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Old 02-07-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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Help please re: ultra low sulfur diesel fuel!

We hope to hit the road next week on a cross country trip to California.

We recently bought a new truck to handle our also-new-to us AS. It is my first diesel, we haven't towed with it yet, but I'm really liking teh truck now that i am used to its slightly larger dimensions compared to our last 1/2ton truck.

It has the Duramax diesel, and teh manual states i am to use "Ultra low sulfur diesel fuel.'

From what I have read, that is the only type sold in Canada, but in the US, you can get both "Ultra low" and "Low."

If this is correct, what I am wondering is whether most gas stations sell one type only or both, and is it well posted as to what the product is?

Hopefully most would have the ULSD.

I'm, wondering too - if by mistake or necessity I put in a load of low sulfer instead of ultra low, hopw big a deal is it?

Major problem or now big deal as long as I don't make a habit of it.

I'm not sure if it harms the particulate filter, injectors, or what.

Any & all advice appreciated!

Thanks ....... Brian.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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Here in California we only have Ultra low sulfer diesel. Believe it or not your truck will love the sulfer if it could get it. The sulfer keeps the moving parts in your fuel system lubricated but does increase the exhaust particulates. I use an additive in my truck made by Standyne to help the pump and injectors with what they took out of the fuel. Your truck is more sophisticated than mine so it will be just fine with whatever you put in there.. just no veggie oil fuel.. still too dirty for the new vehicles. We have the new Mercedes Diesels towed in all the time when customers customers want to try something green.. the only green they get to do is hand over lots of greenbacks..
Enjoy your new truck..

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Old 02-07-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
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We have made several trips across the US and we've never seen anything but the low sulfur diesel. We did find a couple of places in Oregon that sold bio-diesel, but they are really far and few between. Have fun on your trip, we live in CA, let us know if you have any more questions.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
Here in California we only have Ultra low sulfer diesel. Believe it or not your truck will love the sulfer if it could get it.
I'm not sure this is true for trucks introduced after about 2 years ago. Did they call that 4th Gen on the transition? There was supposed to be a potential for damage. My 2006 truck is 3rd Gen and can still use the LSD (200ppm) fuel if it were available.
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Originally Posted by Tincrew View Post
We have made several trips across the US and we've never seen anything but the low sulfur diesel.
Wingeezer, Tincrew actually means ULSD. I'd see a few pumps still labeled LSD a year or more back. These days all I'm seeing in fairly broad travels is ULSD -- even in the truck islands at truck stops. Truck stops usually won't have diesel at the automobile pumps. It's occasionally a challenge figuring which are pay-at-the-pump on the truck islands -- usually those closest to the cashier.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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CanoeStream, you're right, typing error, sorry. Only Ultra Low everywhere. If you have a pre-2007 diesel and you can get Low Sulfur Diesel, its a real find.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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ULSD is readily available and will be the norm, with the LSD being the exception. IIRC it is required in all 2007 and later diesel engines. I run an additive in my 96 PSD to make up for the lack of sulfur. My truck LOVES B80 when I can get my hands on it. In my case any amount of bio is a plus. YMMV
Read your owner's manual as to what is required and adhere to it. New trucks is expensive and diesel engines even more so.

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Old 02-07-2009, 04:13 PM   #7
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Just fill 'er up; additives maybe every 5-10K. I'd love to run bio, but I have enough trouble with fuel filters failing with the "good" stuff.
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
I use an additive in my truck made by Standyne to help the pump and injectors with what they took out of the fuel.

Vinnie
Ditto on the Stanadyne additive. Any vehicle not specifically designed for ULSD is going to eventually have problems unless you start using some kind of lubricant/additive to protect the injector pump and injectors.

I just replaced the injector pump and injectors on our 92 non-turbo 7.3 diesel engine. The mechanic (whom I know and trust) said they are getting more and more diesel engines in with gauled and seized shafts due to the lack of lubricants in the diesel fuel. I'm now adding Stanadyne Formula Junior to each tankfull.

Just my $0.02

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Old 02-07-2009, 09:05 PM   #9
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I believe it was in 2007 that ULSD was mandated. You cannot buy anything but ULSD for on the road use.
A good additive makes me feel good, but I'm not sure it is needed with every tank. The injector pump makers don't want you to use them, they say it eats the seals. I'm not sure I believe that either.
Clean fuel is what is really important in Common Rail systems. Some use 28000 psi to the rail and dirty fuel will eat your injectors alive. Works like pumping abrasives through your fuel system.
I use a Nictane filter in addition to my stock filter.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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ULSD is a MUST for the life of your DPF. LSD or high ash engine oil will cause the DPF to fill with ash more quickley requiring removal and ash cleaning. ULSD is required under ARB regulations in California. Make sure you check the owners manual on your vehicle before you add any additive to the tank. Some additives can cause damage to the DOC. Both the DPF and DOC are very costly. Depending on size of the DPF they start at a cost of $1500 and up, the DOC $2500 and up. I just installed a DPF device (retrofit) on an older truck (required under ARB regulations) at a cost of $12,000. Repalcement cost for the DPF is about $7500.
Good Luck.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #11
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Diesel fuel.
Ultra low versus low sulfur.

The newer Ultra low sulfur diesel engines will take damage from using Low sulfur diesel. Use what your manual says you should use.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:17 AM   #12
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There are still stations and truck stops selling LSD. I try and get it whenever I can. The BP station at I-75, Exit 414, Ellisville, FL is one that comes to mind. I think the LSD smells better than ULSD which has a varnishy smell to me.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:43 AM   #13
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I run Stanadyne performance additive in every tank. I own a 2003 Duramax, I purchased new. I have maintained, even babied, the rig by the book. It has only 65000 miles, and I just went through a complete injector change. A $4000.00 repair luckily covered by GM's recently extended warranty to cover the known injector failures.

I have added a filter after the stock filter and before the pump. We'll see if that helps.

All I have seen for the last year or so is ultra low sulfur fuel.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
We hope to hit the road next week on a cross country trip to California.

We recently bought a new truck to handle our also-new-to us AS. It is my first diesel, we haven't towed with it yet, but I'm really liking teh truck now that i am used to its slightly larger dimensions compared to our last 1/2ton truck.

It has the Duramax diesel, and teh manual states i am to use "Ultra low sulfur diesel fuel.'

From what I have read, that is the only type sold in Canada, but in the US, you can get both "Ultra low" and "Low."

If this is correct, what I am wondering is whether most gas stations sell one type only or both, and is it well posted as to what the product is?

Hopefully most would have the ULSD.

I'm, wondering too - if by mistake or necessity I put in a load of low sulfer instead of ultra low, hopw big a deal is it?

Major problem or now big deal as long as I don't make a habit of it.

I'm not sure if it harms the particulate filter, injectors, or what.

Any & all advice appreciated!

Thanks ....... Brian.

Thanks to everyone who provided input - as always, this forum is a fantastic place to learn!

It sounds as though I don't need to worry too much about getting the right fuel and knowing what it is that I am buying - that had been my concern.

I certainly don't have any intent to try using LSD instead of ULSD even if I could find any. I was just curious to know how detrimental it might be if I got a load in by mistake.

As far as putting additives of any sort into this truck, I think that I'll likely stick with the GMC manual and use none - especially since I bought a 6 year extended warranty. Hopefully GM will be around long enough for me to benefit from it!

Likewise, although there may be benefit from changing computer chips and all sorts of things I think I will refrain and keep everything 100% stock. I'm on retirement income and this truck cost a fair chunk of change so no point taking chances with it!

Thanks again to everyone .......... Brian
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