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Old 17-06-2008, 06:39   #1
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StarTron

Can anyone here share their first-hand experience with Diesel StartTron? The manufacturer makes claims that sound too good to be true (disperses bacteria, better fuel economy, less carbon buildup, etc, etc.) There is very little data, and the secret ingredient is, well, secret. As far as I can tell, it probably does little harm except to the consumers' checkbook, but does it actually do any good?
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Old 17-06-2008, 21:24   #2
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If it was that good....it would already be in the fuel.


I can't for the life of me figure out why people put additives in their fuel.

They are the same people that keep Algae-X in bidness i guess
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Old 18-06-2008, 02:14   #3
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It is to good to be true. Forget additives except for only one type. That is a biocide to ensure your fuel remains clean from any growth. If you can ensure your fuel is clean, you don't even need that.
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Old 18-06-2008, 04:39   #4
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Alan,
In addition to biocide, I'd put in diesel stabilizer when the boat is laid up for several months. Otherwise, I agree.

The thing that intrigued me about Startron was the claim that it will disperse the growth in the tank.
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Old 18-06-2008, 05:15   #5
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The linked article on Diesel Fuel Additives concludes:

... It may be helpful to regard additives as medicine for fuel. Like medicine, they should be prescribed by an expert who has made an effort to diagnose the problem. And they should be used in accordance with the recommendations of the engine manufacturer and the instructions of the additive supplier. Sometimes indiscriminant use of additives can do more harm than good because of unexpected interactions.

Goto: Diesel Fuel Additives
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Old 18-06-2008, 13:57   #6
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In addition to biocide, I'd put in diesel stabilizer when the boat is laid up for several months.
Here is one of those snake oil things that those additive companies feed us. There is no such thing as a "fuel stabilizer" as we believe from the way it is communicated to us. There is no additive that stops fuel becoming stale. stabilizing can mean that it contains biocide and a few other less important properties like anti-waxing, but there is nothing we can do to fuel to stop from "deconstructing" itself. In fact, the best way to stop fuel from destabilizing, is to keep it completely sealed in the tank and even better, moving. It is sitting still and having lighter components evaporating that causes fuel to stale.
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Old 18-06-2008, 18:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
Here is one of those snake oil things that those additive companies feed us. There is no such thing as a "fuel stabilizer" as we believe from the way it is communicated to us. There is no additive that stops fuel becoming stale. stabilizing can mean that it contains biocide and a few other less important properties like anti-waxing, but there is nothing we can do to fuel to stop from "deconstructing" itself. In fact, the best way to stop fuel from destabilizing, is to keep it completely sealed in the tank and even better, moving. It is sitting still and having lighter components evaporating that causes fuel to stale.
Alan,
Chevron, a reputable petrochemicals company and producer of diesel fuel, seems to disagree. I suggest you review their very informative report, found on "http://www.chevron.com/products/ourfuels/prodserv/fuels/documents/Diesel_Fuel_Tech_Review.pdf",
especially the section on fuel stability additives on page 87. The quote in Gord's post is in fact from the Chevron report.

Fuel stabilizers aren't necessary when you use your engine and refuel your tank with fresh diesel regularly, but some of us have to put our boats into hibernation every Winter. Stabilizers interfere with chemical reactions that lead to the formation of gums and particulates in diesel. This is distinct from biocides that prevent the growth of micro-organisms.
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Old 18-06-2008, 20:07   #8
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but some of us have to put our boats into hibernation every Winter. Stabilizers interfere with chemical reactions that lead to the formation of gums and particulates in diesel.
If you need to haul over the winter your problem is condensation in the tank and bacteria feeding on the moisture. If you fill the tank you minimize the moisture but be prepared to suck out water in the Racor for the first few trips in the spring. One winter is not a problem. On the second and third it's suspect. This is very common when you buy a boat up north where the slip fees are too high to keep a boat for sale in the water. On the hard the problem magnifies greatly.
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Old 18-06-2008, 20:57   #9
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While I don't know about Startron, diesel fuel has been substantially reformulated over the last few years to reduce emissions. Evidently, more change is on the way. While I have always followed the "no additive" system (other than a biocide) this may need a 2nd look.

In the US there was a major change in diesel formulation last October (I believe Europe was earlier - don't know about elsewhere in the world). For many northern US boaters the first "fill up" this summer may be a substantially different fuel than what's in their tanks.

In the US, Mack Boring is strongly suggesting the use of additives for Yanmars (specifically the FPPF brand additives they market).

Does anyone now more about what's happening to diesel fuel and what it means to cruisers?

Carl
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Old 19-06-2008, 00:54   #10
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Hang about. Lets get a few things very clear.
I don't know who Chevron is, I have a feeling I have heard the name. Is it like Mobil, Caltex and Shell etc?? Anyway, I do imagine a fuel manufacturer will have a good additive package in their fuel. They would certainly have to. A Fuel companies additive package is very different to a third party additive bought in a can. Unless the fuel company have tested and then recommended that third party additive, I would be very cautious. Many of those third party additives are nothing like what they are claimed to be. In fact, many of them are mostly Kerosene with other products like cetane added. A fuel manufacturer "balances" the fuel and some of the "Additive pack" applied is not just via pouring in a liquid. It is often a process that has to take place.
I am sorry, who is Mack Boring???
One of the big issues with diesel fuel today is the Methanol found in it. It is a high absorber of water from the air and being hydroscopic, it absorbs the water and holds it in suspension. It is not entirely sure yet if this causes any long term issues. Certainly water on its own is very bad.
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Old 19-06-2008, 02:33   #11
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Chevron is one of the world's largest integrated energy companies.; which includes brands such as Texaco (merged 2001) & Gulf Oil (acquired 1984).

Mack Boring & Parts Co. Is a major US dealer for diesel and related products; such as Yanmar, Izuzu, and ZF, Velvet Drive, and Aquadrive.

On what basis would we decide to add an aftermarket product of unknown formulation, to a fuel of unknown (& likely changing /w brand) formulation?
Additive manufacturer’s claims?
Anecdotal testimonials, of unknown provenance?
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Old 19-06-2008, 04:14   #12
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And add to that Gord, that 9 US additive companies are currently being sued. Or I imagine have been by now. Although that is including oil additives as well a fuel.
I am always amazed at the claims of people that use additives. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying none of them work. But the claims some make are always either hearsay or unmeasured. Like "I use brand X and when we removed the pistons, there was no wear, it looked brand new". When asked why did they have to remove the head and pistons, it is usually some strange excuse.
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