The temperature of 2 diesel is around 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Switching to a winter blend 15 degrees above cloud point is a decent rule of thumb. When the overnight temperatures drop below 30 degrees F, it’s time to add No. 1 diesel with winter additives.
What temperature does winter blend diesel gel?
In diesel fuel, a similar process occurs when the fuel crystallizes during cold weather. Gelling begins to occur when the temperature approaches 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit*, which can block the fuel system (*depending on the supply and quality of fuel, gelling can occur as high as 20 degrees Fahrenheit).
How To Tell When Diesel Fuel Begins To Gel
When diesel fuel begins to gel, Berg says there are a few telling indications, the most obvious of which is a loss of power and compression when fuel fails to reach the combustion chamber. If you could see the gasoline, it would have a hazy appearance, indicating that it had already gelled. Other indicators to look for include white smoke coming from the exhaust when trying to accelerate or the engine stopping running when you are sitting idle trying to throttle. Also, if the vehicle starts but does not run continuously, this could indicate that your fuel has gelled. Gelled diesel fuel is almost always the problem, whether it’s a lack of RPMs when an engine is running or a cold winter morning when the truck won’t start at all.
How to Fix Gelled Diesel Fuel?
Many people make the mistake of grabbing a can of ether to start the combustion process when their diesel vehicle won’t start at all. However, there are certain risks with this solution, as there may not be enough fuel to ignite. Spraying too much ether and having ether spray that isn’t contained causes even more issues. The uncontained spray might ignite other hot components, causing engine damage, or too much ether in the fuel line could simply ignite air in the lines rather than gasoline, causing the diesel engine to suffer severe damage. Fortunately, there are alternatives to spraying ether that are far safer. Here are a few preventative measures to consider:
- Heat is the most effective line of defense. Avoiding frigid conditions by storing your vehicle in a climate-controlled garage or warm area. Other strategies include installing a series of heat-emitting light bulbs under the vehicle, enclosing the vehicle in a tarp with a heater blowing heat, and installing a modern-day block heater on the engine to keep the vehicle sheltered from the freezing temperatures. While building up the electric costs, the utility providers will adore you as well.
- Kerosene: With the issue of staying warm when it’s 20 degrees below zero, people might experiment with different fuel mixtures. Pouring kerosene into the fuel tank to lower the freezing point is the most typical method. To take advantage of kerosene’s lower freezing point, many people mix #1 diesel, which is a combination of kerosene and #2 diesel fuel. This mix is frequently accessible in the northern parts of the country, but in the southern parts of the country, where temperatures are normally warmer, the #1 diesel may not be available. In either instance, kerosene has drawbacks, the most notable of which being reduced fuel mileage and efficiency. If, on the other hand, the truck stops running and kerosene is chosen, it is strongly recommended to leave the engine run long enough to combine the fuels and provide a continuous flow of the mixture. Consider the time it takes for the kerosene to defrost the tank in a semi-truck when operating with hundreds of gallons of fuel in a tank. The kerosene must next melt the frozen fuel lines and clogged fuel filter. The entire line from the gasoline tank to the filter to the injectors may take an hour of idle time to defrost.
- Fuel Additives: There are now fuel additives that can provide a simple, low-cost, and no-hassle method to prevent gelling that any car owner can do themselves. “When considering an addition, Berg advises, “do your homework and analyze all of the products and promises.” “Investing a bit more time and effort to discover the greatest product is occasionally worthwhile. Additives are a means to offer an extra layer of protection to prevent the wax in diesel fuel from becoming thick, similar to wearing layers of clothing in the cold.” Many products contain alcohol, according to Berg, so look for one that provides not just proper temperature coverage but also protection for the entire system, including lubricity, cetane, water dispersion, and a success guarantee. Many preventive options are available, including some top picks being Diesel Winter Anti-Gel, which promotes coverage down to -40°F.
How to Prevent Diesel Fuel Gelling?
So, what’s the big deal about taking the effort to prevent diesel fuel from gelling? “If you contact a tow truck, you may still be stuck with a vehicle that won’t start after paying the tow cost,” Berg explains. You can save yourself the $80 and the headache in the case of a personal or light-duty car, or the $500 tow bill and missed time on the interstate in the case of a truck. Instead, taking use of the finest scientific additives could safeguard you from getting stuck in the cold for only a few dollars in preventative and an easy pour into the tank.
Emergency additions are also available for people who have failed to heed the warning, there has been no prevention, and gelling is still a possibility, or has already occurred! Diesel Winter Rescue, for example, is a formulated substance that requries gelled fuel and de-ices frozen fuel filters to restore diesel fuel flow to the engine, allowing the vehicle to resume normal operation. Diesel Winter Rescue, for example, is a good alternative to keep in your vehicle during the winter months just in case.
