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Thread: diesel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


    A friend has expressed concern at the life-span of the new common rail diesel engines while using Australian diesel, which he says has additives that the Europeans don't use. It sounds a bit batty to me, but I'm a mechanical illiterate. Can anyone tell me whether there's a difference between European and Australian diesel fuel, and whether, if there is, the Australian fuel could be expected to somehow damage a common rail motor?


  2. #2
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    I've had a bit of experience with this issue, because I had a diesel pump in a 1991 Landcruiser fail on me.

    European countries have diesel fuel with a very low sulphur level for environmental reasons. Australian diesel (except in Queensland where legislation forced fuel companies to produce low sulphur diesel as of some time in 2001) is much higher in its sulphur content.

    The low sulphur content affects seals in diesel pumps, causing them to leak ALOT of fuel. All European vehicle's diesel pumps since the early 90's have had different types of seals that aren't affected by this.

    Where the problem came in for me is I drove my uncle's 1991 Landcruiser in Queensland. It had the original diesel pump, and guess what happened? My fuel consumption gradually increased from 12L/100km on the highway to varying between 17 and 22L/100km. Thank god it had a 180 litre tank!

    Not once had I smelt any diesel, even with heaps of low speed driving on Fraser Island, but I don't know how - by the time I got to the Gold Coast on the way home though it was a different story - fuel pouring straight out the side of the pump!

    $900 to completely rebuild the pump because it was totally shot, and it's like new. They told me it'd be fine on NSW's higher sulphur content diesel too.

    So, to answer your question Peter, I doubt it if our diesel will damage common rail diesel fuel systems, but at least you'll be right if you drive to Queensland!


  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    BP in Queensland was stung for heaps when the diesel they sold caused fuel injector pumps to leak and fail internal seals. As far as I'm aware Pugs were not harmed by using this. It was was a good lurk for some suspect charaters to have suspect engine problems fixed care of BP. This included full rebuilds in some cases as incorrect fuel metering caused broken internals. This was all caused by incorrect additives.
    Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten!

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Castle Hill, Sydney
    I think, and don't quote me, that sulphur content has to go from 200 parts/whatevers to 5 parts/whatevers by the end of 2002, Australia wide. Then importers say we'll get some better diesel options.

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! Paul Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Camperdown, NSW, Australia

    We had the PR gu from ATECO at the last CCC NSW meeting and he said that one of the major reasons we don't get the top line PSA diesels in this country is that they simply can't get enough of them in Europe - also there is quite a price differential for the top line ones - they (ATECO at least) wanted the diesel and petrol cars to be the same price - it has worked with the C5 as they are selling twice as many as they expected.

    He also said, which I am not so sure about, that the top line PSA diesel was a 'CO2' special to come in at a low figure for the european tax system, and was therefore more expensive for not huge return here.

    Paul Smith

    1974 DS23 EFI BW Auto
    1974 G Special 1220


  6. #6
    1000+ Posts cruiserman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Australian Diesel is SHIT it is the bottom of the barrel stuff. Cut with god knows what. Hence much of the top european stuff does not land here. 2005 should see a new standard for fuel and the arrival of some high tech diesels. Till then I will continue to make my own biodiesel, more power, greater lubricity, less particulants, no sulphur, 93% less carcinogen producing yadda yadda.
    '94 405 SRBT

    '82 CX 2400 Pallas 5spd

    '77 CX 2400 Pallas 4spd manual Import

    '76 CX Super

    '05 WL Statesman

    '92 HZJ80 Landcruiser

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