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 a diesel 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.
Will diesel gel at 20 degrees?
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.
At what temperature do you add anti-gel to diesel fuel?
You should apply an anti-gel fuel supplement to keep diesel gasoline from gelling (or crystallizing). Anti-gel additives are simple to work with. Simply pour them into your gas tank. Anti-gel additives lower diesel fuel’s freezing point, making it less prone to freeze in cold conditions. Because diesel fuel contains wax, it is necessary to add additive to it. The wax is the problem because it causes the fuel to gel, and gelled fuel can clog filters. If the temperature drops below a certain point, the engine will completely gel. Wax is present in the fuel because it contributes to its high cetane rating. In the winter, wax concentration is lower, but it is still present in diesel blends for cetane. The cetane number (cetane rating) is a measure of the speed at which diesel fuel burns and the amount of compression required for ignition. It serves the same purpose in diesel as octane does in gasoline.
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. The best advice is to follow the directions on the anti-gel container.
If the weatherman predicts a cold front, you should prepare by increasing the anti-gel ingredient. The importance of preparation cannot be overstated. Your engine will not be harmed by anti-gel additives.
Whenever you fill up with diesel in the winter, use an anti-gel additive. Most additives can be put either before or after the fuel is added. However, if you add the ingredients ahead of time, you can ensure proper mixing.
As soon as feasible, add an anti-gel ingredient. Use an emergency additive that de-thaws the gasoline and de-ices the filters if your fuel has already gelled or your fuel lines are clogged. The emergency procedures re-liquify the fuel, allowing it to burn anew.
Anti-gel diesel fuel additive will not de-ice your gelled diesel fuel tank or assist you in starting your engine. The majority of diesel anti-gels can’t be added to the fuel tank once it’s gelled. To get the fuel flowing, you’ll need to use a de-icer additive in the tank. Anti-gel additives must be introduced to the tank no later than 10 degrees Fahrenheit before the fuel’s cloud point to ensure effective mixing. De-icers should be poured into the filters and tank to keep them from freezing. Then wait at least 30 minutes before beginning. Anti-gels must be stirred into the fuel rather than being put on top of it, otherwise they will not mix correctly. The best additive mixing conditions are warm gasoline.
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 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.
Jet A-1 is a kerosine-based fuel that can be used in most turbine-powered aircraft. It has a flash point of 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and a freeze point of -47 degrees Celsius. Outside of the United States, it is widely available. The UK specification DEF STAN 91-91 (Jet A-1) Nato code F-35 (previously DERD 2494) and the ASTM specification D1655 are the major requirements for Jet A-1 grade (see below) (Jet A-1).
Jet A is a kerosine-grade fuel that is generally exclusively accessible in the United States of America. It has the same flash point as Jet A-1, but a lower maximum freeze point (-40°C). It is manufactured in accordance with ASTM D1655 (Jet A) standards.
Jet B is a distillate that contains both naphtha and kerosine. It can be used as a substitute for Jet A-1, but because it is more difficult to handle (greater flammability), it is only employed in extreme cold locations where its superior cold weather performance is critical. Jet B has an ASTM specification, but it is delivered in Canada in accordance with the Canadian Specification CAN/CGSB 3.23.
The main jet fuel grade available in Russian and CIS countries is TS-1. It’s a kerosine-like fuel with somewhat higher volatility (minimum flash point of 28C) and lower freeze point (
American Civil Jet Fuels
The ASTM Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels D 1655 is the most common civil jet fuel specification in the United States, and it specifies the requirements for three types of fuel:-
- Jet A-1 is a kerosine-based fuel that is identical to Jet A but has a lower freezing point of -47 degrees Celsius.
Jet B is no longer widely accessible, with the exception of portions of northern Canada, where its lower freeze point and higher volatility make it easier to handle and start cold.
UK Jet Fuels
D. Eng RD 2494, issued by the Ministry of Defence, was adopted as the standard UK civil jet fuel despite its origins as a military jet fuel. It has been renamed DEF STAN 91-91 and now specifies the specifications for a kerosine-type fuel (Jet A-1 grade) with a maximum freeze point of -47 degrees Celsius.
Except for a few places where DEF STAN 91-91 is more strict, Jet A-1 as specified by the DEF STAN 91-91 specification is quite similar to Jet A-1 as described by the ASTM D 1655 specification.
Former Soviet Union and East European Jet Fuels
There are a variety of specification grades for Soviet kerosine-type jet fuels, reflecting differing crude sources and processing procedures. T-1 to T-8, TS-1, or RT are the grade designations. A State Standard (GOST) number or a Technical Condition (TU) number is assigned to the grades. In certain cases, the limiting property values, exact fuel composition, and test methodologies differ significantly from their Western counterparts.
