Biofuel linked to diesel fuel filter problems

Gel-like substance causing vehicles to break down

Published:  23 December, 2013

Biofuel is being blamed for a number of breakdowns relating to fuel filters in diesel vehicles, according to the RAC.

Filters are becoming blocked by a gel-like substance, which is starving engines of fuel, resulting in in the vehicle not starting, or losing power. One of the areas receiving close scrutiny is the up to 7% biofuel content which by EU law has to be added to all road diesel.

It is believed that the colder winter weather is causing the biofuel additives to 'wax' up, clogging filters. However, when warm, the substance does not dissipate, meaning a new filter is required. The number of vehicles affected with this problem has been rising, with the RAC stating over 600 incidents were reported in November alone.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "Having diesel fuel filters changed at the right service intervals is clearly important because a failure to do so can lead to starving the engine of fuel; but from the number of breakdowns we have attended this cannot be the primary cause. "The industry is working extremely hard to find a solution but it's clear that we still don't fully understand the underlying cause."

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