Does diesel re­ally need oil?

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: Experts -

QA fel­low boater told us we should be putting a mea­sure of two-stroke oil in with the diesel, which would lu­bri­cate/pro­tect the in­jec­tors and pump. Would that be cor­rect be­cause we have never heard of the idea be­fore? MAGGIE ALLEN, via email

ATONY REPLIES… It will do no harm other than just pos­si­bly make a bit more ex­haust smoke and might in­crease the rate at which car­bon builds up in the en­gine and ex­haust, but this would be at a very slow rate.

The spec­i­fi­ca­tion for diesel fuel (and what we buy is now road diesel with red dye added but may have no bio-con­tent) will show a min­i­mum lu­bric­ity spec­i­fi­ca­tion so, in my view, it’s just an­other old wives’ tale.

It might have orig­i­nated from the time Lis­ter was say­ing that you could run their en­gines on paraf­fin as long as you added lu­bri­cat­ing oil to it. It may have been from an in­com­plete un­der­stand­ing of fuel spec­i­fi­ca­tions so that when low sul­phur fuel be­came manda­tory, some thought the sul­phur acted as a lu­bri­cant and needed re­plac­ing with some­thing.

To fur­ther put your mind to rest, think about the com­bined har­vesters and trac­tors that farm­ing con­trac­tors use. They run on the same red diesel and clock up a mas­sive num­ber of hours per year, all with­out two-stroke oil in the fuel. If this still wor­ries you, you could use some­thing like Redex diesel ad­di­tive or, bet­ter still, some­thing that fights diesel bug.

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