Diesel fuel has a lot of advantages. More vehicle power means better fuel economy, but one of the main disadvantages of diesel fuel is that it performs poorly in cold weather. Diesel crystallizes when temperatures drop, clogging fuel filters and lines. This not only prevents engines from starting, but it can also result in costly repairs if the engines are damaged.
You should apply an anti-gel fuel supplement to keep diesel gasoline from gelling (or crystallizing). Anti-gel additives are simple to apply; simply add the remedy to your gasoline tank. Anti-gel additives lower diesel fuel’s freezing point, making it less prone to freeze in cold weather. Anti-gel additives are used to reduce the plugging point of cold filters (CFPP). The CFPP is the lowest temperature at which a filter will still allow fuel to flow through it.
The presence of wax in diesel fuel necessitates the addition of an anti-gel additive. Normally, wax is a liquid that dissolves in the fuel. The wax is the problem because it causes fuel to gel, and gelled fuel (or crystals) can clog engine fuel filters. If the temperature drops below a certain point, the engine will totally gel up and cease to function. So why don’t we just remove the wax and avoid the whole gelling issue? The wax component is there because it contributes to the fuel’s high cetane value. Cetane provides more power and improved engine response. In the winter, wax concentration is lower, but it is still present in diesel blends for cetane.
1. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
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. We recommend that you follow the anti-instructions gel’s on the bottle.
2. Sudden temperature dips
If the weather forecast predicts a cold front, you should prepare by applying additional anti-gel ingredient. The importance of preparation cannot be overstated. Anti-gel additives will not harm your engine, so use extra when in doubt.
3. When it comes to adding fuel
Whenever you fill up at the pump in the winter, use an anti-gel additive. Most additives can be put either before or after the fuel is added. To guarantee a good mixing, we like to add the ingredients ahead of time.
4. When the fuel starts to solidify
As soon as feasible, add an anti-gel ingredient. If your fuel has already gelled or your fuel lines are clogged, an emergency additive that dethaws fuel and de-ices filters is recommended. These emergency procedures re-liquify the fuel, making it combustible once more.
We provide a few anti-gel additives at Fuel OxTM as a precautionary step. We recommend that you use our Gasoline OxTM Cold Charge to prevent fuel gelling. We recommend utilizing our emergency fuel treatment, Fuel OxTM Heat Bomb, to restore the flow of frozen fuel lines if the fuel has already gelled. A little goes a long way with this product, as it does with all of ours; one ounce treats up to 80 gallons of fuel. A complete list of our winter anti-gel additives can be seen below:
At what temperature does diesel fuel freeze?
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.
Can you put too much anti-gel in diesel?
Is it possible to use too much anti-gel in diesel? You’ve probably added much too much high-quality diesel fuel additive. Overloading your engine can result in clogged filters, reduced engine performance, and potentially a whole new set of fuel and engine issues. If you’re losing your libido, don’t overdo it.
How do you treat diesel in cold weather?
We noticed a couple of our Bell Facebook pals uploading photographs of new snow on the ground up in Colorado today. The chilly weather has arrived or will arrive across much of the country. Diesel users are well aware that this means they must re-arm themselves against cold weather problems by using a suitable diesel anti-gel additive.
Diesel Fuel Gelling Is Worse With ULSD
In cold temperatures, the qualities of diesel fuel will alter. Diesel fuel is a complicated mixture of carbon molecules of various shapes and sizes – some straight-chain, others cyclical, aromatics, aliphatics, and a variety of other chemistry terms can be applied. Paraffin wax molecules are present in this mixture; wax molecules are heavy and complicated. The waxes gladly dissolve in normal diesel fuel at normal temperatures and burn along with everything else, contributing to some of the energy worth of diesel. When it gets cold, though, the wax solidifies and the fuel condenses. The cloud point is the initial step toward the fuel gelling up. As the fuel cools, more wax “drops out” of solution, causing wax crystals to collide and stay together (becoming larger). This process accelerates until there is enough wax in the fuel to clog the fuel filters and cause the engine to shut down.
Because of the way ULSD is chemically handled at the refinery, it gels worse than diesel fuel from ten years ago.
By regulation, refineries must remove the majority of the sulfur from diesel fuel, leaving only 15 parts per million of sulfur.
