View Full Version : Using JET A1 in a car?

14th Sep 2013, 08:46
I know the law, I know it is illegal, but I have a valid reason for asking the question here.
So, if you use JETA1 in a modern diesel car, will it cause any damage to said engine? Are some cars more affected than others?
I am not really looking for opinions, I am looking for someone who actually KNOWS the answer. Its quite important to me, as a friend (really!) stands to lose his liveliehood over some accusations made against him. I am posting this on two threads (sorry mods) for better exposure.

14th Sep 2013, 10:18
On an airport, we used discarded JetA1 in airside vehicles, but the experts said that although it's essentially the same product as diesel, some of the additives in diesel are missing, such as lubricants for pumps, and that in the longer term damage might result. But they ran OK, and we occasionally put in some DERV fuel to compensate, in an unscientific sort of way.

In a modern car engine it may not be the same story. I learned the hard way that a common-rail engine does not take kindly to even 20% cooking oil, and it may not like JetA1.

I think that mounts up to not knowing the answer, but it might stimulate someone who does know to respond.

14th Sep 2013, 11:02
Has someone been a naughty boy, then?

I agree with the previous comments about the lack of fuel lubricity of Jet fuel.
Low ash 2 stroke oil as an additive might well sort that but I wouldn't do it in my diesel engined car, because I don't want to risk permanently stuffing up the DPF (particulate filter), which would be very expensive to replace (I've bought whole cars for less).

14th Sep 2013, 11:06
JetA1 is a kerosene-based fuel, and as such, will generally not cause any major detrimental effects to most diesel vehicle engines - particularly older engines with Bosch-style in-line injection pumps, that employ modest injection pressures.

However, newer automotive diesels that employ electronics for fuel injection control, and extremely high pressure injection principles (such as common rail injection with piezo-electric injectors), need some lubricity additive added to JetA1 for fuel injection pump and injector, wear protection.

The electronics controlling some diesels injection can be sensitive to variations in fuel viscosity, and bring up fault codes. However, this is very dependent on the particular engine manufacturer.

These Toyota Hiluxes (link below) operating in the Antarctic, are doing so on JetA1 with just some lubricity additives added to the straight JetA1. No other engine modifications were needed, and the Hiluxes have travelled 80,000kms without any mechanical problems.

When Diesel Won't Do, Toyota Uses Jet Fuel | Autopia | Wired.com (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/04/when-diesel-wont-do-toyota-uses-jet-fuel/)

14th Sep 2013, 11:55
The accusations involve an Audi turbo diesel 04 plate and a Peugeot 1.6 turbo diesel with overboost. I believed these fuels would damage the engines and advised accordingly.
Are these cars 'common rail'??

14th Sep 2013, 14:02
If the 2004 Audi is the usual 1.9 TDI (PD), then it is not common rail. I believe Audi went common rail from about 2008, but the only way to be certain is to check the engine code (e.g. AWX is Pumpe Duse unit injectors and not common rail).

However, PD is still an extremely high pressure system, and I doubt the suitability of JET A1.

14th Sep 2013, 14:40
We use drained JET-A1 added to normal diesel in our tractor-tug for the last 10+ years without trouble.

14th Sep 2013, 16:03
The '04 Audi TDI runs the "pumpe duse" fuel injection system. The "pumpe duse" system is termed a "unit injector", as it combines the high pressure injection pump with an electrically-actuated injector in the one unit.

VW produced the "pumpe duse" as a way of trying to beat the common rail (CR) systems that were appearing in the late 1990's on other makes - and it was largely an attempt to avoid having to pay royalties on CR fuel injection designs.

However, the "pumpe duse" system was not as efficient, nor as accurate, as regards precision in the fuel injection, compared to the CR systems - despite running at 20,000 psi. VW dropped the "pumpe duse" system around 2009 in favour of CR.

I don't believe the JetA1 would have any detrimental effect on the Audi's fuel injection pumps, despite the high injection pressures. This is because the old Bosch-style inline pumps used a camshaft in the pump for injector pump actuation, and this camshaft lobe area is the area where fuel lubricity is critical.

The "pumpe duse" system is merely a piston-style pump, actuated by the engine camshaft. IMO, there is no major requirement for added lubricity agents in what is essentially two sliding surfaces that have no pressure exerted on them - unlike a camshaft lobe.

