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.
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.
In cold temperatures, use to liquefy frozen or gelled diesel gasoline caused by wax production or ice crystals. Quick-Thaw will completely thaw the whole fuel system in roughly 20 minutes if applied according to the guidelines. Excellent for diesel cars operating in colder locations, where wax crystals found in low- and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels can cause filter blockage.
A bottle of Quick-Thaw should be kept on hand in every diesel truck for emergency cold weather rescue treatment.
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.
Gelled Fuel in The Fuel Tank:
If the fuel in the tank has gelled, add the entire contents of Diesel Winter Rescue (32 ounces) to every 40 gallons of fuel in the tank (s). Remove the fuel filters and fill them with a 50/50 mixture of Diesel Winter Rescue and diesel fuel. Start your engine after reinstalling the fuel filters. Allow your engine to idle for a few minutes to warm up the fuel system and clear any gelled masses.
Gelled Fuel in Fuel Lines or Fuel Filters:
Remove the engine’s fuel filters and fill with the same 1:1 combination of Diesel Winter Rescue and conventional diesel fuel if your fuel is liquid in the fuel tank(s) but your engine won’t start. Reinstall the fuel filters, start the engine, and let it warm up completely.
How Do Hot Shot’s Diesel Winter Products Work?
Hot Shot’s Diesel Winter Rescue is a fully developed emergency product that contains a military-grade de-icer as well as a lubricity additive for diesel fuel. It’s designed to re-liquefy gelled fuel and de-ice frozen fuel filters, restoring diesel fuel flow to the engine and allowing the vehicle to resume normal operation. Having products like Diesel Winter Rescue in your vehicle during the winter months, when gelling is most likely, is a good idea.
Do gas stations add anti gel to diesel fuel?
One of the most significant disadvantages of diesel fuel is that it does not perform well in cold weather. When I say it doesn’t play nice, I mean that the cold can be a pain in the neck. Diesel fuel can create waxy solid crystals that clog gasoline lines and filters when temperatures drop. This not only prevents engines from starting (or from starting and then dying), but it can also necessitate major repairs if things go bad enough.
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.
What is the gelling point of diesel?
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.
How cold does it have to be for diesel fuel 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 temperature does diesel Ungel at?
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 filters.
Can number one diesel gel up?
Diesel fuels No. 1 and No. 2 are designed for use in highway vehicles. While No. 2 diesel is the more popular, No. 1 diesel is preferable for cold weather use. This is due to its lower boiling point and reduced weight compared to No. 2 diesel. This reduces the likelihood of it gelling or waxing in cold conditions, allowing it to flow more freely through a car’s engine. No. 1 diesel, on the other hand, is more expensive than No. 2 diesel. For this reason, many individuals combine the two diesels for use in cold weather.