass through the system like any other dust.
For moderate contamination where there is evidence of stringy slime in the fuel or the filteruse the product at 100ml to 500 litres of fuel. Ideally this should be added to a full tank to ensure contact with all surfaces.
For severe contamination where filter blocking or injector fouling is occurring use a shock dose of 100ml to 100 litres of fuel.
After treatment continue to use at a preventative level so that the problem does not reoccur.
As you well know Marine diesel engines are reliable and economical - unfortunately these benefits can soon be lost unless the fuel system is maintained. Excessive exhaust smoke, increased fuel consumption, rough running, poor cold starting, dirty injectors and blocked filters are primarily caused by contamination inside the engine or the existence of bacteria within the diesel fuel.
With the introduction of biodiesel and Ultra-Low-Sulfur diesel things can only get worse, especially with regards to diesel bug and lubrication. Marine 16's Diesel Fuel Complete treatment is a highly sophisticated package designed to quickly, thoroughly and safely clean all marine diesel engine fuel systems turning carbons, fats, acids and other contaminants into a harmless liquid form which is then burnt through the normal combustion process. It releases combustion rings, frees injectors and valves and dissolves contaminants completely.
Diesel Injector Cleaner (DIC) is a once only treatment to remove harmful deposits in the fuel pump and injectors of diesel engines. DIC cleans fuel lines and injector deposits providing a cleaner, easier starting engine. DIC reduces emissions, improves fuel consumption and prevents smoke from exhausts.
If your engine is smoking, we recommend you use DIC before calling an engineer to remove injectors etc. Smoking is often due to gumming and lacquering of fuel components which develops over time or from using degraded fuel and will be a lot more cost effective than removing injectors unnecessarily.