What is ‘Diesel Bug’ & How can I tackle it?


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If you are experiencing frequent breakdowns in your vehicle or boat, then you are probably experiencing a problem that is often referred to as ‘Diesel Bug’.

‘Diesel Bug’ is a term used for microbial bacteria, fungi, and algae within the fuel tank contaminating the fuel. It does this by creating a layer of silt in the bottom of the fuel tank over time, which then gets caught within the engine eventually blocking the components rendering them unable perform.

What Causes it?

If there is an air pocket within a fuel tank this will lead to condensation when the temperature of the fuel is higher than that of the air flow in the fuel tank. This condensation leaves a layer of water on the fuel that will eventually sink. Within this water, there will be microbes that can survive on the oxygen within the water, eating the diesel. Eventually these microbes die and respawn, which creates the sludge and silt at the bottom of the tank commonly known as ‘Diesel Bug’.

How to Get Rid of Diesel Bug?

Diesel Bug is easily resolved with Exocet’s Anti-Bug that has an immediate effect and does not add to the sludge or slime. To ‘kill’ or ‘shock treat’ fuel, it is recommended that the treat rate is 1 litre to treat 5,000 litres of fuel. Fresh fuel is then added with a maintenance protection does of 1 litre to treat 20,000 litres of fuel. This ensuring that all areas in the tank are protected with a coating of treated fuel. After 48 hours the fully treated fuel will be usable, but it is recommended that you change the fuel filters regularly throughout the next week to ensure that all the dead ‘bugs’ are removed.

How to know if Fuel has Diesel Bug?

Now that you know the causes of and how to treat Diesel Bug with Exocet’s Anti-Bug, you will need to know how to spot the signs that your fuel tank is contaminated in the first place.

Any of the following issues could indicate fuel contamination:

  • Filters keep getting blocked
  • Noticeable sediments within blocked filters
  • Unexpected loss of power to the engine
  • Increased fuel or oil consumption
  • More rapid vehicle component corrosion
  • The engine stopping suddenly
  • Difficulties when starting the engine

Should you spot any of the signs listed above then why not contact the Exocet technical team? Our team can advise the best course of action to resolve the engine issue, or in this case eliminate the presence of Diesel Bug.

Prevention is always the best solution. This method of tackling Diesel Bug is a much more sustainable and provides peace of mind to businesses that rely on their vehicles to enable them to meet deadlines. They are less likely to be faced with an unexpected engine failure due to bacterial infestation and saves the cost of delayed deliveries or component replacements due to excessive corrosion.

Exocet Anti-Bug prevention dosing in fuel is cheaper than using the ‘kill’ method when it comes to treating ‘Diesel Bug’. With approvals by Mercedes-Benz, DAF, MAN, NATO, Deutz, Shell, the Swiss Army, and many more as a fuel additive, you really are in the best hands with Exocet when it comes to your fuel.

If you would like more information about Diesel Bug or would like to order a sample of our Anti Bug product, speak to our specialist technical team on 01743 761415, take a look at the product here or email info@fastexocet.co.uk