Diesel Bug Explained
You may not have ever considered the possibility when running a diesel engine, but despite its volatile nature, this common fuel is a host for a bacterial threat to your fuel systems and to your vehicles’ diesel engines.
Diesel fuel may naturally contain a wide range of bacteria and other, similar microscopic threats that are collectively referred to as diesel bugs. Provided you practice regular maintenance of your fuel storage tank then this should never be a problem but, should the diesel bug be left untreated or fuel left sitting still, you can quickly have a serious infestation. Within your storage tank, diesel fuel contamination can result in corrosion, blockage and engine failure.
What Causes Diesel Fuel Contamination?
Diesel fuel contamination comes about in much the same way that any bacterial contamination comes about. The diesel bug bacteria find their way into the fuel through the tank vent or through fuel transfer and will lie dormant in the fuel tank. If this bacteria comes into contact with water, such as the condensation on the inside of a half empty fuel tank, it can quickly begin its growth. Diesel bug microbes can multiply rapidly, forming a visible layer of growth and waste where the water meets the fuel. Once this happens, you are faced with a diesel fuel contamination and the possibility of engine failure should these microbes get into the fuel system.
Diesel Bug Treatment and Removal
If you have an infestation, then a diesel bug treatment can involve a thorough tank cleaning and disposal of the contaminated fuel. Making use of testing kits for diesel bugs can save on this trouble by letting you catch contamination before it gets into your system, and diesel fuel filtration systems can then thoroughly decontaminate your fuel, making it safe for use again.
Diesel Bug Prevention
The best course of action with diesel bugs is prevention. You can save on difficult diesel bug treatments by ensuring you do all you can to keep the bacteria from having the right environment to grow into a problem. If you have the luxury of using your diesel fuel regularly, then you shouldn’t be affected by diesel bugs, however if you store your diesel for long periods of time before use, then the implementation of a tank re-circulation kit keeps the diesel bug from forming colonies and growing further. Some diesel additives are also available to kill the bugs before they grow.
Diesel bugs are, unfortunately, one of those things that will always be a concern to users of diesel engine vehicles, and although it can be a severe problem, it is very easily avoidable. Being free of diesel bug is simply a matter of diligence in maintaining your diesel storage tanks.