Fuel additive update

Sponsored by ValvTect

Finding the right fuel additive continues to be a challenge but relief is on the horizon.

With no specifications for fuel additives, and increased demand for ethanol treatments, the situation has been ripe for confusion, said Marvin Griffin, president of ValvTect Petroleum Products, which supplies both marine fuel and marine fuel additives and private labels additives for engine manufacturers.

“The market created such a great demand … and many products came out of the woodwork making exaggerated claims without any backup,” he said.

Not only do some additives currently available not solve problems, they can cause engine failures, leading to upset customers that end up leaving boating altogether.

To address this problem, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is in the process of developing a specification and certification for a marine grade fuel additive, similar to the NMMA Certification program developed for 2- and 4-cycle marine motor oils. The program is designed to address problems that ethanol may cause in marine applications and engine problems that may have actually been caused by some fuel additives. The program will certify fuel additives that meet NMMA’s specification. Most importantly, the program is designed to ensure an NMMA certified fuel additive will not cause engine damage.

The committee devising the standards is a diverse group made up of fuel additive manufacturers, engine manufacturers and gasoline refiners. The committee is heading into the final stage of developing the certification requirements, which will hopefully be completed by this time next year, Griffin said.

Now’s the best time of year to get the factual information you need about fuel additives with the upcoming marine distributor shows. Talk to suppliers about the features and components of their additives. Be sure to ask for documentation and test results that show the products have passed petroleum industry tests.

For more information on winterizing and choosing an additive, see our recent articles.

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Make sure you’re using the right techniques, additives when it times to winterize

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