VW did have some serious problems with engine camshaft lobe wear and corresponding wear on the follower that pushed on the fuel injection pump plunger to deliver the pressurised fuel - but this was an engine oil/VW design problem, that has no relationship to diesel fuel specification.

I'm of the opinion that the Audi would run quite satisfactorily on JetA1 without damage. There are apparently WVO conversions available for the "pumpe duse" VW engines, and these conversions merely involve injectors with larger orifices to cope with the heavier viscosity WVO.

VE Bosch, pumpe duse, and common rail fuel injection (http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/pumpedusedesc.htm)

14th Sep 2013, 16:35
The Peugeot 1.6TD uses the Bosch common-rail HDi system. This fuel system demands premium diesel only, as a fuel.
If JetA1 is used for a fuel in the Peugeot, the ECU will detect it and the yellow engine warning light on the dash will come on, and engine RPM will be limited to 3000RPM.
If this happens, it will entail a trip to the dealer to check the fault code and reset it, if no damage has been detected.
However, there is a small possibility of the CR injection system suffering damage through the use of JetA1, if any quantity has been injected.
The major thing with the Peugeot HDi system is that it is sensitive to fuel viscosity and applies fault codes accordingly.
I have heard of people adding a bottle of diesel fuel system cleaner to a Peugeot fuel tank which set off a fault code and applied the RPM limit.

14th Sep 2013, 19:04
It IS known that JetA1 can be used in diesel engines, there may be questions about longevity of the engine, but in principle it will work and many examples have already been quoted.

If the OP is dealing with some sort of situation where law enforcement is involved then they are fully well aware of what works, what doesn't and what will work, but not in the long term.

Reading between the lines (well this is a rumour network) I would have to suspect that Revenue and Customs may be involved and if that's the case then that is without doubt the biggest problem, they know what works and what doesn't, they've seen it all before.

14th Sep 2013, 20:34
It's not revenue and customs. An accusation of massive proportions has been made involving a long list of lies. Most of them have been disproved, this is just one of the lies that need facts to back things up. Seeing as both cars were equally accused (falsely), if the above is true of the Peugeot, then that should be enough to discredit another point.

14th Sep 2013, 21:52
jayteeto I have seen top of the range Mercs filled with it with a bottle of two stroke lobbed in right they way down to a LR110. I have also seen 1000ltrs go home in a cube for someone's heating system just to get rid of it.

I have heard people swear blind that the engine will blow up using it.

But in reality the fuel changes depending which country you are in. Scandic countries it changes the most in summer they pump fuel that's good for 30degs and in winter they pump fuel that's good for a freezing point less than -50. It changes during the year.

The TDI's run in Russia and all manner of :mad: gets put in the fuel there.

I have never heard of an Engineers car blowing up. Which says it all really.

As such there is no way of proving that people have been running on JetA. If they have even touched red it shows up on a dip test months and months later. I think the chemical is 1 part in a billion and they can pick it up. As such there is nothing in JetA that a fill up won't cover up unless they test for the anti flash and aviation fungicide that they put in.

If you want to prove that a car has never used JetA your going to have to test for the aviation chemicals. Which isn't a difficult job per say you just need to get it tested using a mass spectrometer and also get them to test a sample of Jet A and a sample of normal diesel. Any thing which is in the Jet A sample that's not in the normal that shows up in the sample of the tank fuel will show jet A having been used. But when and how much you won't be able to prove.

14th Sep 2013, 22:12
Thanks for all replies.

14th Sep 2013, 22:16
Who ever does your SOAP tests for your aircraft should be able to help.

15th Sep 2013, 06:07
We used to dump, sumped Jeta in our GSE often. If we has to defuel we had a 500 gallon bowser that our GSE tech would add a few quarts of motor oil to. They run fine on JP, Diesel is simply kerosene with lubricants added to it.

15th Sep 2013, 10:46
I must admit I do wonder why the C&E don't have a system for being able the duty on it just so you can get rid of it in cars and heating systems.

Most I know that use it have no intention at all of wanting to defraud the C&E they mainly use it to get rid of the stuff. Doing it the proper way costs a fortune and is a huge pain.

They don't pull it from bowsers it only ever comes from emptying the tanks during maint. So there is no huge fiddle going on.

Luke SkyToddler
15th Sep 2013, 11:20
Jock I do recall that our old boss' diesel Audi 80 (that ended up being the company car), had literally something like 4 or 5 hundred thousand miles on it, and I'd place a very large bet that the majority of those miles were run on Jet A.