What temperature is winter diesel good for?
What is the temperature at which diesel fuel gels? That’s a tough question to answer because your diesel-powered vehicle won’t drive anywhere in the cold if you don’t prepare properly. Fortunately, the problem can be readily avoided by applying a gasoline additive, which can help stop gelling from happening in the first place. While it’s important to prepare your vehicle before the cold weather arrives, acting quickly can help you avoid a breakdown.
At What Temperature Does Diesel Fuel Gel?
When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the paraffin in diesel fuel begins to harden, clouding the fuel tank. This modification will not prevent you from driving, but it will serve as a reminder of how colder weather affects gasoline use.
Gelling happens when the temperature falls between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit, blocking the gasoline tank and fuel lines. You may need to have your vehicle towed to a garage at this stage so that your mechanic may repair any damaged fuel lines and thaw the fuel tank.
How Do You Prevent Diesel Fuel From Gelling?
If you utilize a fuel additive, you can drive a diesel car in subzero temperatures. A fuel additive designed for diesel engines decreases the fuel pour point (the temperature at which it freezes) by as much as 40 degrees. It also inhibits gelling by dispersing water.
The crystals that form in diesel fuel during cold weather are altered by a diesel fuel additive. The additive lowers the size of the crystals in diesel fuel, preventing it from waxing or gelling. It alters the fuel’s chemical characteristics, allowing it to flow at temperatures considerably below zero degrees.
If the diesel has already gelled, an additive can help. To begin, empty the tank and disconnect the fuel line. Typically, this entails pouring the additive into the tank and waiting 20 minutes for it to break down the gel before starting the vehicle, but check any directions carefully to ensure you’re following the appropriate steps. Allowing your vehicle to idle for a few minutes will allow the fuel lines to clean.
Cold Weather Preparation
There are a few more things you can do to prepare your vehicle for cold weather besides utilizing a diesel fuel additive. First, make sure your battery is in good working order. When the weather turns cold after a hot summer, the battery is more vulnerable to failure. Replace your battery if the reading is less than 12.45 volts on a multimeter. You don’t want to have to deal with battery troubles on top of fuel issues.
Second, if temperatures are really low, an addition may not be sufficient. Keep in mind that an additive can reduce the pour point by up to 40 degrees. It can prevent blockage in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. We all know that colder temperatures are feasible, and that the addition may become useless as a result. Even if the temperature does not drop that low, a block heater may be required, especially if you park outside. Make it a habit to turn on the block heater when the temperature drops below freezing.
You may avoid being stranded on even the coldest days if you take excellent care of your diesel vehicle and its gasoline.
NAPA Online has a comprehensive list of fuel additives, or visit one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare facilities for routine maintenance and repairs. Consult a trained specialist at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS shop for more information about diesel fuel.
How cold is too cold for diesel?
When it comes to diesel trucks, how cold is too cold? At 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.5 degrees Celsius), the diesel fuel in your fuel tank will gel and you will have problems starting your engine. Your diesel vehicle will have troubles if the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit / -9.5 degrees Celsius. The diesel won’t be frozen solid, but it won’t be liquid either. You must now rely on heating solutions such as block heaters and glow plugs, which are not available on all diesel engines.
There’s a lot of debate regarding what temperature is too cold for a diesel truck. On the internet, it is stated that the freezing point of diesel fuel is roughly -112 degrees Fahrenheit or -80 degrees Celsius. Now you believe you will never be in a region that gets that cold, so you should be fine. Wrong.
It is not necessary for the diesel in your fuel tank and fuel lines to be solidly frozen to cause you problems. When the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit / 9.5 degrees Celsius, the diesel fuel begins to change shape and becomes more like a gel. Consider a gel-like fuel that travels from the fuel tank to the engine. Traveling through the fuel lines would be difficult, and you would have difficulty starting your engine in the frigid winter.
What diesel is best for cold weather?
The splutter of a diesel engine that won’t start is the worst sound on a cold winter morning. No matter how much freight you have to deliver, if the weather gets the best of your rig, nothing will get done.
Diesel engines are notorious for being unreliable in the cold. Every year, fleet owners are reminded of this in an uncomfortable manner. Your operation, however, does not have to rely on the whims of Old Man Winter. Here’s all you need to know about putting cold-weather diesel issues to rest.
Why cold weather causes diesel problems
Before entering an engine, diesel fuel travels through a filter to remove contaminants. This filter is a critical component of your system, but it’s also a prime target for the effects of cold weather.
