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.
At what temp does winter 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.
Is it OK to use winter diesel in the summer?
What’s your pre-harvest strategy? Farmers throughout Western Canada are preparing for one of the busiest seasons of the year, from equipment maintenance to training seasonal laborers.
Winter fuel requirements should be a key component of your strategy. Co-op Premium Diesel and Co-op High Performance Diesel are seasonally adjusted with cooler weather in mind to guarantee your equipment operates as well as possible when you need it to.
The Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) in Regina, Saskatchewan, performs fuel mix adjustments on a regular basis, however the main transition of diesel blends occurs twice a year in preparation for summer and winter conditions. Diesel can gel up in Canada’s harsh winter temperatures, resulting in long-term stress on equipment and poor fuel efficiency. Winter diesel blends’ lighter components keep viscosity issues at bay.
- Cloud Point has been modified to improve flow capacity. This specification indicates the low-temperature operability of diesel fuel by measuring the temperature at which crystal formation begins.
- Another essential diesel standard is the Pour Point, which is changed to lessen fuel viscosity, which occurs when the temperature changes, therefore improving total fuel performance.
- De-icers maintain the integrity of the system while also improving performance in sub-zero conditions.
While winter diesel can be used well into the spring, it’s critical to use up your summer diesel before the cold weather arrives. Because of the significant differences in blending and spec numbers, it’s crucial to remember that these fuels should not be mixed when stored, as this would affect the diesel’s performance.
Winter diesel blends are usually available from the second half of September to the second half of April, depending on regional requirements. To learn more about the switch to winter diesel, fuel attributes, and how to manage your fuel supply, contact a member of your local Co-op Fuel Team.
How cold does it have to be for diesel to start gelling?
- 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.
How warm does it need to be for diesel to Ungel?
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.
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.
Will diesel Ungel on its own?
A variety of things can be put to a gelled tank to aid in the recovery of the fuel to its original state. Opti-Lube Gel Melt and Diesel 911, for example, are made specifically for gelled fuel. Simply fill the tank with one of these and follow the dosing directions. There’s no need to heat or mix the tank. These can take a long time to install, depending on the size and shape of the tank. The treated fuel in the tank may not be able to reach gelled fuel that is not in the tank, such as in fuel lines and filters, which is a significant constraint.
When should I switch to #1 diesel?
When Should You Blend? 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. For every ten percent increase in No.
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.
Can you run #1 diesel in the summer?
Winter diesel fuel is a blend of grade 1 and 2 diesel. Kerosene is the principal component of grade no. 1 diesel. Meanwhile, it is free of paraffin. These two elements reduce the mix’s cloud and pour points, preventing it from gelling in cold conditions.
The ratio of no. 1 to no. 2 diesel fuels in the winter blend can vary depending on where you live. In general, it ranges from 20 to 80. Pure grade no. 1 diesel fuel may be necessary in the coldest areas.
Due to its low gelling point, pure grade no. 1 diesel fuel may appear to be a good choice, but it is more expensive and has a lower energy content. Continuously running an engine on pure grade no. 1 diesel fuel may shorten the life of the fuel system. Â
Before the temperature dips below â 7 °C, you can use summer diesel fuel. After then, it’s time to convert to a winter blend.
How do I keep my diesel from gelling up?
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.