As the paraffin in diesel fuel crystallizes and freezes, it will ‘gel.’ This is especially true of #2 Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel, which is widely available at all service stations. It will generate a solid wax-like substance if exposed to cold temperatures for a long time, which might clog the entire fuel system. It’s analogous to how a wax candle stays solid until it’s lit, after which the wax transforms into a free-flowing liquid. After that, the wax solidifies as it cools.
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.
What causes diesel to gel up?
Temperature effects on paraffin, a component of diesel fuel, are the most common source of gelling difficulties. When paraffin waxes are burned in an engine, they produce more power. Diesel, on the other hand, will begin to harden as the temperature drops.
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.
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.
How long dies it take for 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.
What happens when a diesel truck gels up?
The term “gelling” refers to the fact that diesel fuel hardens into a paste-like substance. The vehicle will not run since this chemical cannot be poured into the gasoline lines, pumps, or injectors.
Can gelled diesel damage injectors?
The gelling, on the other hand, might not be enough to damage an injector. In other words, it gelled, and you didn’t try to run it again until it ungelled. However, if the fuel leading to the injectors has gelled up and the FICM is driving them, the injectors will be starving for fuel. It’s the same as if you were in a low (or no) pressure situation.
How cold 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.
How do I stop my diesel from gelling?
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.
What is the gel point of Number 1 diesel?
When the temperature drops, the paraffin in diesel fuel begins to harden, resulting in diesel fuel gelling. 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 filters.