What Is Winterized Diesel Fuel?

Winter diesel fuel (sometimes referred to as winter diesel, alpine diesel, or winterised diesel) is diesel fuel that has been improved to prevent it from gelling in cold weather. In general, it is accomplished through the use of additives that alter the fuel’s low-temperature characteristics.

Is it OK to use winter diesel in the summer?

Canada is considered as having a “arctic” climate when it comes to using diesel fuel. In the winter, temperatures can easily dip to below 40 °C. When the temperatures drop below freezing, failing to prepare your diesel engine could result in its failure.

You can choose between “summer” diesel fuel, which is ideal for use between May and October, and “winter” diesel fuel, which is suitable for use between November and April, at the gas station.

When summer fuel is exposed to low temperatures, it thickens. Your vehicle will not run on gelled petrol. This is where the winter diesel blend enters the picture.

What is the difference between summer and winter diesel fuel?

There are two types of diesel: winter grade diesel and summer grade diesel, and it’s important to understand the differences.

Winter grade diesel is prepared with an additive that prevents wax crystals from forming at low temperatures, thus it won’t gel even in the coldest conditions. Winter fuel can be used all year because it is more cold resistant (-12°C CFPP min), making it suitable for all seasons.

Summer grade diesel has a slightly higher viscosity, making it ideal for summer use.

When is winter fuel available?

During the winter months, the blending of diesel is altered to optimize the fuel’s cold-weather performance. It’ll be available from November 15 through March 15.

Summer gasoline is available throughout the year, however it should only be used in the summer months.

Because it has a limited resilience to the cold, fuel certified for use during the summer months (Summer Grade diesel) is only suitable for use during these months (-4°C CFPP min).

Summer fuel can only be used during summer

Because it has a limited resilience to the cold, fuel certified for use during the summer months (#2 diesel) is only suitable for use during these months (-4°C CFPP min).

Winter-grade could be used all year, but it isn’t cost-effective. When crude oil is refined, substantially less winter-grade diesel is produced than summer-grade diesel, posing a difficulty with winter-grade supply. Furthermore, fossil winter-grade diesel has a lower energy content than summer-grade diesel.

Which diesel is winterized?

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.

Do diesel engines need to be winterized?

Cold has the same vengeance on mechanical objects as it has on organic ones. When winter arrives, efforts must be taken to safeguard diesel engines, new oil burners, and especially older oil burners with glow plugs, in order to maintain powerplants and ensure rigs remain reliable until climates warm up.

Do I need to winterize my diesel?

When the weather becomes cold, paraffin wax, which is contained in ordinary diesel, can harden and jam the engine. Because solid wax build-up can cause the engine to perform poorly or possibly stop up entirely, winterizing your fuel using a winter-specific diesel is critical.

What is Number 1 diesel used for?

The fundamental difference between Diesel #1 and Diesel #2 is the cetane rating, which, like the octane of gasoline, indicates igniting ease. It’s all about fuel efficiency, volatility, and seasonality, really.

Less wear on your engines’ batteries implies a faster and more efficient start. The increased cetane grade also helps diesel engines run more smoothly by lowering maintenance requirements.

The additional lubricants in Premium Diesel assist keep fuel system parts moving easily. The fuel pump’s and other fuel system components’ lives are extended as a result of the reduced friction.

Fuel systems can become clogged with sediments and other particles over time. While the engine is operating, detergents are injected to Diesel #1 to clean injectors and other fuel system components. Not only does a clean fuel system last longer, but it also enhances fuel efficiency and horsepower production.

Diesel #1 contains lubricants and detergents, as well as other fuel additives that improve engine performance and save downtime. Even in a well-sealed fuel system, air moisture can find its way in and cause major engine problems. Demulsifiers in premium Diesel work to separate emulsified water from the fuel so that it can be filtered out; even in a well-sealed fuel system, air moisture can find its way in and cause major engine problems. Corrosion inhibitors keep rust and corrosion at bay, while stabilizers keep blockages and buildup at bay.

Diesel #1 is sometimes known as winter diesel since it operates better in colder conditions than Diesel #2. It has a lower viscosity and does not gel when exposed to cold temperatures. Most stations sell a premium Diesel blend that is tailored to the local climate.

While premium diesel has a number of advantages, such as fewer maintenance and equipment downtime, regular diesel is less expensive at the pump, which is an essential consideration. However, total cost of ownership should take into account not only the cost savings from the fuel, but also the impact on ongoing maintenance costs. The age and size of your fleet may play a role in deciding between Diesel #1 and Diesel #2.

When deciding between Diesel #1 and Diesel #2 for your fleet, keep in mind that premium Diesel quality differs from station to station. If you choose Diesel #1, make sure your drivers get their fuel at reliable high-volume stations.

Do you want to learn more about the effects of diesel choices on fuel systems? To talk with an equipment professional, contact your nearest Papé Kenworth office now.

What is #1 diesel used for?

Distillate fuel oil is a broad term for one of the petroleum fractions produced in traditional distillation processes. Diesel fuels and fuel oils are included. On-highway diesel engines, such as those in trucks and automobiles, as well as off-highway engines, such as those in train locomotives and agricultural machinery, use No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 diesel fuel. Fuel oils with the numbers No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 are largely utilized for space heating and electric power generation.

No. 1 Distillate: A light petroleum distillate that can be used as a diesel fuel or a fuel oil (see No. 1 Diesel Fuel). See No. 1 Fuel Oil for more information.

  • No. 1 Diesel Fuel: A light distillate fuel oil that satisfies ASTM Specification D 975 criteria and has distillation temperatures of 550 degrees Fahrenheit at the 90% mark. It’s found in high-performance diesel engines like those seen in city buses and other comparable vehicles. See No. 1Distillate for more information.
  • No. 1 Fuel Oil: A light distillate fuel oil that satisfies ASTM Specification D 396 and has distillation temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit at the 10% recovery point and 550 degrees Fahrenheit at the 90% recovery point. It’s mostly used as a fuel source for portable outdoor stoves and warmers. See No. 1Distillate for more information.

No. 2 Distillate: A petroleum distillate that can be used as a diesel fuel or a fuel oil (see No. 2 Diesel Fuel definition). No. 2 Fuel oil is a good example.

  • No. 2 Diesel Fuel: A fuel that fulfills the ASTM Specification D 975 criteria and has a distillation temperature of 640 degrees Fahrenheit at the 90% recovery point. It’s found in high-speed diesel engines like those found in locomotives, trucks, and cars. See No. 2Distillate for more information.
  • No. 2 fuel oil (heating oil): A distillate fuel oil that meets ASTM Specification D 396 and has distillation temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit at the 10% recovery point and 640 degrees Fahrenheit at the 90% recovery point. It’s utilized in atomizing type burners for home heating or commercial/industrial burner units with a moderate capacity. See No. 2Distillate for more information.

No. 4 Fuel is a distillate fuel oil that is manufactured by combining distillate and residual fuel oil stocks. It meets ASTM Specification D 396 or Federal Specification VV-F-815C and is widely utilized in industrial plants and commercial burner systems that lack preheating capabilities. It also contains No. 4 diesel fuel, which is suitable for low- and medium-speed diesel engines and meets ASTM Specification D 975.

Will winterized diesel gel?

If the diesel gasoline gets any colder, it will eventually ‘gel-up,’ turning into a gelatinous mass in your fuel tank that resembles Jell-O. We all know that a tank of Jell-O isn’t going to help your engine function efficiently.

Which diesel fuel 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 an 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.