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.
At what temperature does untreated 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.
Will diesel gel at 25 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.
Does diesel gel in the cold?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated a reduction in fuel consumption since the 1990s.
approximately a hundred percent increase in sulfur concentration (99.7 percent , if you want the specifics). Without going into detail,
Too much detail here is both a good and a negative thing.
It’s beneficial because
Sulfur oxides have a negative impact on the environment. The ultra-low sulfur diesel, on the other hand,
(ULSD) now on the market has decreased lubricity and lower viscosity.
diesel fuel in the past had a lower cetane than today’s diesel fuel. That is the drawback.
The addition of sulfur to diesel is another modification that has occurred.
Biofuels made from renewable hydrocarbons. Corn and other renewable fuels have been added to the mix.
As well, soy is causing problems. ULSD, particularly if it comprises a
has a stronger affinity for water than traditional fuels, and is made up of a higher percentage of renewable energy.
diesel. Sulfur content was high, which benefited diesel by keeping things cool.
The lack of sulfur in ULSD means that it is more easily mixed/dispersed (like water).
Because the water content is not being dispersed/burned, there is a risk of water difficulties.
It’s never a nice thing to have water in your fuel tank, yet it happens.
This is especially problematic in the winter.
You might be wondering what the relationship between water and sulfur content is.
Do something about the diesel gelling. To be honest, not much, but they are in charge of everything.
with the majority of winter diesel problems Actual diesel fuel gelling takes place only when the engine is running.
temperatures that are quite chilly
You’re well ahead of the game when it comes to diesel gelling.
Water and ice will be a problem. Remember how we discussed about how important water is?
Is there a problem with diesel fuel? Well, in the winter, water freezes and solidifies.
When compared to paraffinic diesel, it operates at substantially greater temperatures.
In the absence of large levels of
Water does not disperse throughout your diesel fuel, but sulfur does.
puddles. These water puddles are then carried through your system.
If you’re having problems with your diesel engine,
Ice is most likely your issue during the winter. Extreme cold, on the other hand, or a long period of time in the cold
Issues might quickly grow into a fuel shortage.
Diesel Cloud Point
All diesel fuel contains paraffin, which, in normal circumstances, is a good thing.
Lubricity and viscosity are improved under certain conditions. Cold weather, on the other hand, causes
thickening and crystallization of paraffin wax Diesel achieves its apogee.
When wax crystals start to clump together and the fuel starts to fog
The sky appears to be cloudy.
When your fuel hits the cloud point, it is no longer usable.
Flow resistance develops. The next stage of a tainted diesel is its cold state.
The Filter Plugging Point (CFPP) is the point at which crystallized wax starts to clog your fuel filter.
Your engine won’t start because of filters.
Diesel Gelling Temperature Point
In the winter, the next step of contaminated diesel fuel is
The diesel is gelling. The gasoline has solidified to the point where it can no longer be moved.
flow for a longer time (what we refer to as pour point). It’s worth noting that
Diesel gelling, on the other hand, happens only at extremely low temperatures, below 10°F (-12°C).
You’re probably having problems if the temperature is over 10° to 15°F (-12° to -9°C).
Rather of a gelling problem, you’re dealing with ice.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.