Paraffin wax is a naturally occurring component in No. 2 diesel fuel. This wax is harmless to your equipment because it remains liquid under normal settings. When paraffin wax solidifies in freezing temperatures, it binds together into bigger crystals that can’t pass through the filter. This is the problem that diesel users are referring to when they talk about gelling.
The cloud point, named after the white haze or “cloud” that emerges as paraffin wax crystalizes, is the temperature at which gelling begins. The cloud point of No. 2 diesel fuel is 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the temperature continues to decrease, wax crystals will begin to accumulate rapidly on the fuel filter, starving the engine of fuel. The cold filter plugging point (CFPP) is the lowest temperature at which a certain diesel fuel may still pass through a 45-micron filter. The CFPP is typically within a few degrees of the cloud point for most No. 2 diesel fuels.
While CFPP is a standard measurement for the industry, it can be inaccurate for some current rigs. Today’s high-performance diesel engines require finer filters than those used to measure CFPP, which means a new diesel engine could theoretically clog at a temperature higher than the CFPP of its fuel. While the CFPP can be useful in some situations, keep in mind its limits.
It’s worth noting that both cloud point and CFPP are inherent qualities of a fuel that can’t be changed. When the temperature drops low enough, paraffin wax will always crystalize. So, how do you avoid filter blockage and gelling throughout the winter? Even though you can’t modify cloud point or CFPP, you can change a third element.
How to prevent diesel from gelling
One critical parameter, operability, holds the key to preventing cold-weather gelling and filter plugging. Operatability is the variable over which diesel equipment owners have control. It is defined as the lowest temperature at which a piece of equipment can run without losing power.
But how can you lower a rig’s minimum operating temperature if you can’t stop paraffin wax from crystallizing? You can’t get rid of the wax crystals in a No. 2 diesel, but you can vary the shape of them. That’s where you’ll find the key to making your rigs more cold-weather capable.
A cold flow improver (CFI) is a unique gasoline additive that dissolves the bonds in paraffin wax. A CFI allows paraffin wax to move through the filter smoothly by breaking up big crystals into into smaller bits. A CFI is usually effective down to roughly 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steps to winterize your diesel fuel
The first step in fully safeguarding your diesel against cold-weather gelling and filter blocking is to install a CFI. As the weather gets colder, swap out your No. 2 diesel for a No. 1, which is devoid of paraffin wax and thus provides the optimum operability during the coldest months of the year.
However, you don’t want to make the changeover all at once. It’s critical to make the switch from a No. 2 to a No. 1 diesel gradually. The following are the steps you should take:
- When the temperature drops below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, use a 70 percent No. 2 diesel and 30 percent No. 1 diesel blend with a CFI. Try Cenex Roadmaster XL Seasonally Enhanced or Ruby Fieldmaster Seasonally Enhanced premium diesel fuels, which come with a CFI as well as a full additive package.
- As winter approaches, combine 30% No. 2 with 70% No. 1, continuing to mix in a CFI. Try Cenex Wintermaster winterized premium diesel fuel for improved low-temperature performance. Wintermaster features a full additive package designed to keep engines protected, as well as the best diesel fuel blend for the cold.
- Use straight No. 1 diesel whenever the temperature dips below minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Try No. 1 Diesel Fuel With Cenex Premium Diesel Fuel Additive to keep additive levels in check.
Watch for diesel fuel icing
On a related point, keep a watch out for symptoms of gasoline frost on your rigs. Because it causes similar engine stalling symptoms, icing is sometimes mistaken for gelling. The difference with icing is that instead of wax crystals, ice crystals form on the gasoline filter. Icing is a huge reason for concern since it indicates that water has entered your gasoline. If you discover water in your fuel system, contact a qualified mechanic immediately.
Diesel equipment can take a beating in the winter. The good news is that you don’t have to take any chances with your business. Use Cenex Winterized Premium Diesel for fuel that works as hard as you do, and you can leave fuel gelling and filter plugging out in the cold.
At what temperature do you add anti-gel to diesel fuel?
You should apply an anti-gel fuel supplement to keep diesel gasoline from gelling (or crystallizing). Anti-gel additives are simple to work with. Simply pour them into your gas tank. Anti-gel additives lower diesel fuel’s freezing point, making it less prone to freeze in cold conditions. Because diesel fuel contains wax, it is necessary to add additive to it. The wax is the problem because it causes the fuel to gel, and gelled fuel can clog filters. If the temperature drops below a certain point, the engine will completely gel. Wax is present in the fuel because it contributes to its high cetane rating. In the winter, wax concentration is lower, but it is still present in diesel blends for cetane. The cetane number (cetane rating) is a measure of the speed at which diesel fuel burns and the amount of compression required for ignition. It serves the same purpose in diesel as octane does in gasoline.
