This phrase is self-explanatory, as fuel gelling occurs when the petrol in your tank thickens to the point where it resembles gel. This only happens when the outdoor temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, though it’s most likely to happen when the temperature is around 15 degrees or below. This is due to the presence of paraffin wax in diesel fuel. When you need to improve the lubrication and viscosity of the gasoline, that’s a terrific ingredient to have…but it’s not so great when the wax thickens as it gets colder.
As a result, the thicker fuel clogs the filters and eventually stops flowing completely, preventing you from starting your vehicle. So, how can you tell if your car is experiencing fuel gelling? If it’s below freezing outside and your diesel-fueled vehicle won’t start, it’s most likely due to fuel gelling. Fortunately, this common diesel fuel winter issue can be avoided. To be more specific, there are two basic strategies to avoid this problem.
How cold does it have to be for diesel to gel up?
- 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 temp 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.
When should I add anti-gel to diesel fuel?
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.
Drain the water separators/replace fuel filter
If your diesel has gelled, drive it to a warm location (or indoors) to warm up. This allows the wax crystals to return to a liquid state. Jamie Osborne, master diesel mechanic at Fremont Motors Casper, suggests looking for waxy, gel-like particles in the fuel filter. Drain the water separators if necessary, and replace the fuel filter.
Be careful inspecting, wear gloves
When inspecting diesel components, wear gloves since germs can thrive in diesel. It’s also known as diesel bug or diesel algae.
On a related note, this can also cause truck starting issues. “Microbial development in gasoline is generally described as being similar to the appearance of chocolate mousse,” according to Fuel and Friction. It grows in any water present in the fuel/tank.
To avoid this, choose a fuel that is continually moving rather than sitting around collecting water.
How to ungel diesel in an emergency
To ungel a diesel, use a De-Gel product. Gelled diesel is re-liquefied using Power Service Diesel 9-1-1. It can also be used to de-ice frozen gasoline filters.
It does not prevent gelling and should only be used in an emergency, not on a daily basis.
A De-Gel product is not the same as an Anti-Gel product. An Anti-gel will not work if your fuel has already gelled.
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.
What temp does diesel Ungel?
Cold weather is tough for diesel engines, but as temperatures drop into the teens below zero, diesel owners must contend with fuel gelling issues. Untreated diesel gasoline begins to gel at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and is entirely gelled at 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
What temp does 50/50 diesel gel?
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 #1 diesel gel?
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.
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.
What can I put in my diesel fuel to keep it from gelling?
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.