Adding Kerosene To Diesel Fuel: What Will Happen & Problems

If you search the Internet, you can stumble upon the following types of questions posted on car forums: “ Can kerosene be used as a diesel fuel?”, “ Can kerosene be added to diesel fuel? “,” I accidentally filled my diesel with kerosene. What could be the consequences? “. what happens after adding kerosene to diesel fuel?

The responses received are usually mixed. Half the people will say, ” Don’t worry, everything will be fine .” The other half says that such fuel is dangerous for car systems. Let’s figure it out.

The chemical composition and properties of kerosene are quite close to diesel fuel, which is not surprising since diesel fuel is produced by the distillation of kerosene-gas oil fractions of oil. Kerosene is also referred to as the #1 diesel fuel, while conventional diesel fuel is referred to as diesel. fuel number 2. Some people find these two fuel fluids similar enough to try to use them interchangeably in their vehicles. 

Let’s look in below at why some car owners do this, and what problems you may encounter after adding kerosene to diesel fuel. for other guides related to car gas and fuels problems and solutions check out the gas car guide section.

Adding Kerosene To Diesel Fuel

How does kerosene work?

What happens when kerosene is burned depends on the properties of its composition. Kerosene is a lighter fuel compared to diesel, which is why the latter is designated as diesel fuel No. 2, and kerosene No. 1. This means that the cetane number (flammability characteristic) of kerosene is lower (35-40) than that of diesel fuel (45-50).

Kerosene does not contain high-level aromatic compounds (hydrocarbons); they are usually concentrated in diesel fuel No. 2 and more in heavy diesel oils. This is one of the reasons why kerosene burns dry with less lubricity.

Dry burning of kerosene

The most common problem that can be encountered when using kerosene as fuel for a diesel vehicle is that it burns dry, which can damage the fuel pump. As mentioned above, kerosene has a very low lubricity compared to diesel fuel No. 2, and without lubrication, fuel pumps wear out quickly and can burn out. Along with the pump, the wear of parts such as rings, gaskets, and valves increases. The situation can be corrected by adding a little automatic transmission fluid to the fuel. Two-stroke oil will also work great with kerosene.

Energy intensity of kerosene and increased fuel consumption

Some experts say that kerosene has a lower energy intensity compared to diesel fuel. Absolutely right, kerosene does contain less energy than #2 fuel. The lower total energy value means that if you burned a liter of kerosene, you would get less total heat than if you burned a liter of conventional diesel. Agree, this is not the most economical option, especially for the winter.

Why kerosene?

For some drivers, the solution is obvious using kerosene. For many, all this may cause sincere surprise, but supporters of this method give their arguments:

  • First, kerosene is identical in chemical composition to diesel fuel.
  • Secondly, diesel engines are quite tolerant of other types of fuel. It is no coincidence that Mercedes Benz made a recommendation 60 years ago to add kerosene to diesel fuel in order to optimize its low-temperature properties. Studies have shown that an injection of 10% kerosene contributed to a decrease in the limiting filtration temperature by 2ºC. What prevents, in this case, from mixing both types of fuel in a ratio of -80:20 or even 50:50?

Can kerosene be mixed with diesel fuel?

Kerosene can be mixed with diesel fuel to provide some benefits. During the winter, kerosene is extremely useful for changing the operating temperature of diesel fuel.

Most often, diesel fuel is mixed with kerosene in regions with cold climates. Kerosene added to diesel fuel increases the anti-gel properties of the fuel, and, on average, the addition of 10% kerosene reduces the diesel fuel thickening limit by 5 degrees. However, it should be remembered that it is not recommended to add more than 50% kerosene to diesel fuel, and also always add 1-2% two-stroke oil to the working mixture. An excellent option would be to add cetane boosters and anti-wear additives.

What do we get from mixing kerosene and diesel fuel?

The use of such a mixture can seriously hit the pocket of the car owner and cause:

  • reduction in engine power;
  • decrease in cetane number;
  • increase in fuel consumption;
  • deterioration of the lubricating properties of the fuel;
  • insufficient filtration temperature.


The most reasonable solution to the problem is the use of high-quality modern fuel additives. Products such as Cetan MAX or Mixent-2000 can be combined with a small amount of kerosene if the latter is added to mineral engine oil in a ratio of 1:40. However, such a surrogate in its properties will seriously differ from straight-run diesel fuel. Therefore, you should not risk your car and it is better to fill the “iron horse” only with high-quality diesel fuel. It is not much more expensive than kerosene (only 8-10%), but it will save you from many of the hassles associated with engine repairs.

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