You get ready to go to work one morning, but your car won’t start. Overnight, your fuel in the tank has solidified. So, what exactly do you do?
For truck drivers, the winter months are more than just a dangerous time when they must drive extra cautiously. In fact, the colder months bring with them a slew of new issues, one of which being diesel fuel gelling. When the temperature of diesel fuel drops, the paraffin that is normally contained in it begins to harden. The wax in liquid form will solidify at 32 degrees, clouding the fuel tank. It will ultimately start to gel at 10-15 degrees and block the tank and fuel filter.
The gel point of diesel is the temperature at which it solidifies and can no longer flow through the fuel lines. The pour point, on the other hand, specifies the temperature at which a fluid begins to harden.
This is the most important one. The diesel fuel in the fuel lines has solidified and clogged the fuel filter. The engine will not start if petrol cannot enter through the fuel filter.
Some truck drivers have told us about filling up with diesel fuel in the winter and neglecting to add anti-gel treatment. When they get on the road, they discover that their vehicle is at best sluggish, and that it can’t even accelerate correctly. When accelerating, a mismatch between the intended fuel rail pressure and the actual rail pressure is detected. Because of the gelling of the diesel fuel, the required pressure frequently jumps while the actual pressure remains low, preventing the fuel from getting where it should go.
Truckers frequently mix #1 diesel, which has a kerosene blend, with diesel #2, which is utilized for road applications. Kerosene lowers the plug point temperature of the fuel and reduces its viscosity, reducing the likelihood of diesel gelling even at low temperatures.
Another typical option for diesel fuel gelling is additives and fuel treatments. They function in a similar way to the previous alternative in reducing the production of paraffin crystals. They also help to reduce the fuel’s pour and gel points. For than two decades, AFS products have reliably and affordably protected New England and Mid-Atlantic diesel enthusiasts with its patented cold weather innovations and comprehensive fuel oversight programs.
Our Winter Diesel 2010 Additive, which combines wax modifiers and wax anti-settling chemicals to improve low-temperature operability, is a good example of a fuel treatment. While ensuring fuel economy and emission management, it also provides L10 injector detergency, fuel stabilization, and corrosion inhibition.
Our technical staff is available to discuss any issues you may have about winter operability with you. They can provide advice on best practices and preventative measures that will help you and your customers prepare for whatever the winter brings. Advanced Fuel Solutions can be reached at 978-258-8360 for more information.
How do I stop my diesel from gelling?
One of the best methods to avoid fuel gelling is to keep the fuel from becoming too cold, which you can accomplish by not leaving your car outside in the cold. This technique should work in the winter if you have a heated garage or other form of climate-controlled storage facility for your vehicle. Because the fuel won’t gel while the engine is running, you can still drive the automobile in the cold. If you have to leave it outside for several hours or days at a time, you’ll need to find another technique to keep the fuel from gelling.
At what degree does diesel fuel begin to gel?
- Gelling: It’s unusual to have a situation where the fuel practically turns to jelly. Gelling happens when the paraffin wax in diesel solidifies due to a drop in temperature, and the fuel’s temperature must be kept below minus 10 degrees F for extended periods of time, such as 48 to 72 hours. When diesel is cold soaked, the paraffin wax in the fuel hardens, giving it a hazy look. At temperatures as high as 32 degrees F, the fuel will begin to cloud, but it will continue to flow. Before the fuel can gel, it must be kept at a very low temperature for an extended period of time. It’s common to hear drivers complain about their fuel gelling up, but this is almost certainly not the issue they’re having. Ice or solidified paraffin wax in the fuel filter is more likely to be the issue. There’s more on that later.
