0798 918 0611
0175 726 8821

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What is Diesel Bug?

If you regularly use or self-store diesel, you've probably heard of diesel bug - but what is it and why is it a problem?

Diesel bug is essentially the result of a type of bacteria that is present in diesel fuel. While in itself it isn't a problem, as soon as the fuel gets contaminated by water, the bacteria, or bug, is able to breed. Unfortunately, diesel, as a bio fuel, has a greater ability to collect and absorb water, providing the perfect breeding ground for diesel bug to multiply, causing many different problems that can affect performance and the efficiency of diesel-fuelled machinery and equipment.

Diesel bug - what causes it to become a problem?

Water can enter diesel storage and fuel tanks either directly from the air or as condensation in the tank. This allows the bacterial bug cells to multiply - at a rate of 2 million times in 24 hours. After breeding, the diesel bug dies within 48 hours, falling to the bottom of your fuel storage tank, where the remnants sit as sludge.

However, the answer to the question 'what is diesel bug?' isn't that simple. Additionally, the uptake of water in your fuel supply can also cause a build up of other, similarly harmful algae and microbes - all of which will join the diesel bug slurry in clogging up the fuel system and creating blockages and damage to your vehicle, boat or machinery.

Getting rid of diesel bug - why is it important?

Getting rid of diesel bug is essential if you're to be able to rely on your fuel supply and limit risk to your engine.

If left unfiltered, diesel bug is likely to cause the following issues:

  • Fuel line blockages
  • Worn components including pumps and injectors
  • Poor economy and emissions
  • All combine to eventually cause engine failure
  • Expensive repairs
  • Call outs and warranty exemptions


For businesses, especially those with large fleets of vehicles, the potential costs of these issues can soon add up to a significant amount of money. Worse still, a breakdown at sea or on fast flowing water due to a blocked filter can be dangerous and even life threatening.

As the percentage of bio content in fuel increases, so too will the problem. In order to stop this problem you need to ensure 'dry' fuel is always in your fuel tank, by regularly filtering out water and contaminants - which is where Diesel Polishing Ltd comes in.

Our equipment will remove all water, rust, slurry and contaminants, including diesel bug, leaving your fuel tank containing only clean, dry, 'polished' diesel. All of the diesel is returned to your tank with no wastage too, so you don't lose any of your precious fuel.

By getting rid of diesel bug, your fuel is ready to power your engine in a more efficient way - leading to better fuel economy, less emissions and reducing the potential of expensive engine damage.


If you'd like more information on what diesel bug is and how our services will help by getting rid of it, please give us a ring on 0798 918 0611 or 0175 726 8821 - or fill in our form here for a free, no-obligation quote for our diesel polishing services.

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