Because of the technologies they utilize (“hydrotreating”), the now-ULSD fuel gels more easily in cold weather.
Because of this shift in the fuel, Bell’s research has found that ULSD is more difficult to treat for “cold flow” qualities than diesel fuel from 10 years earlier.
Speaking of Cold Flow Treatment
Apart from combining diesel fuel with kerosene (which is frowned upon in all but the coldest settings), the only way to keep diesel fuel flowing in cold weather is to add a cold flow improver. Cold flow improvers prevent wax crystals from adhering together, allowing them to travel through fuel filters and be burned safely alongside the rest of the fuel. In cold weather, a decent flow improver like Cold Flow Improver will provide an extra 10-20 degrees of safety net, ensuring that your truck does not shut down or refuse to start.
The sole stipulation with Cold Flow Improver products is that they must be used before the fuel becomes cold. These critical treatments help to avoid difficulties, but they can’t undo the effects of a gelled fuel after it’s reached its gel point. Quick Thaw is required for this.
How do you fix diesel gelling?
While gelled fuel sounds horrible, the good news is that if the temperature rises over the gel point, diesel fuel will revert to normal. Typically, all that is required to resolve the gelling issue is to drive the vehicle into a garage and leave it there for a few hours. If the temperature isn’t projected to rise soon or you don’t have access to a heated facility, there are some additional options.
Can diesel oil freeze?
As the winter months approach, the reduction in temperature puts a strain on diesel engines’ overall efficiency and performance. The risks of extremely cold temperatures can make it difficult for engines to start or even perform properly. Understanding the challenges diesel owners experience during the winter months is the first step in protecting and preventing these dangers.
Water may harm a diesel engine at any time of year, not only in the winter. Water can be introduced to diesel through storage, handling, and condensation in storage tanks. Water in the gasoline, on the other hand, can freeze at 32°F in the winter and clog fuel lines and water separators.
During the cooler winter months, diesel is also susceptible to gelling. As the temperature drops, the paraffin wax in diesel thickens, causing this to happen. As a result, the gasoline becomes cloudy and gel-like, preventing the diesel from burning and clogging filters. If the temperature drops low enough, the fuel can freeze solid and stop flowing, rendering it useless until it re-liquifies.
It’s critical to have a plan in place for winterizing your vehicle whenever the temps drop. The most straightforward solution is to utilize a gasoline additive that can safely remove water from your fuel while also acting as an anti-gel, allowing the fuel to survive cooler temperatures. Fuel Ox Cold Charge, for example, lowers the pour point by 20°F, reducing the effects of wax. It will also safely filter water out of your fuel system while lowering your fuel consumption. If your fuel has already gelled or frozen, Fuel Ox also has an emergency diesel additive called Fuel Ox Heat Bomb that will safely and efficiently thaw and restore gelled or frozen fuel. With Winter on the way, make sure your diesel is protected from the freezing cold! With our Fuel Ox Cold Charge and Fuel Ox Heat Bomb, Fuel Ox can assist you with your Winterization!
When should I put anti gel in diesel?
During the winter, use your diesel fuel anti-gel every time you fill up. Before pumping the fuel, remember to add the anti-gel. This will ensure that the anti-gel is evenly distributed throughout the gasoline. This could indicate that your fuel is starting to gel.
Does Stabil work for diesel?
ALL Diesel Fuels, including Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel and Bio-Diesel Blends, are safe to use with DIESEL Formula STA-BIL. It can also be used in any type of diesel engine, including marine and agricultural machinery.
Is diesel additive necessary?
While the country’s diesel fuel supply is generally reliable, it is not always consistent. When constructing and certifying diesel engines, manufacturers take into account quality swings. In general, they oppose or advise against the use of fuel additives.
“We do not advise Volvo truck owners to add additives to their diesel fuel.” If additives are required, they should be added at the gasoline supplier terminal, according to John Moore, Volvo Trucks North America’s powertrain product marketing manager.
Last year, Cummins became the first company to publicly support a fuel additive, endorsing two Power Service products, Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost and Diesel Fuel Supplement + Cetane Boost.
