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 a 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.
What kind of diesel should you use in the winter?
Winterized diesel fuel is a blend of #1 and #2 fuels that contains a higher proportion of #1 grade diesel fuel when blended together. During the months when it is too cold to use #2 grade, these fuels are employed.
The chemical mix including both grades of fuel should have adequate energy components and lubricating characteristics to prevent the chemical mix from gelling in cooler temperatures. The fuel economy typically decreases significantly during the winter months due to lower demand than during other times of the year.
In the winter, using #1 grade diesel fuel should never be a cause for concern. Long-term use in engines designed exclusively for #2 grade, on the other hand, may shorten the engine’s life cycle. Fuels of grades #1 and #2 can be blended at the same time. This means you won’t be inconvenienced if #1 grade is only available in the winter.
Is #1 or #2 diesel for winter?
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.
Is number 2 diesel winter blend?
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.
What temperature is too cold for diesel?
When it comes to diesel trucks, how cold is too cold? At 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.5 degrees Celsius), the diesel fuel in your fuel tank will gel and you will have problems starting your engine. Your diesel vehicle will have troubles if the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit / -9.5 degrees Celsius. The diesel won’t be frozen solid, but it won’t be liquid either. You must now rely on heating solutions such as block heaters and glow plugs, which are not available on all diesel engines.
There’s a lot of debate regarding what temperature is too cold for a diesel truck. On the internet, it is stated that the freezing point of diesel fuel is roughly -112 degrees Fahrenheit or -80 degrees Celsius. Now you believe you will never be in a region that gets that cold, so you should be fine. Wrong.
It is not necessary for the diesel in your fuel tank and fuel lines to be solidly frozen to cause you problems. When the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit / 9.5 degrees Celsius, the diesel fuel begins to change shape and becomes more like a gel. Consider a gel-like fuel that travels from the fuel tank to the engine. Traveling through the fuel lines would be difficult, and you would have difficulty starting your engine in the frigid winter.
Are Diesels good in cold weather?
In cold weather, diesel engines are more difficult to start because they rely on high temperatures caused by compression to ignite the injected fuel. In fact, starting a diesel engine at 0°F (-17°C) is five times more difficult than starting one at 80°F (26°C).
Does Supreme diesel make a difference?
However, they have more recently recognized the needs of modern motorists and developed a Supreme Fuel that is designed to keep your engine functioning at its best. Seventy percent of service stations sell Supreme fuel, which is available in both gasoline and diesel, making it more broadly available than ever before.
So, just what is Texaco Supreme Fuel?
Simply told, Supreme Unleaded has a higher octane rating than regular gasoline, which has been proven to make the engine function more efficiently, enhancing your car’s performance, while Supreme Diesel has a higher cetane rating. Using fuel with a lower octane or cetane level can create damaging deposits in your engine over time, resulting in a decrease in vehicle performance and acceleration hesitation. It will also result in increased exhaust emissions and decreased economy, so while you may believe you are saving money by filling up your tank, you will be spending much more in the long run owing to the poor fuel economy.
Whats so good about Texaco Supreme Fuel?
When you fill up your tank with Texaco Supreme Unleaded and Supreme Diesel, you’re helping to prevent deposits from forming and removing carbon deposits left behind by lower-grade fuels. However, using the Supreme Fuel on a regular basis is recommended to get the most out of your car’s engine.
Many people are hesitant to fill up their automobile with Supreme Fuel because they are worried if it would harm their tank. The truth is that if you buy a new automobile, certain manufacturers may advise you to use a specific type of gasoline, which is usually the Supreme form of both petrol and diesel. If you have a new automobile and they don’t specify otherwise, the advise is similar to that for used autos. Flushing your tank with Supreme fuel on a regular basis can only increase its performance.
How is it better for your engine?
If you’re curious about how Texaco Supreme Fuel cleans your engine and helps remove carbon and gum deposits from the interior components of the combustion chamber, look no further. It’s because fuel with a greater octane or cetane content burns more evenly and steadily. This reduces the likelihood of ‘engine knocking.’ After the air-fuel combination within the combustion chamber has been ignited by the spark, a separate pocket of air-fuel mixture ignites.
If you’re not sure whether the Texaco Supreme fuel will help your automobile or engine, give it a shot.
After a few tanks, you should see a significant difference. It would be a mistake not to try this gasoline, given the large number of Texaco garages that provide it.
What is the difference between #2 diesel and premium diesel?
What is the distinction between regular #2 diesel and premium diesel? In comparison to normal #2 diesel, premium diesel has a higher cetane number, improved lubricity, and detergents that help clean injectors. For best engine performance, detergents maintain fuel injectors clean.
At what temp does #2 diesel 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.
What is No 2 diesel?
No. 2 diesel fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 15 parts per million. It is mostly utilized in on-highway diesel engines in automobiles. Distillate No. 2
Is biodiesel B20 vs diesel #2?
B20 is a popular blend because it offers an excellent balance of price, emissions, cold-weather performance, materials compatibility, and solvent capabilities. The majority of biodiesel users buy B20 or lesser blends from their regular gasoline distributors or biodiesel marketers. Under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, regulated fleets that utilize biodiesel blends of 20% or greater are eligible for biodiesel fuel consumption credits.
In general, B20 and lower-level mixes can be used without modification in modern engines. In fact, many diesel engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) support the usage of B20 (for a list of OEMs that support biodiesel blends, see Clean Fuels Alliance America’s OEM Information). Before using biodiesel, users should first check their vehicle and engine warranty statements. See the Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide for additional information on OEM-approved biodiesel use in cars.
Engines that run on B20 consume the same amount of fuel, produce the same amount of horsepower, and produce the same amount of torque as engines that run on petroleum diesel. Although B20 with 20% biodiesel content has 1% to 2% less energy per gallon than petroleum diesel, many B20 users say there is no discernible difference in performance or fuel economy. Biodiesel has some pollution advantages, particularly for engines built before 2010. The benefits of engines using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems are the same whether they run on biodiesel or petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel, on the other hand, emits fewer greenhouse gases than traditional diesel fuel. The emissions reduction advantage is roughly proportional to the blend level; for example, B20 has 20% of the emissions reduction benefit of B100.