It’s a good idea to start using anti-gel as soon as the temperature drops below freezing. As a general rule, the lower the temperature, the more gasoline additive is required. The best advice is to follow the directions on the anti-gel container.
If the weatherman predicts a cold front, you should prepare by increasing the anti-gel ingredient. The importance of preparation cannot be overstated. Your engine will not be harmed by anti-gel additives.
Whenever you fill up with diesel in the winter, use an anti-gel additive. Most additives can be put either before or after the fuel is added. However, if you add the ingredients ahead of time, you can ensure proper mixing.
As soon as feasible, add an anti-gel ingredient. Use an emergency additive that de-thaws the gasoline and de-ices the filters if your fuel has already gelled or your fuel lines are clogged. The emergency procedures re-liquify the fuel, allowing it to burn anew.
Anti-gel diesel fuel additive will not de-ice your gelled diesel fuel tank or assist you in starting your engine. The majority of diesel anti-gels can’t be added to the fuel tank once it’s gelled. To get the fuel flowing, you’ll need to use a de-icer additive in the tank. Anti-gel additives must be introduced to the tank no later than 10 degrees Fahrenheit before the fuel’s cloud point to ensure effective mixing. De-icers should be poured into the filters and tank to keep them from freezing. Then wait at least 30 minutes before beginning. Anti-gels must be stirred into the fuel rather than being put on top of it, otherwise they will not mix correctly. The best additive mixing conditions are warm gasoline.
At what temperature does #2 diesel fuel gel?
This is the problem that diesel users are referring to when they talk about gelling. The cloud point, named after the white haze or “cloud” that emerges as paraffin wax crystalizes, is the temperature at which gelling begins. The cloud point of No. 2 diesel fuel is 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Will gelled diesel Ungel?
A variety of things can be put to a gelled tank to aid in the recovery of the fuel to its original state. Opti-Lube Gel Melt and Diesel 911, for example, are made specifically for gelled fuel. Simply fill the tank with one of these and follow the dosing directions. There’s no need to heat or mix the tank. These can take a long time to install, depending on the size and shape of the tank. The treated fuel in the tank may not be able to reach gelled fuel that is not in the tank, such as in fuel lines and filters, which is a significant constraint.
Is there a winter blend of diesel?
Winter diesel fuel is a blend of grade 1 and 2 diesel. Kerosene is the principal component of grade no. 1 diesel. Meanwhile, it is free of paraffin. These two elements reduce the mix’s cloud and pour points, preventing it from gelling in cold conditions.
The ratio of no. 1 to no. 2 diesel fuels in the winter blend can vary depending on where you live. In general, it ranges from 20 to 80. Pure grade no. 1 diesel fuel may be necessary in the coldest areas.
Due to its low gelling point, pure grade no. 1 diesel fuel may appear to be a good choice, but it is more expensive and has a lower energy content. Continuously running an engine on pure grade no. 1 diesel fuel may shorten the life of the fuel system. Â
Before the temperature dips below â 7 °C, you can use summer diesel fuel. After then, it’s time to convert to a winter blend.
What diesel additive should I use?
The best additive in the game is Diesel Extreme. This one raises the cetane rating of diesel by seven points (improving the fuel’s combustion performance once again), as well as cleaning and lubricating injectors and other essential fuel system components. Diesel Extreme also aids in the removal of impurities and excess water from fuel.
How do you warm up a diesel engine?
Mr4X4: How long should you warm up your diesel tow rig’s engine? Some of the ‘Grey Nomads’ have been idle for perhaps thirty minutes (while they hitch the van and sort the handbrake out). Isn’t that a little bit excessive?
Tony: Warming up is a somewhat subjective process. I believe you should start the vehicle, wait a minute or two, and then drive away at a steady speed. Don’t over-rev the engine; instead, keep it steady until the temperature gauge reads normal. Warming up for 30 minutes is unnecessary, and will cause problems with DPF-type vehicles and excessive soot build-up from EGR in the intake, among other things, on newer diesels.
Mr4X4: Than an expert’s perspective, what is the purpose of warming up the engine aside from getting oil around the engine?
Tony: Warming up the vehicle allows oil to circulate throughout the engine. Although the oil travels swiftly, it is too viscous to lubricate well when it is cold. Warming up also allows all of the moving parts to reach their proper operating temperatures and expand and contract to their proper clearances. For example, if you have a performance engine with forged pistons, they may make a rattling noise while cold, which is known as piston slap. Once they’re warm and up to temperature, they’ll expand to the proper clearance. It’s more about not overloading the engine with heavy loads and high RPMs when it’s cold. Giving a cold engine a hard time increases the likelihood of engine wear and/or damage.