Soviet fuels have a low freeze point (equal to roughly -57 degrees C by Western test techniques), but also a low flash point (a minimum of 28 degrees C compared with 38 degrees C for Western fuel). The best quality (a hydrotreated product) is RT fuel (written as PT in Russian alphabet), however it is not extensively produced. Most aircraft manufacturers accept TS-1 (standard grade), which is considered to be on par with Western Jet A-1.
The countries of Eastern Europe have their own national standards and nomenclature. Many are fairly similar to Russian standards, but others reflect the needs of visiting international airlines and have features and test techniques that are similar to Western Jet A-1.
Chinese Jet Fuels
Current Chinese requirements cover five different types of jet fuel. Previously, each grade was designated by the prefix RP; however, they are now referred to as No 1 Jet Fuel, No 2 Jet Fuel, and so on. The kerosines RP-I and RP-2 are similar to the Soviet TS-1. Both of them have a low flash point (minimum 28 degrees C).
RP-1 has a freeze point of -60°C while RP-2 has a freeze point of -50°C. RP-3 is essentially the same as Western Jet A-1, but it’s made for export. RP-4, like Western Jet B and Soviet T-2, is a wide-cut type of fuel. RP-5 is a high-flash-point kerosine similar to that used by naval aircrews on aircraft carriers in the West. RP-3 is now used in almost all Chinese jet fuel production (renamed No 3 Jet Fuel).
International Specifications – AFQRJOS Checklist
A number of fuel suppliers established the Aviation Fuel Quality Requirements for Jointly Operated Systems, or AFQRJOS, Check List as jet fuel supply arrangements got more complex, necessitating co-mingling of product in shared storage facilities. The DEF STAN and ASTM specifications for JET A-1’s most demanding criteria are represented by the Check List. Any product that meets Check List standards will, by definition, also meet DEF STAN or ASTM norms.
The fuel given to the Check List meets the most demanding specifications: –
Eight major aviation fuel suppliers – Agip, BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Kuwait Petroleum, Shell, Statoil, and Total – recognize the Check List as the foundation of their international supply of nearly all civil aviation fuels outside of North America and the former Soviet Union.
Other National Civil Jet Fuel Specifications
There are a plethora of different national specifications. Typically, these are based on specifications from the United States, the United Kingdom, or the former Soviet Union, with minor changes. The modest variations between the ASTM and DEF STAN requirements are increasingly being harmonised. Many national specifications are also undergoing this harmonised process.
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.
What temp does diesel freeze UK?
Fuel efficiency is roughly 10% worse at -5°C than it is at 20°C, according to official fuel testing. Furthermore, when temperatures drop below 0°C, fuel economy can drop by as much as 20% for vehicles travelling less than 4 miles – so what’s going on?
Given that petrol’s freezing point is a cold -60°C, a petrol tank will almost certainly not freeze during even the harshest British winter. Diesel, on the other hand, has a much lower freezing point and is more likely to gel in cold temperatures. To tackle this, fuel firms have developed a summer and winter diesel blend that can withstand temperatures as low as -5°C and as high as -15°C.
Given that neither fuel is significantly affected by cold weather, it’s evident that the problem isn’t with the liquid itself, but rather with the effect of the cold on the car’s mechanics.
Cold weather can impact a variety of components in your car, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel efficiency. We’ve compiled a summary of some of the negative affects that cold weather can have on your car’s fuel economy.
- It takes much longer for your engine to achieve its ideal operating temperature on a cold day. This is especially problematic for short excursions, as the automobile will spend the majority of its time operating at a lower-than-optimal temperature, resulting in poor fuel economy.
- In cold weather, engine oil thickens. This can cause friction between moving parts in the engine and transmission system, resulting in unnecessary fuel use.
- Fans, defrosters, wipers, and heated seats are all electrical components that place additional demand on the battery. As a result, the alternator has a harder time keeping the battery charged, resulting in a decrease in fuel economy.
- It’s common to have to warm up your automobile to defrost and demist the windscreen on bitterly cold mornings. This type of idling has a significant impact on fuel efficiency, with your automobile obtaining zero MPG for the duration.
- Cold air is thicker and denser than warm air, which increases your car’s aerodynamic drag. This requires the engine to work harder, especially at highway speeds.
- In extremely low temperatures, tyre pressures drop somewhat, increasing the vehicle’s rolling resistance.
What temp does diesel ignite?
Any liquid’s flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which it produces enough vapor to create a flammable combination in the air. If an ignition source is present, the lower the flashpoint temperature, the easier it is to ignite the air. The higher the flashpoint, the safer it is to handle the substance.
The flashpoint of diesel fuel varies depending on the kind of fuel. #2 diesel is the most common type of diesel on the road today. The flashpoint of diesel fuel is between 125 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a ConocoPhillips Material Safety Data Sheet (52 to 82 degrees Celsius). Any liquid’s flashpoint can shift when the pressure in the air around it shifts.
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.