“Cummins engines are designed, developed, graded, and built to certify and function efficiently on commercially available diesel fuel,” according to Josh Hahn, Cummins Filtration’s coolants and chemicals business leader. “However, Cummins acknowledges that there are low-quality fuels on the market that don’t always meet ASTM D975, and that these fuel concerns can cause a range of problems for customers, including poor lubricity, low cetane numbers, low-temperature operability issues, and injector deposits.” When pour-point depressants, wax-crystal modifiers, or de-icers are required in cold weather operations, fuel additives may be required.”
“In recent years, diesel fuel quality has become increasingly critical as engines evolve and the diesel fuel manufacturing processes change,” said Roger England, director of technical quality and materials engineering for Cummins, when the Power Service alliance was announced last year.
That’s easy to comprehend when emissions regulations tighten and engine technology advances, resulting in tighter mechanical and engineering tolerances. In summary, because fuel supply uncertainty is unlikely to improve, engine manufacturers such as Cummins are taking steps to level the playing field.
Meanwhile, Detroit Diesel says it has no additional requirements beyond current ASTM specifications, but recommends that customers take steps to ensure they are utilizing high-quality gasoline.
“While Detroit does not directly advise any brand or type of fuel additive, we recommend Top Tier diesel fuel since it addresses many of the flaws in ASTM regulations addressing diesel fuel quality,” says Jason Martin, HDEP thermodynamics and fuel map management manager at DTNA. “Top Tier is a voluntary retailer program that addresses fuel stability and lubricity, as well as detergency, water, and particles factors that help sustain the fuel system’s performance over the engine’s lifespan, which is a contributing factor to ensuring top engine performance.”
In North America, Top Tier diesel is available from a variety of vendors. “Because shops may also offer non-additized diesel fuel or diesel that does not satisfy the Top Tier regulations,” the website warns, “always verify the dispenser.”
Do truck stops add anti gel to diesel fuel?
The paraffin wax in diesel fuel can gel in cold weather and block an engine’s fuel filters, which can be a tough problem to tackle.
“It takes a long time to solve the issue if the fuel in a vehicle gels up enough to block the fuel filter,” said Jon Andrus, vice president of fleet management for Doug Andrus Distributing, a truckload carrier based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “In order to get the gel out of the system, we may have to change the gasoline filter numerous times.” We have to tow the truck to our shop and let it thaw out on occasion.”
Fortunately, companies may avoid gelled fuel by using “winterized” diesel, fuel filters with heaters, and engines that start automatically as needed.
Blending two types of diesel, utilizing fuel additives, or both can be used to make winterized diesel. According to Bill Dawson, vice president of maintenance operations and engineering at Miami-based Ryder System Inc., ultra-low-sulfur diesel, often known as No. 2 diesel, makes up the majority of diesel fuel in the United States.
No. 2 diesel begins to gel at roughly 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which is known as the cloud point of the fuel, according to Dawson. He explained that No. 1 diesel is “basically kerosene, which is lighter and has a lower cloud point.” “When No. 1 diesel is mixed with No. 2 diesel, the resulting blend has a lower cloud point than No. 2 diesel alone, making it less prone to gelling.”
Ryder offers fuel to companies that hire or lease Ryder trucks. In the winter, Ryder’s winter blend is used. Ryder employs a fuel additive to help avoid gelling in addition to combining the two types of diesel.
“We utilize a different mix depending on the place and the weather,” Dawson explained. “We use more additive the colder it becomes.”
However, not everyone in the industry supports the usage of fuel additives. Some truck manufacturers advise against it, while others consider it a viable choice.
Additives could be thought of as medicine for the fuel, according to Jeanelle Morris, a materials engineer with Navistar Inc.’s International Trucks.
“They should be prescribed by a professional who has diagnosed the condition, just like medicine,” she stated. “Using additives indiscriminately can cause more harm than good.”
Winters can be harsh in Warren, Michigan, where James Burg Trucking Co. is based.
“We start treating the fuel in the fuel storage tanks at our site with an anti-gel additive around mid-November,” Jim Burg, the company’s president, explained. “We provide quarts or gallons of the additive to some of our drivers who have to fuel on the road, so they can treat their fuel as needed.”
When the season calls for it, Love’s Travel Stops employs a special ingredient in their fuel, according to spokeswoman Kealey Dorian. “We can keep our gasoline flowing even in low-temperature, often harsh winter circumstances thanks to this additive.”
In the winter, Pilot Flying J adds “cold flow improvers” to their diesel. According to a company representative, the additive prevents paraffin wax from creating big crystals that can block fuel filters. “The diesel fuel can pass through a fuel filter because the wax crystals are smaller and separated.”
