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Old 09-21-2006, 06:22 AM
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Avoiding diesel fuel issues in the winter?

What are the issues with diesel fuel in the winter? I know the big diesels at Cat didn't seem to have many problems in the winter time with diesel "gelling" up. But, I wasn't an equipment owner...just a mechanic, so I don't know what the guys went through on a daily basis.

Are there issues? If so, what are the alternatives to avoid them?
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:26 AM
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Where do you live? The temps are the key...if you live way north, they sell diesel will anyi gelling agents added. I have been up to Minnasota in the winter and had no issues. The temp was -12 the day i got there. No where to plug in the block heater and it started and ran fine...ran rough at first but it was fine.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:29 AM
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as clay said....the winter blend fuels are standard in cold areas. The only way you need to worry bout fuel is if you get a very cold snap way early. I would suspect most places have winter fuel between oct and nov first approx...
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:46 AM
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I live in Denver, CO. Our cold times can be between November and January. Sometimes we'll go for a couple weeks with temps at night in the teens, dropping into the single digits. Daytime temps are usually around the 30's on those cold days.

I've heard some people say keep the tank half full. I guess the thermal retention in more fuel requires longer time for it to gel overnight.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtomasik View Post
I live in Denver, CO. Our cold times can be between November and January. Sometimes we'll go for a couple weeks with temps at night in the teens, dropping into the single digits. Daytime temps are usually around the 30's on those cold days.

I've heard some people say keep the tank half full. I guess the thermal retention in more fuel requires longer time for it to gel overnight.
I'm pretty sure Denver is far enough north that they would use anti gell agents standard starting around mig Oct. I wouldn't worry about it at all. IF you want to be sure, buy your fuel at the same pumps the big rigs use. I think actually it has to get much colder than that to gel diesel fuel. And I would also keep your tank full as much as possible. Condensation in your tank it a regular occurance if it has surface area from being less than full. A tank that is half full or less will accumulate more water in the fuel.
Do a freezer test. Get a sample of diesel fuel now (without gelling agents added) put it in the freezer at about 0 degrees for a day. See what happens.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:12 AM
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Fantastic idea about the freezer, Clay. Oh, I was also wondering about WVO in cold temps.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:36 AM
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Oh, I was also wondering about WVO in cold temps.
What exactly were you wanting to know?
I did a freezer test on a sample from the place i collect and it didn't gell at 10* in the freezer but it got might viscous at that temp.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:31 AM
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If you are that concerned, go to your local Wally World and get a jug of Diesel Kleen (White Bottle). It has an anti-gelling agent in it. The additive itself will gel when cold, but when mixed with diesel, it 'comes to life' and does not gel.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:40 AM
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If you're like me, and don't like to trust others... whenever it gets really cold... down near 0 I use a product called "HEET"... I'll put some of that in and we had a cold snap here last winter where for a week we never made it above 20 degree's. I also drive alot a night. The problem really isn't always the current temp, it is the wind chill and the fact that when you drive at 50 mph the temp is MUCH COLDER on those fuel lines then it is outside.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Maintain View Post
The problem really isn't always the current temp, it is the wind chill and the fact that when you drive at 50 mph the temp is MUCH COLDER on those fuel lines then it is outside.
That happened to me a few years back. It was early in the AM and cold -10 or so, I let my 6.9 warm up about 1/2 hour and went down the road. I made it about 2 miles. If I let it set for 10-15 min. it would start and go about 2 miles again. I did this a couple more times to get back to the house. After the Sun came up and the temp came up a bit, it ran fine. After that Diesel Kleen became an additive at fill up time.

Last edited by Glenn M; 09-21-2006 at 02:34 PM.
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