- Cloud Point: To determine the cloud point of a sample of diesel fuel, which is the temperature at which the naturally present paraffin wax in #2 diesel fuel begins to crystalize, there are prescribed methods. The fuel has a hazy look due to the microscopic particles of suspended hardened wax. Cloud point temperatures for diesel fuel typically vary from -18°F to +20°F, but can reach +40°F depending on a variety of factors connected to the base stock and refining operations. The cloud point of so-called winter diesel fuel (#1 diesel or kerosene) is substantially lower since it contains relatively little paraffin. Fuel distributors will test the product and, if requested, may include the results in tenders and delivery receipts.
- The temperature at which a liquid loses its flow properties is known as the pour point. The pour point of diesel fuel changes according on the wax content in the fuel, which varies depending on the source of the base stock, the refining process, and the type and quantity of additives added to the fuel during refining or distribution. The difference between the cloud point and the pour point is always there, with the latter often being 2° to 20°F lower than the former. To establish the pour point of a fuel sample, certain tests must be performed. Bulk providers, as previously stated, can supply this information.
- When diesel fuel is cooled, the cold filter plugging point is a measurement based on a standardized test that indicates the rate at which it will flow through a standardized filtration equipment in a given amount of time. The CFPP is the point at which the sample fails to pass through the filter in the time allotted.
What causes diesel fuel gelling?
Temperature effects on paraffin, a component of diesel fuel, are the most common source of gelling difficulties. When paraffin waxes are burned in an engine, they produce more power. Diesel, on the other hand, will begin to harden as the temperature drops.
Can you add gasoline to diesel to prevent gelling?
Get in your gas pickup and head north to a truckstop to purchase anti-gel or #1 fuel. However, do not add gasoline to your fuel system or engine.
Will diesel 911 prevent gelling?
Diesel 911 is a product designed for usage in the winter. To restore the flow of diesel fuel to an engine, our Winter Rescue Formula reliquefies gelled fuel and de-ices frozen fuel-filters. Fuel gelling is not prevented by Diesel 911; instead, use Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost (in the white container) as a preventative precaution. Diesel 911 and Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost are diesel fuel compatible and can be used together.
Plug in your truck or vehicle
You can use an engine block heater to prevent a diesel vehicle from gelling. These can be installed at your local dealership if your truck doesn’t already have one.
Use winterized diesel.
Some gas stations will have fuel that has been winterized. It may not be available at every pump, so call ahead or inquire at the gasoline counter. They might have a blend that lowers the gelling temperature significantly.
Keep diesel tank as full as possible
Keep more than half a tank of gas in your car. If you’re traveling long distances in places like Wyoming, this could be difficult. With more fuel in the tank, the chance of water/condensation collecting and freezing is reduced. This, in turn, will aid in the prevention of diesel gelling.
Store the vehicle inside
Keep your car in the garage (heated is even better if you have one!) as much as possible. Keeping the vehicle inside, though, may provide just enough of a temperature differential to prevent gelling.
Can diesel gel while driving?
Modern diesel engines do not return as much fuel to the tank as older diesel engines did, therefore the fuel does not stay warm while the engine is running. While driving, the fuel tanks can literally gel. When the temperature of diesel fuel drops, the paraffin that is normally contained in it begins to harden.
How do you Ungel diesel fuel?
If the cold weather catches you off guard, your diesel-powered rig or light vehicle may be difficult to start or not start at all.
This happens because diesel fuel thickens inside filters and fuel lines, clogging your truck’s fuel system by forming a gel. For a truck owner/operator or anyone trying to travel and gets trapped on a dark and lonely highway in the middle of nowhere, this may be a very costly cost. Depending on the severity and location, emergency call outs to defrost a gelled system can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
Emergency CleanBoost Diesel Rescue De-GelTM was created with one goal in mind: to get you out of an emergency situation and back on the road as quickly as possible. Continue reading.
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.
Can gelled diesel damage injectors?
The gelling, on the other hand, might not be enough to damage an injector. In other words, it gelled, and you didn’t try to run it again until it ungelled. However, if the fuel leading to the injectors has gelled up and the FICM is driving them, the injectors will be starving for fuel. It’s the same as if you were in a low (or no) pressure situation.