I'd certainly never buy a used diesel car from an aircraft engineer that's for sure (specially one of them canny Scottish ones :ok: )

15th Sep 2013, 11:36
That one was on my mind.

There was quite a few others that were high millage that had the whiff about them when you filled them up from a proper pump.

15th Sep 2013, 13:36
The Thielert diesels used in GA are modified Mercedes car engines. They are intended to run on Jet A, so whatever system Mercs use is not harmed by it.

15th Sep 2013, 15:13
BBC ON THIS DAY | 8 | 1950: Gas turbine car gets road test (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/8/newsid_2516000/2516271.stm)

cockney steve
15th Sep 2013, 16:01
Anything with a Delphi pump is doomed! a short life is normal, anything other than good ,pump-grade DERV, will send it to a very expensive rebuild, much sooner.
IMHO, NO road-vehicle built after 2000,in the European zone, will tolerate anything more than ~10% adulteration.
Kero and it's derivatives do not have the lubricity to support the current high pressure systems.

15th Sep 2013, 16:20
Diesel is simply kerosene with lubricants added to it.

A common misconception, but with no basis in fact.

While Kero and and diesel fuel are both middle distillates, and will likely contain some common components, the distillation ranges of the two fuels differ considerably.

A typical Jet A-1 will not meet diesel (EN590) specifications for:

Cetane number
Cetane Index
Sulphur content
Flash point

Whether any of the above parameters will have an adverse effect on any particular car engine is pretty much unknown - manufacturers don't typically test their vehicles against non-standard fuel specifications.

Jayteeto - If you have any samples of the fuel from the vehicles concerned my Company could likely confirm the presence (or absence!) of jet A-1 in the fuel - PM if interested.

Lon More
15th Sep 2013, 16:29
jayteeto Location: Liverpool based Geordie,

Isn't just nicking it enough for them thse days? :suspect:

Google chip-fat diesel there's plenty of discussion there about what can happen to diesel engines without the proper fuel additives.
I used to run a Peugeot Partner on about 20% vegetable oil with a bit of acetone thrown in. No problems right up to disposing of it a couple of months ago.

(edited to add - it was a 1999 model)

15th Sep 2013, 19:54
It's not revenue and customs. An accusation of massive proportions has been made involving a long list of lies. Most of them have been disproved, this is just one of the lies that need facts to back things up. Seeing as both cars were equally accused (falsely), if the above is true of the Peugeot, then that should be enough to discredit another point.

I appreciate the efforts the OP is making on behalf of his friend and the internet can be a very useful resource but I think you'll need more than the evidence of posts here to help make your case.

If 'this situation' is in anyway involved with law enforcement then even if you think the C&E are not involved then regular law enforcement may well seek their i.e. (C&E) opinion.

The OP has not (probably for very good reason) provided full details of the problem encountered by his friend therefore any comment can only be limited by the information provided.

Anything to do with the 'mis-use' of fuel is likely to involve two elements firstly the 'ownership' and therefore an inference of theft and then the 'use' of the fuel in a none standard environment i.e. using a fuel outside of the C&E limitations of use.

I am simply a subscriber who has both law enforcement and airfield operational experience ... therefore I know nothing ....

15th Sep 2013, 20:54
I am only keeping the circumstances because of confidentiality. Enough to say it is an (UN)employment issue with an ex colleague. The fuel issue (one Jerry can full, 10 months ago) is only a tiny percentage of a long list, mostly whopper lies and involving many people. Each individual issue needs to be addressed, this thread has highlighted some interesting points to me, thank you all!

16th Sep 2013, 00:00
When I was fire officer at Seletar we used to be given 45 gallon drums of time-expired Avgas for practice fires.

Not a drop of it ever found its way into my car's petrol tank, or that of any other member of the fire section.

Definitely not.

Perish the thought.

The very idea!


16th Sep 2013, 00:36
jayteeto - I think you need to be very careful about rushing to your friends defence, even though it appears to be basically an honourable thing to do.

From what I have garnered with the little information you've given, the JetA1 problem is possibly only a small part of what is a much wider story, if the whole truth be known.

It appears that your friends job is obviously under great threat from someone with the power to hire and fire and destroy lives. However, there may be a lot more to his behaviour and job performance, that you don't know about - and which the hirer-and-firer does.

In addition, the hirer-and-firer may have set his mind on firing your friend, regardless - and just needs to make up additional "evidence" to support his opinion that your friend has no future with his current employer.

