Fuel, whether it is diesel or petrol, acts as a driving factor for all automobiles. It remains stored in fuel tanks and helps in powering the engine when you start the vehicle. Fuel lines help in transferring oil to fuel injectors or carburettors, which then spray atomised fuel to the combustion chamber and finally run the automobile. Oil companies extract both petrol and diesel from crude oil. It then undergoes refining and depending on the methods of purification, we get two different types of fuel.
Why should you check the quality of automobile fuels?
Since fossil fuel reserves are limited in India, our country imports a bulk portion of this commodity from the Middle East. It leads to the sky-rocketing prices of this product. Now, when you pay a hefty price for automobile fuels, it is worthy of ensuring that your automobile receives contamination-free oil. Moreover, the performance of cars and longevity of engines also depend on the purity of fuel you feed into it regularly. Automobile experts advocate car owners to conduct a few easy tests to check the quality of fuels.
How can you test the quality of diesel?
Most heavy-duty commercial vehicles in our country run on diesel. Fleets owners pay thousands of rupees every month procuring quality fuel for the smooth running of buses and trucks. You can conduct a simple test for verifying the quality of diesel filled in your vehicle. To go ahead with this inspection, you would require a 500-millilitre glass jar, a thermometer, a hydrometer, and an ASTM (American Society for Testing of Materials) conversion chart.
The hydrometer, used in this experiment helps in measuring the density of any liquid (in this case, diesel). You can ask for this apparatus at the petrol pumps. Fill 3/4th of the jar with diesel. Now, insert both the thermometer and hydrometer inside the oil and measure its value. After this, you need to correlate the figure obtained in the apparatus with the expected value. If the difference is more than +/-3.0, then you can complain about the product to concerned higher authorities.
How to inspect the quality of diesel without any instruments?
If you experience difficulty arranging a hydrometer and thermometer; then we have another simple test verifying the quality of diesel. The best thing about this experiment is that it takes barely twenty minutes to arrive at a conclusion. This test depends on the fact that ‘oxidation’ of diesel takes place if it lies at the tank for more than a month. You just require a test vial, a sampling pipette, and an oxidation catalyst. Pipette out 10 millimetres of diesel in the vial, introduce the oxidation catalyst to it. If the fuel is old, it will turn dark within twenty minutes. It is worth mentioning that oxidised diesel leads to tank sludge and filter plugging.
How can you test the quality of petrol?
Similar to diesel, you can also check the quality of petrol. You just require a filter paper for this analysis. First, clean the nozzle of your vehicle thoroughly so that there are no traces of dirt. Now, introduce a drop of petrol from the nozzle to the filter paper. Ideally, gasoline should evaporate within two minutes without any stain on the paper. If you notice dark pigment on the filter paper, it suggests that petrol is adulterated. Contact the Consumer Protection Department for further actions on the petrol pump from where you have procured the fuel.
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