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Red Diesel chat............

Discussion in 'Diesel Tuning UK' started by Turkster, May 7, 2012.

  1. Turkster
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    Turkster Bro.Paul 2.5TDI Quattro Sport

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    [May 7, 2012]
    I was in the pub the other eve when the cost of fuel came up, I spoke about using used cooking oils that have been filtered and an a bit of the snake oil addertive to it was worth a shot when my other mate perked up with "Red Diesel" and went on to say he's been using it for years,

    We all sat there and spoke about the risks, engine damage and getting pulled and dipped, So i did a bit of sniffing about online to get clued up to have a better idea about what he was banging on about, TBH i found no real truth in any damage to engines, Red Diesel seems to be regular diesel but with a added red liquid to show that tax has not been paid on it,

    So my question to you is , Does Red Diesel Damage a Engine ?
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
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  3. Viking
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    Viking Member

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    [May 8, 2012]
    DERV (road diesel) has a specification of 51 cetane (cetane basically being a measure of combustion quality) and 7% biofuel. Last year the specification for red diesel was changed to match the 7% biofuel level of DERV, but red diesel specification for cetane is only 45, which is 6 points lower than DERV.

    To compare, you're looking at the difference between 95ron petrol and something like 99ron petrol, but with inverted characteristics. So if you compare 95ron petrol with 51 cetane DERV as equal, then red diesel will be somewhere down about 91ron. Well below what you'd expect from regular pump fuel.

    Bear in mind that these are minimum specifications, and may not reflect what fuel is actually delivered. It may be that the refiners choose to produce one specification fuel (DERV spec) and add the dye to make it red diesel which is fine, but they cannot by law make red diesel spec and sell it as DERV. Having said that, the extra cost involved in refining fuel to DERV spec most likely means they stop at red diesel level and remove that portion of fuel product for agricultural and heating fuel use, and then continue refining to DERV spec for road fuel vehicles.

    So in answer to your question, does red diesel damage an engine? Probably not, but it's not doing the best job of actually fueling it to it's maximum potential. Add in the fact that if you do get dipped by HMRC then it's a bad day in hell.
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  4. Turkster
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    Turkster Bro.Paul 2.5TDI Quattro Sport

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    [May 11, 2012]
    I'm not looking to use it in any of my rides, I was looking to use some in my diesel powered jet washer and see how that likes the red stuff, but i dont wont to stuff the motor up in that as they cost a fortune.
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  5. nwhiteley
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    nwhiteley Member

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    [May 11, 2012]
    I have a diesel powered generator in the shed at the bottom of the garden, would using red diesel be legal in this? I was under the impression that it was only for agricultural vehicles?
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  6. Viking
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    Viking Member

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    [May 11, 2012]
    Red diesel is for use in plant and vehicles which are not for road use. So a generator can be run on red diesel with no problems. There's another product available called Ultra 35 or Ultraplus 35 (or any sort of name like that) which is for furnace use only and not for engines. Don't buy that because it's slightly cheaper, as it's not any good for diesel engines.
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  7. George The Diesel Head
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    George The Diesel Head Member

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    [May 11, 2012]
    Red runs fairly smokey under load on the road also.... Just saying.
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