Increase Your Fuel Economy by Choosing Oils That Reduce Ash Build Up

As a fuel supplier, we know how big of an investment heavy-duty equipment can be. We have a fleet, and we work hard to take care of our rigs so they will last for years. But as every business owner knows, there comes a time when you have to upgrade your equipment. These rigs cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and represent a significant investment for most businesses. That’s why you want to make sure that you get the most of your equipment.

One of the best ways to get a great return on investment on a new piece of heavy-duty equipment is to pay attention to the fuel economy. Newer heavy-duty trucks and diesel equipment are designed to increase fuel economy. For example, in 2011, the US introduced new heavy-duty truck standards to improve fuel economy and lower emissions. Research shows that these new fuel standards and technologies introduced in 2011 led to a 24% fuel efficiency gain from 2011 to 2017.

All of these changes aren’t cheap. If you’ve bought new equipment in the last few years, you know that prices are rising. From 2008 to 2011, the average annual price increase averaged $2,011 a year. After 2011, that average rose to $2,500 a year from 2011 to 2017. The good news is that even though a new truck or piece of heavy-duty equipment will cost more upfront, the fuel economy technology this equipment has may save you money in the long run if you take care of your equipment correctly. For example, new trucks purchased after 2017 save owners nearly $8,200 a year, compared to models bought before 2011.

Diesel engine fuel efficiency drops over time

The more stringent EPA standards mean that new diesel trucks and heavy-duty equipment fresh off the assembly line are more fuel-efficient than ever. That’s great news for you, as long as things stay that way. But, unfortunately, over time, diesel engines slow down and become less fuel-efficient. One of the main reasons for this is the technology meant to reduce emissions, the Exhaust Aftertreatment System (EATS), and the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF).

Newer engines run faster and hotter than ever before, which means that your oil burns quicker and at higher temperatures. Over time, ash from your fuel and oils begin to accumulate in your EATS system, particularly in the DPF filter. That’s what it’s designed to do, collect these particulates before they are released into the air. The problem is that the ash begins to clog the filter and stops working as efficiently. As a result, your fuel will not burn properly, and you end up using more power to burn up the ash and debris in the DPF filter. To stop this from happening, you have to regularly service your DPF filter by removing and cleaning it. Unfortunately, this process can be costly and time-consuming.

DPF Back Pressure and Regeneration reduce fuel efficiency

When your DPF filter begins to clog up, two things happen –– increased backpressure and DPF regeneration. Let’s explore these processes.

Increased back pressure occurs when the ash blocks the flow of exhaust through the DPF filter. The exhaust gas then builds up in the filter, which causes engine stress. Your engine has to work harder to push out the exhaust, leading to increased fuel consumption.

Regeneration or ‘regen’ is how the DPF filter burns off the ash and soot that accumulates. Regen is when the engine runs at high temperatures to burn the excess particulates. Passive regen occurs during everyday highway driving. Faster highway speeds increase the burn, but sometimes passive regen isn’t enough. In that case, you may have to trigger an ‘active’ regen. This process involves injecting fuel into the DPF filter while the vehicle is running and sitting idle. The engine has to run at high speeds to trigger high RPMs to burn off the particulates in the filter. It’s a costly way to waste fuel and time as the vehicle isn’t moving anywhere.

The right oil can save your DPF filter

No matter what you do, your DPF filter will begin to clog up, and you will eventually have to remove it for cleaning and service. The trick that will save you time, money, and fuel is to reduce how often you need to service your DPF filter and keep your rig fuel efficient by reducing back pressure and regen cycles. The best way to keep your equipment fuel-efficient is to reduce the build-up of ash. Even if your DPF filter is only at 25% capacity because of ash build-up, your fuel economy can drop by 3-6% percent. That’s going to add up over time.

Choose an oil that helps reduce ash build-up. Chevron’s Delo brand of lubricants are all excellent choices. These oils increase fuel efficiency and equipment protection because of Chevron’s patented ISOSYN technology, producing superior oils from higher quality base minerals and materials. Chevron ISOSYN certified oils are designed to increase fuel efficiency, protect your engine from deposits and soot, and increase the time between service intervals.

Ask lubricant experts like us

As a fuel and lubricants supplier for more than sixty years, we’ve seen every kind of technological improvement. Our team knows what works and can recommend high-quality products, like Chevron’s Delo brand, to help keep your equipment in good working order. As a business owner, you’ve put a lot of money into building your fleet, and we believe you should reap the benefits of increased fuel economy. We know which products can help save your business money and help reduce your maintenance costs. Talk to our team today, and we’ll find the products for your equipment and service needs.