Important to know what you’re putting in your fuel & what you're trying to fix

Updated Apr 25, 2022

By Erika Howes, Howes Products

It's common practice to treat diesel fuel in winter when the weather is known to be harsh on your system, and gelling is a looming concern. But too often, once the weather turns, the need to treat fades away with the melting snow.

However, today’s diesel lacks vital elements that are necessary to keep your engine performing at its best, even in warmer weather. Fuel additives can be the simple, cost-effective solution to preventing unnecessary or premature issues with your system. But beware, not all additives are created equal. Many contain abrasive alcohol and harmful solvents that can cause more problems than they fix. It’s important to know both what you’re putting into your fuel, and what issues you’re trying to tackle by doing so.

Step Problems Before They Start

Proper lubrication, essential cleaning, and safe water removal are all critical reasons to treat the fuel you’re putting into your rig. As gathered from the name, Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) contains a minimal amount of sulfur, which was a key lubricant in diesel fuel. Without this vital lubricity, ULSD can cause premature wear in your injectors, pumps, and upper cylinders. Operating under extremely high pressures and temperatures with their new tighter clearance specifications, High-Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) systems experience problems such as Internal Diesel Injector Deposits (IDID). These, along with the build-up of other harmful deposits, can cause the fouling of your injectors and create uneven spray patterns that waste fuel and cost you money. Water in the fuel can also be a devastating problem.

Not only is water abrasive to your system, but it is one of three elements required in the development of microbial growth: water, air, and warm temperatures. Often appearing as a dark slime, microbial growth can accumulate in your tank and is both difficult and costly to remove. The use of a biocide, generally toxic to humans and harmful to the environment, is most likely required to remove the algae and bacteria. A severe case may even involve manually draining and chemically cleaning your tank. Fortunately, Howes Diesel Defender® is a way to prevent all of these issues.

More Lubricity Is Money In Your Pocket

The maximum lubricity protects and preserves your entire system. Products like Howes Diesel Defender contain 2.5 times the amount of lubricity preventing the premature wear of your injectors, pumps, and cylinders. It also helps to extend the life of your fuel system, saving you countless dollars.

Cleanliness Is Key

Diesel Defender contains proprietary IDX4 Detergent, a state-of-the-art detergent designed to rapidly remove IDID’s and prevent future deposits from forming. Adding Defender every time you fill up will provide you with a superior cleaning that helps to increase fuel economy and decrease downtime.

Get The Wet Out

With the use of harmful alcohol and solvents, many products emulsify water, mixing it into your fuel. This can cause scarring and damage to your system. Use a petroleum-based product like Howes Diesel Defender. It is 100% alcohol-free and made with no harmful solvents. It demulsifies water, safely pushing it down and out of the fuel where it can be easily removed by the water separator, leaving only pure fuel to burn. By safely removing the water, Defender eliminates the environment that promotes microbial growth.

A Simple Warm Weather Checklist

  • Lubricate, Lubricate, Lubricate – Adding maximum lubricity back into your fuel allows your engine to run smoother and your system to last longer.
  • Keep it Clean – Cleaning your injectors prevents coking, fouling, and the build-up of harmful deposits.
  • Remove Water – Getting the water out of your fuel tank eliminates one of three necessary components needed for microbial growth. It leaves only pure fuel to burn, preventing system scarring and damage.

You can accomplish all of this and more with Howes Diesel Defender. When used at every fill-up, Defender is guaranteed to increase your fuel economy by a minimum of 5% and will give your truck the power and performance you need all year long.

For more information on Diesel Defender and other great products from Howes, visit