lamp oil or paraffin - Paul Whitehead
Re What will diesel engines run off?

Will they run off paraffin? How much does parafin cost?
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - John Slaughter
Less than diesel, but it ain't legal and the smell from the exhaust gives it away!

Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Andy Bairsto
no they will not run on parafin ,but in winter when there is no additive available parafin can be added to diesel to give a better start.
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Bill Doodson

Second reply in one night to one person for me.

Are you sure that a diesel engine won't run on paraffin? I thought that paraffin was like aircraft kerosene or light gas oil. Is it that they don't run how they should or that they just don't run? All of these oils seem to me to be different names for the medium distillate's off the catalytic refraction towers the oil companies now use. I am hoping that we have a chemical engineer in the oil industry who can give the definitive answer to this. Otherwise I am going to have to spend ages trying to satisfy my self that what I have just said is right, by going through Perrys Chemical Engineers handbook and that fills me with dread!

Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Andy Bairsto
The problem with parafin is that it has to high a ignition value ,it will run in diesels but is unstable and can cause total schaden,you will see truck drivers putting it in there tanks in winter because there firms are to tight to buy winter fuel.It really is not a good medium .Heating oil is perfect it is the same only the colour is different .When the liquids come out of the cracker normally aviation fuel and parafin are the last . When in the early days I worked in the Saudia oil fields you had no idea whether they had made 4 star or cooking oil but my Ami ford v8 never had a hiccup.naturally before cats
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - peter charnley
Back in 74/5 when fuel prices doubled I ran my 1957 Morris Minor on 50% pariffin regularly. It did smell a little and ran on quite a bit though.

paraffin in diesels - John Slaughter
Andy's right. Diesels don't run at all well, if at all, on paraffin. They will run on a diesel/paraffin mix, and this is often a recommended option for low temperature operation.

Central heating oil is very similar to diesel fuel, an should be a suitable option, albeit illegal in UK.

I do wonder about pump wear on these various options though. Surely 'proper' diesel has additives to ensure the fuel pump is lubricated? The alternative probably lack these and could therefore be an expensive option in the long run.


Re: paraffin in diesels - Richard
Our company use both gas oil and DERV. They are the same except the price !
DERV is for road vehicles and gas oil for fork lift trucks, heating etc.
Gas oil contains a red dye and the men from the ministry carry out spot checks on lorries. It's rumoured that they can tell if gas oil has ever been in the tank. A haulier could lose his operators licence for using illegal fuel on public roads.
However, farmers use gas oil for their tractors and are allowed on the road with them plus diesel LandRovers etc. No road fund licence either !
I've never heard of an individual prosecuted for using gas oil in a private car.
Possibly the MOT test could reveal the presence of dye.
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Alvin Booth
Paraffin is not the same as diesel oil.
In the heating oil specification we used to have for boilers the viscosity was measured on the Redwood scale.
The lightest was known as 35 second on the Redwood scale. This measurement was for a given amount of oil and the time taken to pass through a specific orifice (Redwood Scale). This was commonly called gas oil and is the same as diesel. This same stored fuel would also be used for emergency generators usually next to the boilerhouse and powered by a large diesel engine.
Others used were 200 seconds going up to 3000 seconds.
These were of course very heavy and the tanks storing this had to be preheated to keep it flowing and also an heater before the burner.
I don't think the heavier oils are used or available today.
However paraffin does not come within these parameters and would not give the lubricity required for diesel injection pumps and would quickly ruin the pump. As has already been stated it used to be added to diesel when waxing was taking place in severe winter. However since then the oil companies use additives to prevent this during the winter and of course we have never had these very cold winters since. (due apparently to motor vehicles burning fossil fuel)
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Bill Doodson

Sorry, I was talking to some one who knows!, thanks for the info and I will bear it in mind when I finally buy a diesel again. If I convert the central heating to oil I will save money ;-).

Humm first time I've used an emoticom. This is getting to me.

Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Brian
Heating oil and diesel are the same, known as 28 second Redwood.
Redwood, if I remember rightly from my days auditing an oil distributors, is the scale used to measure the viscosity by seeing how long a certain quantity takes to drain through a certain size hole, hence the 28 second reference.
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Bill Doodson
Brian & Alvin,

Your right. I just didn't want to get into the technical aspects of viscostity of fuel oils because its not strictly cars. But diesel engines will run, dependent upon design from less than 28 to over 4500 second redwood. Boilers will and do run upto 10,000 with some running on tar, never seen one myself but one of my fitters used to work at a coke works and had an explosion in one!

Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Tom Shaw
If you do get caught using illegal fuel, I believe they can confiscate the vehicle in addition to any other penalty.
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - jan david
yea but its you who is breaking the law, and the car (which may well be registered in your name) of course is owned by your brother in australia who couldnt have committed any offence

hence no chance of it being confiscated...

courts can only take property from guilty parties
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Brian
There is a local coach company whose vehicles I occasionally follow up the M11.
The exhaust smoke is a light blue colour and has a distinctive smell.
I remember that smoke and smell from a certain Council lorry when I were a lad!
Re: lamp oil or paraffin - Alvin Booth
My son in law used to drive HGV on Continental work.
I went with him to Milan once and he was showing me a lot of the scams which took place. example..
UK drivers were only allowed to take a certain amount of diesel in their tank onto France. He showed me the uniformed customs Officers I presume swinging up from the footplate hanging on to the mirror and putting their heads through to look at the fuel gauge.
A small amount of francs were left on the top of the dashboard which the man picked up quickly and jumped down satisfied with the gauge.
With the price of diesel nowadays in the UK I don't suppose this applies.
Irish lorries were well known for having underslung tanks on their trailers filled with red diesel which they switched to on the Continent.
Passing through Mont Blanc tunnel if hazardous substances were carried an escort had to be obtained from the office prior to the tunnel.
50 francs avoided this. Surely I said these peoples bosses wouldn't let this happen. The bosses I was told used to have this job before they became a boss.....and so on.
Spoke to a lot of UK lads doing this job over there and was quite impressed with their general know how and competetence.

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