Diesel quality in Central Asia Q&A

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Re: Diesel quality in Kazakhstan?

Post by electroboris »

Drove through UZ in July 2019 with a small diesel car (Mini).

In Uzbekistan I found good diesel at bigger Uzbekneftegas stations, like the one in Bukhara in the south, towards the car market, 4900 Som/liter. There is also a very modern Lukoil station in Tashkent, on a motorway exit to the east, 8000 Som/liter. For the rest I had to spend a lot of time finding diesel, usually a hose in the ground at the back of a gas station (6000 Som/liter) or a guy that appears with a tank, usually a friend of a friend of the person you ask.

As for the roads, the worst stretches are the 100km after Bukhara towards Nukus. They're followed by a perfect 300km of motorway. From Nukus to the Kazakh border road is good/very good, except for the last 60km, where the road is destroyed, but you can drive on the side on a sand track.
Road from Tashkent to Samarkand is OK, but there are occasional brutal potholes, especially on the stretch where you drive around KZ, close to Gulistan.
Road from Osh to Tashkent, past Andijan and Kokand and over the mountains was perfect.
Road from Tursunzoda crossing from TJ to Bukhara pretty bad and through small villages until Quarshi, then a bit better.
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Re: Diesel quality in Kazakhstan?

Post by new member »

Let´s sum up:
Russia E5 Diesel anywhere
Kazakhstan E5 Diesel sometimes - no Problems für cars with wide range
Uzbekistan no E5 Diesel, you have to be luckky if you get Diesel at all

Any reliable Info about Kirgisitan, Tadschikistan or Mongolia?
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Re: Diesel quality in Kazakhstan?

Post by Gone For A Drive. »

We have a Ford Ranger from 2011 with Euro 4 engine and drove Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan (Pamir Highway with Wakhan valley), Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia from February 2019 until October 2019. In all countries we always managed to fill up at comparatively modern and clean petrol stations. And we did not have any issues with our engine at all. We did not use any diesel additives to increase the ignition point or the lubrication, although in the meantime I think it might be a good idea to do so. At least it does not hurt (only your bank account).

Our car has only the the standard diesel filter and no additional one. It has an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) but no diesel particle filter (DPF), which might (not must) cause issues when the sulphur level in the diesel is high. The EGR might clunk as well because of the excessive soot that comes from higher sulphur levels, but luckily nothing happened to us.

It is correct that in Uzbekistan it might be a bit more difficult to find diesel, especially during the cotton harvest time. But it is not as bad as you often hear. We had no problems to find diesel between Khiva and Samarkand.

We were told by Tajik mechanics that diesel quality outside of Dushanbe is horrible, but again, we did not have any issues. In the Pamir region diesel is sometimes a bit rare to come by. Therefore, if driving from Dushanbe to Osh, fill up in Kulob, Kalaikhum and Chorugh. In Murgab there is only diesel from barrels. We did not need to fill up there. Depending on when you go it might still be freezing in the mountains. As they don't sell winter diesel a good precaution might be to bring an additive that prevents the diesel from gelling.

There are well established brands like Gazprom or Lukoil petrol stations. The UN map shows 500 bis 2000 ppm for diesel in Kyrgyzstan. I don't know if this is still correct. As before, we had no issue at all.

There are a lot of stories about diesel being stretched with water (already in the railway wagons). So make sure that your car has a fuel filter with a water separator. Although unfortunately there are still stories about damaged engines even though they did have a water separator. I guess it comes down to luck a bit. Use the cleanest stations you can find (very often there is no choice, though). We entered Mongolia with a new diesel filter and new engine oil and exchanged both after leaving the country to Russia, just to be sure to have done the most we could.

General precautions:
As the high sulphur level has negative impact on the lubricating effect of the engine oil, change it more often. We changed every 5.000 to 7.000 km. As you can't be sure how clean the diesel really is, also change the diesel filter frequently. We did it roughly every 10.000 km.
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Dagmar & Oliver
Driving the Silk Route - https://www.goneforadrive.com

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