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DEALING WITH DIESEL: Tigercat


All Tigercat FPT engines require fuel filters and diesel fuel that meet certain minimum standards.

Understanding these requirements and putting some simple best practices in place will ensure that your Tigercat FPT engine provides peak performance and a long, trouble-free service life.

Diesel engines have been around for over 100 years, and because of the greater energy density of diesel fuel they are common among all kinds of heavy machinery. In recent years, new environmental regulations in the United States and the European Union have had a profound impact on diesel fuel and engines. Modern diesel engines operate at much higher temperatures and pressures than in the past. This means that even slight contamination in fuel can result in serious engine damage.

Diesel engines have been around for over 100 years, and because of the greater energy density of diesel fuel they are common among all kinds of heavy machinery. In recent years, new environmental regulations in the United States and the European Union have had a profound impact on diesel fuel and engines. Modern diesel engines operate at much higher temperatures and pressures than in the past. This means that even slight contamination in fuel can result in serious engine damage.

Typical fuel quality issues
Diesel fuel is denser and has a more complex chemistry than other fuels such as gasoline and can develop a number of problems if not handled and stored correctly. Dirt, water, algae and asphaltene are all contaminants that cause fuel filter plugging or collapse, resulting in severe damage to the engine and fuel system.
Water and dirt can enter fuel storage tanks and cause algae (microbe) growth. Removal of water in the fuel is key to limiting algae. Long periods of fuel storage can create an ideal environment for algae to grow in fuel storage and vehicle tanks. If algae is allowed to grow in fuel tanks it can become diffi cult to remove. An additive can be added to the fuel to address the problem, but if a heavy “bio-film” of algae has accumulated on the surface of the tank or other equipment, the additive may not be able to completely penetrate the film. This results in short-term relief, but the problem quickly returns as the algae further reproduces. In this case, the fuel tank may need to be completely drained and cleaned by qualified professionals.
A fuel filter clogged with algae.
Asphaltene is the term used for high carbon content fuel molecules, which are naturally present in diesel. Asphaltene buildup is due to high fuel injection pressures used in modern diesel engines. The diesel fuel is continuously recirculated and exposed to high pressures and heat, which results in the agglomeration of asphaltenes into larger and larger clusters of solids. These solids may grow so large that they damage the fuel injectors or plug the fuel filter.
Fuel filtration requirements
Fuel filters for Tigercat FPT engines must meet Tigercat’s filtration and water separation specifications. Failure to use the correct filters will severely impact fuel system life and reliability. Damage that results from using improper filters will not be covered by your Tigercat warranty.
Contaminated diesel fuel.
Filters must be changed every 250 hours or more often if there is reason to suspect fuel is contaminated. Where equipped, the transparent fuel/water separator filter bowl should be checked daily and water drained from the system as required.
Ensuring diesel fuel quality

For maximum protection of your Tigercat FPT engine, fuel should be filtered coming out of the storage tank. Tigercat recommends using a multistage filtration system on diesel storage tanks or mobile fueling carts. This helps to ensure the fuel put into the vehicle is at the c