TravelCenters of America’s diesel is treated throughout the winter in the colder parts of the country and as needed in other locations.
“We splash blend additive to a specification that protects the diesel fuel from extreme winter circumstances,” TA Petro’s senior vice president of marketing and public affairs, Tom Liutkus, said.
“All winter long, we provide our drivers an anti-gel additive to put to their tanks as needed,” Andrus explained. “The fuel is treated in the northern states throughout the winter, but we give them the anti-gel addition to be safe.” Even if they have gasoline that has been handled, we encourage them to use the anti-gel ingredient if the temperature is really cold, such as below zero.”
Overtreatment of fuel can cause filter blockage due to an excessive amount of anti-gel substance, according to Kelly Gedert, manager of powertrain and components marketing for Daimler Trucks North America.
“We’ve discovered that additives create more problems than they solve,” Gedert explained. “A combination of No. 2 and No. 1 fuel is the most effective way to improve diesel fuel’s cold weather operability.”
According to Mike Conroy, director of field service for Peterbilt Motors Co., gasoline additives are not recommended. However, he admitted that it might be essential as a stopgap measure.
“Use a high-quality and EPA-approved brand, use the additive for the shortest time feasible, follow the additive manufacturer’s recommendations, and refuel with the proper grade fuel as quickly as possible,” says the industry.
Truck manufacturers also provide options for keeping the fuel warm so it doesn’t gel when the engine isn’t running.
An auto start-and-stop feature is available on various Kenworth models. The device “also monitors oil temperature, starting the engine when the temperature goes below a predetermined threshold,” according to Kevin Baney, chief engineer of Kenworth Truck Co., noting that this helps prevent gasoline gelling.
According to DTNA’s Gedert, the engines of Freightliner trucks are intended to recirculate a considerable percentage of the fuel. “Fuel returned from hot injectors is circulated back into the system, and a significant portion of the gasoline supplied to the filter module is directed back to the tanks to heat all of the fuel up.”
According to Peterbilt’s Conroy, the most critical aspect in keeping diesel fuel from gelling is the gasoline itself.
Customers who frequently operate in cold climates where gelling is a concern are encouraged to specify fuel filter, line, and tank heaters, which Peterbilt factory installs, he said.
“Our primary fuel filter is available with an electric warmup or electric heat option in cold locations,” said Jason Spence, Volvo’s longhaul product and marketing manager. A gasoline tank heater is also available as an option from the truck manufacturer.
“For 2017, Volvo cars with Volvo and Cummins engines have a new return fuel recirculation valve, which feeds gasoline back to the primary filter instead of sending it to the fuel tanks first, which would allow it to cool down,” he explained.
Mack’s technology product manager, Scott Barraclough, said the company supplies in-tank fuel heaters and heated fuel filters to cope with potential diesel fuel concerns in cold weather.
Davco Technology, the manufacturer of many of today’s gasoline filters, offers three heating options: a 12-volt fuel heater, an overnight heater, and a coolant heater. The top of its filters includes a transparent dome that allows you to see if the fuel inside the unit has gelled.
“If the operator makes a visual examination of a unit and notices that paraffin wax is forming, you can turn on the ignition and see all of the paraffin wax melt in 10 or 15 minutes,” said Rich Rhoney, Davco’s manager of sales and service support.
“You may unplug the extension cord and connect it into a wall outlet,” Rhoney said. “This will prevent the petrol from gelling while parked overnight.” A coolant heat option is also available, which utilises the heat of the operating engine to keep fuel temperatures stable while driving.”
Ultimately, according to Ryder’s Dawson, every fleet must plan for anticipated fuel shortages over the winter.
“Whether you manage your own gasoline or outsource it, you need to have a plan in place to get the correct blend of fuel or you’ll be in danger,” Dawson explained. “Make sure you have a preventive maintenance strategy in place that ensures the cars are in good working order.” You should expect a good winter if you do those things and practice a smidgeon of prevention.”
How long should you run a diesel warm up?
If the temperature is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, you should allow your engine to warm up for up to seven minutes. Warm-up time should be three to five minutes if the temperature is between zero and fifty degrees. Warming up to above fifty degrees takes only one or two minutes.