As such, you need to tread carefully, and be aware you could also be pulled into the mire of a murky quicksand, that you originally didn't understand existed. :(

The fact that you state that only one jerry can of JetA1 is currently involved, in relation to loss of a persons job, leads me to think that this is only the tip of an iceberg.

16th Sep 2013, 00:53
.....and old motorcycles and classic cars, made for leaded fuels are also never fuelled by avgas either.

16th Sep 2013, 01:16
AVGAS? Although not taxed as a road fuel, one might suppose it might get added as a lead replacement supplement, for off-road use only.

My calculations reckon that about one gallon contains enough to make five gallons of unleaded into a rough equivalent of the old 4 star leaded. All supposition of course - all our road going cars are diesel engined.

Metro man
16th Sep 2013, 02:25
The use of AVGAS supposedly led to valve damage in car engines, however if it could be obtained for free then the cost of engine repairs may have worked out cheaper than buying petrol.;)

I would be happy to try JETA1 or cooking oil in an older diesel engine but not anything modern where emission standards, turbo charging or high tolerances are involved. Not worth the risk of engine damage. Singapore diesel is of a higher quality than Malaysian diesel in order to meet the latest European emission standards. Normal practice here is for car owners visiting Malaysia to fill up before returning home as fuel across the border is much cheaper, however owners of the latest diesels are advised to only take enough fuel to get back to Singapore if they need to top up as Malaysian diesel may cause problems with regular use.

Worrals in the wilds
16th Sep 2013, 02:31
The use of AVGAS supposedly led to valve damage in car engines, however if it could be obtained for free then the cost of engine repairs may have worked out cheaper than buying petrol.http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gifCertainly plenty of it went missing from Archerfield Airport, which co-incidentally had a speedway next door. :hmm: It kept on disappearing out of aircraft in the middle of the night, so you're probably right.

Interesting thread, btw.

porch monkey
16th Sep 2013, 05:06
"The use of avgas leads to damage........", Jesus H Christ, is that piece of bullshit STILL doing the rounds??:hmm:

Solid Rust Twotter
16th Sep 2013, 07:22
Ran a number of vehicles from Land Cruisers to large trucks on expired JetA1 all over Africa. To protect pumps and such, two pints of bog standard motor oil were added to the 200 litre drum and then given a bit of a shake to mix it before pumping into the fuel tank. AFAIK, we never had any problems that could be traced to the fuel used.

16th Sep 2013, 08:28
SRT, I expect those vehicles didn't have a DPF fitted to their exhaust. As I wrote before, that is the problem on modern diesels.

16th Sep 2013, 10:05
I ran our central heating on surplus "contaminated" AVTUR for years. The cost of paying for disposal of fuel that had been drained from aircraft prior to servicing was pretty high, so staff were actually encouraged to take the stuff from the contaminated fuel store!

I'm pretty sure that one or two people ran diesel cars on the stuff, too. I know for sure that older (early 90's) diesel Landrovers don't have a problem burning the stuff.

In this case I think it might be very difficult to prove that JET A1 has or has not been used though, as I doubt that a single jerry can of the stuff would cause any harm to any diesel, even a modern common rail one.

cockney steve
16th Sep 2013, 11:01
I doubt that a single jerry can of the stuff would cause any harm to any diesel, even a modern common rail one.
Well, go ahead and try it:E
Current metering systems are running tolerances of MICRONS (25 microns = thickness of average human hair)
they will not tolerate out-of-spec. fuel. the days of running veg-oil are gone!
Bio diesel involves batch-analysis (titration) then heat and chemical-processing/washing/filtration......the waste product (other than the primary settlement of water and solids) is glycerine.....get your titration wrong , your waste is highly unstable NITRO GLYCERINE :eek:
UK has mandated that ~7% of road-diesel content is bio.....unfortunately, they appear not to have consulted engine-developers, so we have the situation where the Renault-derived engine, (Mazda, Mini, Volvo, among others) have had enormous problems with DPF cycles and sump-oil being contaminated with Biodiesel .

Do not risk anything other than reputably -sourced road-fuel in a modern vehicle. it'll cost you an injection pump at the very least
(currently ~1000 plus labour.

then you have the internally -gummed-up engine to sort out!

