Diesel gelling in cold weather

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Thread: Diesel gelling in cold weather

  1. #1
    Aranarth is offline [OP]
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    Diesel gelling in cold weather

    Wife used to have a cummins turbo diesel 3/4 ton truck and had issues with fuel in the winer when it was really cold.

    Is the new low sulfur diesel less likely to gell or should I add a bottle of winterizer to the tank if a cold snap is coming?

    I'm in Mid-Mich so we the odd winter roller come through and you can wake up to negative F numbers.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aranarth View Post
    Wife used to have a cummins turbo diesel 3/4 ton truck and had issues with fuel in the winer when it was really cold.

    Is the new low sulfur diesel less likely to gell or should I add a bottle of winterizer to the tank if a cold snap is coming?

    I'm in Mid-Mich so we the odd winter roller come through and you can wake up to negative F numbers.
    i am near Indy and I never add anything and have had zero issues. With the emissions I am pretty careful not to add anything unless it is necessary. It doesn't get super cold here on a normal basis, maybe some that live in colder climates will chime in.

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    Drag Racing Champion MP81's Avatar
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    Last January or February (2015), on a morning where it had dropped down to -16 ambient overnight (SE Michigan here), the car refused to start until later that day when we were able to get a ride to the store to get Diesel 911.

    Above that it's usually fine, but it can get a little pissed off for the first few seconds of running, until it heats everything up. We just parked the car in the garage on cold nights after that. Don't quite have that ability this year, so let's hope it doesn't get that cold.
    Last edited by MP81; 10-25-2016 at 11:19 AM.
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  6. #4
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    Just make sure to buy your diesel from a high volume station, buying old fuel would be the easiest way to get fuel that wasn't treated for the extreme cold. Every brand has their own treatment claims for cold weather, Cenex in my area claims their winter diesel is good to -30F

    Cenex® Winterized Premium Diesel Fuels | Top Cold-Weather Performance

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    Reverend Red Bull revjpeterson's Avatar
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    At most stations, the Diesel is already treated for the average monthly temperature in that region. If it's a branded retail station that is doing decent volume, it should be ok. If it's going to be more than 10 degrees below average in the upcoming week after you fill, though, adding something wouldn't be a bad idea.

    Some stations, though, will have blender pumps with #1 Diesel (rated to a much lower temp, but less fuel economy), #2 Diesel, or various blends of the 2. Others may note on the pump that it is untreated, may have both treated and untreated options (Kwik Trip in the IA/MN/WI region does this), or may have two separate pumps with #1 and untreated #2, and you blend them yourself. Basically, it comes down to knowing your fuel and choosing accordingly. It's not too hard to pick up on after a little bit.

    When I was in Iowa, and I was buying untreated fuel or happened upon a station where I couldn't discern what I was getting, my preferred additive was Stanadyne Winter 1000. It's about the lowest cost per gallon treated I could find, and it only took a small amount per tank to treat, so 2 bottles got me through the winter with some to spare. White bottle Power Service is probably the most popular, but has additional additives beyond the anti-gel and isn't as efficient as the Stanadyne per gallon treated.

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    Aranarth is offline [OP]
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    Thanks guys. I dunno for sure where I'll buy yet. The station down the road is Sunoco. Lots of country boys fill their trucks and UV's there. The other possible place is Cedar Springs which is Citgo. Citgo is right off the freeway and is setup to fuel semi trucks though I rarely see any in there. I'll see about getting some Stanadyne.

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    Just for the record, I've never used an additive and never had an issue. It was a bit grumpy at -9 in Michigan last year, though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTUmnLrMGL8
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    to be fair my car is always garaged on a really cold night or morning and my garage doesn't get colder than 30 degrees hardly ever. Driving to work and starting the car back up might be colder than that, if it is below zero here I just prefer to stay at home if possible.

  11. #9
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    You should be able to start with straight #2 down to about -10F nights... Any more and you're definitely gambling (-10F is already a gamble). If it was an older vehicle, you would make it 2 miles down the road and the fuel filter would freeze up. Nowadays the engines can warm up much faster and that heat can be transferred via radiation and the fuel return line to make sure the fuel filter doesn't freeze up.

    So if the vehicle starts, you are probably okay. But just because you can start at -10F doesn't mean you should. It's not exactly good to be forcing gelled fuel through the system.... Additives will make those -10F starts much easier on your injectors and fuel pumps.

  12. #10
    Aranarth is offline [OP]
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyDiesel View Post
    Driving to work and starting the car back up might be colder than that, if it is below zero here I just prefer to stay at home if possible.
    I love to take snow days too

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