Fuel Analysis

Many diesel engine problems can be traced back to the quality of diesel fuel. Contaminants like wax crystals, water, asphaltines, bacteria fungi and mold can damage to your machine’s engine. Harmful effects can include smoking, clogged filters and loss of power.

Diesel fuel quality can degrade during storage for many reasons:

  • Exposure to water due to condensation for outside storage tanks
  • Exposure to airborne dirt and particulates
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Biological contamination (bacteria, fungi and mold)
  • Mixing different quality levels or types of diesel

Fuel Test Kits

Bobcat offers fuel analysis kits customized to your needs. The basic kit tests for the various contaminant types. The advanced kit also does this, plus it tests for key criteria related to cold weather operation. Use these to confirm the quality of your bulk supply.

Harmful contaminants can be detected through fuel analysis, such as:

  • Wax crystals
  • Water
  • Asphaltines
  • Bacteria, fungi and mold

Test Criteria

Test Package
Included 
Included 
Elemental Metals (24) by ICP
Included 
Included 
Particle Count
Included 
Included 
Bacteria, Fungi, Mold
Included 
Included 
Karl Fischer Water, PPM
Included 
Included 
API Gravity
Included 
Calculated Cetane Index
Included 
Distillation
Included 
Cloud Point
Included 
Pour Point
Included 
Thermal Stability
Included 

Fuel Analysis Products

Bug alert biological test kit for compact equipment fuel systems with all items of kit displayed

Bug Alert Biological Test Kit

Effective control of microbial contamination through biocide use is only possible when routine monitoring of fungi and bacteria levels are performed. The Bug Alert® test kit is a good “go/no-go” kit that makes routine determinations of fungal and bacteria populations quick and easy.

The Bug Alert® test kit contains flexible plastic strips to which nutrientcontaining filter paper is attached. The kit is complete and ready to use. No special equipment or training is necessary. Test results can be read for Aerobic Bacteria (AB) as early as 24-36 hrs, and for Yeast & Mold (YM) as early as 72 hrs. Test results will yield a rating for Bacteria or Yeast as “negligible, moderate, or heavy” and will prompt the user to take appropriate action regarding the use of a biocide.

It includes materials to conduct 10 complete tests of diesel or gasoline fuel systems. The kit has a room-temperature shelf life of two years from date of manufacture. 

Official product photo of Gasoila water finding paste tube

Gasoila Water Finding Paste

Quickly and accurately detect water in fuel storage tanks with Gasoila. The mustard yellow paste quickly turns red upon contact with water. It’s effective with gasoline, diesel, or other hydrocarbon products, sulphuric, nitric and hydrochloric acids, ammonia, soap solutions, and other chloride solutions.

Application Instructions:

  1. Wipe dipstick clean and dry using a clean cotton rag (remove any residual paste from prior dipping operations)
  2. Apply a thin but opaque film of Gasoila Water Finding Paste over several inches of the bottom end of the dipstick.
  3. Fully insert dipstick into tank for 10 seconds. Do not leave longer – this may give false results.
  4. Remove dipstick and examine the paste within 5 seconds.

Reading Results:

  • No paste color change: No water present in tank
  • Color changes to red extending up from bottom of dipstick and remains red: clear indication of water in tank.

How to Collect Fuel Samples

Equipment manufacturers provide recommendations for preventive maintenance practices, but how critical a piece of equipment is to production is a major consideration for determining sampling frequency. High temperatures, dusty conditions, short trips with heavy loads, and excessive idle times can also significantly shorten maintenance intervals.

Fluid analysis is most effective when samples are representative of typical operating conditions. Dirt, system debris, water and light fuels tend to separate from lubricants and coolants when system temperatures cool. For optimum results, consider the following best practices:

  • Take samples while systems are operating under normal conditions or immediately after shutdown while they are still at operating temperature.
  • Take samples at regularly scheduled intervals.
  • Take samples from the same sampling point each time.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-time sampler, a well-designed, quality fuel analysis program puts you on track for well-managed, cost-effective equipment maintenance.

Get Started With Fuel Analysis

To learn more about the benefits and testing process for diesel fuel, contact your local dealer.
Find a Dealer

Related Fuel Service Videos

View All Service Videos
Bulk Fuel Considerations for Tier 4 Engines Operator safely fueling Bobcat T770 with gas pump after fuel analysis

Bulk Fuel Considerations for Tier 4 Engines

When storing bulk diesel fuel, several steps must be taken to meet the fuel cleanliness requirements for your Tier 4 equipment. These steps include evaluating your storage solution, changing your bypass filter at least twice a year, periodically testing and analyzing your fuel and establish a record keeping system.

Fuel Management for Tier 4 Engines Operator filling a Bobcat E35 compact excavator with diesel fuel.

Fuel Management for Tier 4 Engines

Today’s diesel engines for compact equipment run cleaner than ever before. However, this makes them highly-susceptible to contamination. To keep your machine running smoothly, using high-quality fuel, replace your fuel filters regularly, and take note of other fuel best practices.

Best Diesel Fuel Additives For Tier 4 Engines Diesel fuel additive graphic

Best Diesel Fuel Additives For Tier 4 Engines

Diesel fuel additives can help when fuel quality is suspect and temperatures turn cold. While not every diesel fuel additive provides the same level of performance and value, high-quality additives provide many benefits during cold weather operation.

Change A Fuel Filter On Tier 4 Bobcat Engines A Bobcat technician demonstrates how to change a fuel filter on a loader.

Change A Fuel Filter On Tier 4 Bobcat Engines

Learn the benefits of routine fuel filter maintenance and how to change the fuel filter on your Bobcat® loader.