Avgas is fine for old cars! newer ones with a Cat. (~1992 -onward) will have the cat killed by the L L content but the lead will stop the erosion of valve-seats cut directly into a cast iron head (ALL BMC A-series and B-series, among others)

16th Sep 2013, 13:45
Lead in fuel doesn't lubricate valve seats. ;)


Solid Rust Twotter
16th Sep 2013, 17:41
I expect those vehicles didn't have a DPF fitted to their exhaust.

Stolen or dropped off perhaps?:}

A Tanz mate tells of a Series I Landie that used to be run on old chip oil. The smell of a roast dinner wafting about the streets was a dead giveaway the old bloke who owned it was in the vicinity.

16th Sep 2013, 18:08
Thread drift away from diesel, my own apologies...

No Checkers, Tetra-ethyl lead doesn't lubricate valve seats (did anyone ever believe that, what is there to lubricate?) but it can help prevent valve seat recession. However, aviation engines in general do not need that protection because the valve seats are hardened inserts, made of a material not affected by recession in the first place.

However, valve seat protection on engines with cast iron heads was unwittingly a positive side effect of the addition of Tetra-ethyl lead. The main reason, as I'm sure most engine-savvy people know, is to delay the onset of detonation; by "buffering" the burn of the fuel/air mixture. This is especially an issue in large, slow revving aircraft engines.

Some years ago a certain UK car manufacturer made "scare" money out of so-called "factory unleaded cylinder head conversions" for its loyal customers, who knew no better and had been running the cars on the previously recommended 4 star petrol. These so-called conversions consisted of a general rebuild and a slight skim of the gasket face, plus the fitting of "unleaded" valve stem oil seals. The latter must have been special "unleaded" ones because of course they were coloured green, rather than the usual black! To complete the conversion (illusion?) they also painted the rocker covers of later cars green ..... :rolleyes:

However, turned out the aluminium cylinder heads on those engines probably never needed "converting" in the first place because the original valve seat inserts were hard enough already. There is evidence that the new "unleaded" inserts supposedly fitted during the conversion were exactly the same type as the originals. Any pinking experienced by the owners using the new unleaded fuel (slightly lower octane) probably could have been cured by a standard decoke and a couple of degrees knocked off the ignition advance. :oh:

I used a highly tuned up example of those "non-unleaded" engines in car competitions for some time - on unleaded fuel. Last time I looked inside, after 30K miles plus of hard use there was absolutely no sign of valve seat recession.

I had originally asked a UK specialist builder of those engines if it needed converting. He used to be the head engineer for that company, before he set up his own business rebuilding them and using them in his racing cars, in a racing series he invented. He smiled and threw me a small sack of valve seat inserts. He said I could buy the lot if I wanted them; he had bought them from the original engine manufacturer when they went out of business. He said he had never seen valve seat recession on any engine of that make, including the dozens of used ones he bought in and had never had to fit new seats. He just recut the originals!

Apologies again for thread drift... :oh:

16th Sep 2013, 18:18
Some of the ground crew vehicles at my local airfield run on Jet A1. Whilst it seems to work fine they all drive around with massive clouds of white smoke/fumes over them.

Whether that's the Jet A1 or the fact the vehicles are painfully old, I don't know.

Greek God
17th Sep 2013, 02:28
Conversely in Africa a while ago flying choppers we used to use the odd barrel of diesel in the the event no Jet A was available !
It was a recognised and authorised alternative.:rolleyes:

Metro man
17th Sep 2013, 03:16
Some agricultural operators use diesel in Pratt and Whitney PT6 engines. Low level crop spraying in an Ayers Turbo Thrush is probably safe enough with diesel but I wouldn't want it at higher altitude where the water content could lead to waxing or freezing.

17th Sep 2013, 03:42
Im an ex RAF MTD. On tanker pool during winter we poured the contents of our fuel inspection glass (minus the water detecting capsule) into the bowser diesel tank to prevent the diesel slushing or freezing with no issues to our tankers. I once ran out of diesel in a bowser outside R&D at RAF Wyton on my way to refuel a few 360 SQN Canberri in the early 90's, I unhooked one of the open line booms and pumped a few gallons of AVTUR into the diesel tank. With the starter button held for quite a while it coughed into life, completed the refuels and made it back to tanker pool with a plume of noir smoke from the exhaust. Good old Bison tankers would run on Mazola though im sure. I wouldnt like to try it in my diesel car. If someone has used AVTUR on the road and knowingly using it illegally then they deserve the book throwing at them.