Several recently-designed combustion engines suffer from fuel dilution into the engine oil. Fuel is lost to engine oil as it moves to the crankcase, in a process known as “crankcase dilution.” This process happens around 8–9 times per 1000 rpm for a cylinder, and while it occurs in every engine, it is a significant contributor to engine wear.
In addition, it is a key reason why many Dodge Cummins engines undergo oil testing from time to time, as it is unavoidable for all engines to encounter it. In this article, we’ll look at what primarily causes the dilution of fuel in diesel engines and the hazards they can cause.
What causes fuel dilution?
There is no one source of fuel dilution, which is a major reason why it is so common in Cummins engines. Key elements that cause fuel dilution in engine oils are discussed below:
- Blow-by: This happens because almost all seals aren’t perfect, or there’s a gap between the cylinder crosshatches, allowing exhaust gases and fuel to leak into the oil-filled sections. This frequently occurs between cylinder bore and piston rings.
- A lack of upkeep: Fuel dilution in a diesel-powered pickup truck occurs gradually. As a result, if some oil is contaminated with a small amount of fuel, the consequences are minor and the oil’s performance is unaffected. That is, if it isn’t allowed to build up. If so, then problems will occur since high volumes of gasoline dilution would harm the oil and the engine’s performance. As a result, frequent maintenance by regular oil checks can prevent fuel dilution from having any negative implications, but ignoring these fundamental inspections can have disastrous consequences.
- Wet Stacking: Wet stacking is when an engine is cold and hasn’t reached its optimum working temperature Colder engines operate on a lower combustion efficiency than other engines that are at the most acceptable operating temperature, causing an ignition in the fuel later in your compression stroke. The gasoline from the injector may also adhere to the cylinder walls as a result of this. As soon as the fuel has adhered to the sidewalls, it is taken off by piston rings and enters the crankcase, slowly entering the oil system.
- Engine Changes: Modifications to a diesel engine, particularly those that affect the way fuel is pumped into it, are another reason for the risk of fuel dilution. It is frequently manifested through alterations that produce significantly more smoke. Because the smoke goes through the crankcase before exiting out the tailpipe, more smoke will naturally sip into the oil system, causing the oil dilution by the fuel and introducing various oil-contamination types.
Effects of Fuel Dilution
There are a number of issues with fuel dilution that affect the oil’s performance and the engine’s overall performance. However, the most dangerous problem caused by fuel dilution is:
- Lowering the viscosity of the oil: Fuel has a substantially low viscosity compared to oil (along with thinning and lower vapor pressure effect), which can enable mixture to have a viscosity that is lower than intended. This causes the oil to lose its lubricating characteristics and the strength of the oil film to deteriorate, increasing the level of wear on the bearings of the cylinder.
- Reducing the efficiency of the additives inside the oil.
- Excessive dilution tends to cause a substantial amount of wear and, eventually, engine failure.
Diesel Pickup Pros to Service Your Dodge Cummins
Diesel engines are preferred over ordinary gas engines because of their greater performance abilities and higher power levels. These characteristics make them popular in Dodge Cummins, pickup trucks, work trucks, and Sprinter vans. Diesel engines necessitate specific tools, equipment, and specialists who are familiar with the services required to maintain the kind of experience that drivers desire.
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