Fuel Stability, Corrosion Protection, And Fuel System Cleaning With One Product
Story By: UTV Sports Mag
Fuel additives. We’ve all heard about them, but how many of us are actually using them? Does something you just pour into your gas tank actually have the benefits so many products claim?
To find out, we approached the experts that not only have tech in their name but also have that name on nearly 8,000 gas stations across the country: Chevron. They recently launched Techron Powersports & Small Engine (Techron PSSE), a fuel additive made specifically for… you guessed it, Powersports.
We’ll let Damon Vaudrin, a Chevron Field Test Specialist, do the heavy lifting here. As someone who also happened to be an ASE Certified Master heavy-duty truck technician and certified Master Automotive Technician, he’s definitely qualified. And, since Damon had so much knowledge on the subject, we actually have his much more scientific, complex answers here for those of you who want to become experts on your fuel systems. For those who want to go about learning the easy way, keep reading.
UTV Sports Mag (UTVSM): Damon, tell us about yourself. How long have you been at Chevron?
Damon (DV): I’ve been off-roading since age four, so I’m happy to dig in on the subject of fuel additives and Powersports. I’ve been at Chevron for 32 years, with 28 of those spent in the research and development engine lab working on fuel additives and OEM professional fuel injection and induction cleaning systems, including the formulation of the Techron Concentrate package.
UTVSM: That’s definitely technical, alright. Let’s get to the question on everyone’s minds, what exactly is Techron PSSE, and what does it do?
DV: Techron PSSE was designed from the ground up to be used specifically for Powersports, protecting that equipment in the environments in which they operate. It has a powerful detergent package that cleans engine components, a Protection Plus package that contains multiple antioxidants and unique best-in-class corrosion inhibitors, and is a continuous use product, meaning you use it with every tank full. If you’re adding gas to your UTV, you should be adding this, too.
UTVSM: Putting that in layman’s terms, it’s a product made specifically for engines like UTVs that keep them clean and running more powerfully?
DV: Yes. One of the benefits is a clean engine, which is more powerful than one where power’s being robbed from deposit build-up on fuel injectors, combustion chambers, intake valves, etc. It also restores lost fuel economy by removing those deposits and extends gasoline storage for up to two years.
UTVSM: It’s like eating healthier foods to keep your arteries free from harmful plaque build-up, keeping your heart stronger. That makes sense. So then, how does it work?
DV: Good question. Let’s dive into the science of how we designed Techron PSSE and why. The short answer? Techron PSSE cleans the entire fuel system, keeps it clean, protects the metal surfaces from corrosion and extends gasoline storage for up to 24 months.
While we’d all love to be riding every day, most people aren’t, meaning our smaller engines have more intermittent usage than say your car. Here’s the catch. Today’s fuels can be a challenge for any equipment that doesn’t burn through fuel regularly (aka your UTV) because 98% of the fuel in the US contains up to 10% ethanol. Ethanol’s problem is it’s hygroscopic, meaning it pulls moisture from the air. Ethanol is water-soluble, but only up to a certain point and temperature. However, if that temperature cools or water concentration gets higher, you get phase separation, which is where corrosion takes its toll. That’s why we added corrosion inhibitors to Techron PSSE, keeping ethanol’s negative effects at bay.
But that’s only one benefit. There’s also the detergency package, which cleans up gum, varnish and carbon deposits.
Detergents are long-chain molecules with a polar head and a tail (like a tadpole). While the tail is soluble in hydrocarbon fuel (that’s the way the additives travel into the fuel, by being attached to the tails), the polar heads are not. But that head does all the work, and that’s where the science is. Keep in mind there are millions of these additive molecules in the fuel searching for deposits, and once they find them, the heads attach. Eventually, the hydrocarbon fuel and the molecule’s tail tear off a piece of the deposit and carry it through the fuel system to be burned in the combustion chamber. That’s how the clean-up works, but there’s also a keep clean benefit.
Let’s revisit the additive’s head, which is attracted to your engine’s metal parts. That head can’t attach to the metal parts until they’re cleaned up (part one of this process), but once they are, they take over the metal surface and don’t allow unwanted future deposits to attach. That’s why using Techron PSSE with every fill-up will clean up your engine over time AND keep the fuel system clean long-term.
UTVSM: Wow, that’s more science than I expected, but it just goes to show all the work you’re doing over there at Chevron. Tell me then, how is Techron PSSE different than other Powersports fuel additives?
DV: We made the complete package. There’s no reason to use other additives for fuel stability, corrosion protection, or fuel system cleaning since Techron PSSE does all that with one product. Most other one tank additives only work when they’re in the fuel. The reason we made ours as a continuous use product is simple. You never know when the last tank of fuel will be used, so by adding it to every tank, it allows the corrosion inhibitors and the antioxidants to get into the fuel system for continuous protection. We at Chevron have a reputation for making products that work.
UTVSM: That’s awesome. My last question – when can we go on a ride?
DV: Anytime! I ride a modified Honda XR 600 and I use my modified Yamaha Grizzly 450 every hunting season and on my small farm. Let’s go!