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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Northern ILL town I live in holds the ILL State record for coldest real temp of -37F during the winter of 1/15/2009.

Now that we are finally having winter temps for this season expecting to run -5 to -8F tonight, I was going to top off the tank in the Cruze. I went to Murphy's due to their low pricing in town. It was -1 F when I started the pump but the fuel would not pump out. I then went inside to tell the worker about what I thought was a pump problem. She said they were having problems pumping diesel because
the fuel was "gelling" but that her manager told her it was "ok" :dazed052:. After discussing the problem with her about what would happen if I had pumped some of their gelling fuel into my Cruze tank. She just
continued to say, it was ok :dizzy:the fuel was "gelling", all the time I was thinking I that had filled up there earlier in the week :cussing:. I told her thanks and was glad I could not pump any more of their JUNK diesel and went on down the road to the big Petro truck stop outside town. I managed to pump 3 gal and put in Howes with hope I would be able to get started in the morning at -8F. Even during the cold winter of 2009 I was always able to pump diesel from Petro tanks and never in 10 years had I had a problem running my F350 6.0L on their diesel.

If you are up north in ILL, I would pass those Murphy stations on by!!! You get what you pay for and it is for certain that the cheapest diesel in town is not always the best esp during the winter months. :th_dblthumb2:
 

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Yep, had this happen once. Was very low on fuel and stopped at a local station just to put a gallon or two in and the line was completely frozen. They obviously didn't winter treat the diesel.

I always stick to big name (preferably busy) stations for my diesel in the winter.
 

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Only BP or Shell for me.........I am not far from you guys!!!
 
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We had this discussion last year.

During cold weather, avoid buying fuel from any outlet that is not geared towards providing product for heavy trucks.
The small outlets often have fuel that has been in the tanks for several weeks and was not yet treated for the colder temperatures.

The large fuel outlets typically top the ground tanks every day or two so the fuel load is already treated for the current temperature.

Rob
 

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as long as the current temp is within the 10% percentile

if its colder, good luck
Quite true.....that's where a wise diesel operator adds a bit more fuel treatment.......and also why I continually tell potential diesel buyers that the vehicle requires a lot more thought and involvement than a gas burner.

Rob
 

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Jeeze amateur hour in IL. We never have fuel gelling problems around here, blows my mind they would not be prepared in that climate either. The only fuel there seems to be problems with if you don't treat it yourself is off road. I bet the fuel stations aren't as concerned about it and leave it up to the operator to treat it. We don't have that problem anymore because we pretreat our 1000 gallon yard tank before the off-road delivery comes now.
 

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Jeeze amateur hour in IL. We never have fuel gelling problems around here, blows my mind they would not be prepared in that climate either. The only fuel there seems to be problems with if you don't treat it yourself is off road. I bet the fuel stations aren't as concerned about it and leave it up to the operator to treat it. We don't have that problem anymore because we pretreat our 1000 gallon yard tank before the off-road delivery comes now.

Amateur hour in IL??? Huh??? I think he was referring to his Murphys, because the Chicagoland area has more truck hubs and traffic than nearly any place in the USA. I rarely see a "gelled" diesel truck or car stopped on the side of the road and if it does happen,chances are they filled up down south. All of the northern and central IL fuel at the right station is blended for cold weather, it was just his particular station.
 

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The gelled pump has a lot to do with it being a Murphy station. I filled there once or twice when I first got my Diesel. That is, until I found out all of their fuel was B20, which is how they get their prices a dime or two lower than the competition. My bet is they don't lower or eliminate the bio-diesel content during the winter, and since bio-diesel gels at a higher temp than regular #2 Diesel, their fuel gelled at a higher temp than other stations.

This doesn't surprise me, considering Murphy is connected with WalMart. It's kind of like the way that you go to buy a can of coffee or a box of pasta, and they're using a package size that's unique to WalMart and not sold elsewhere, so you think you're getting a deal, but you are really getting less product. I also saw it in electronics when I was selling computers for someone else. All the Walmart electronics had an extra letter at the end of their model number, which turned out to mean that they were selling a model that was nearly identical to the one found at Staples or Best Buy or elsewhere, but they had made special arrangements to modify little-known components, such as the RPM speed of the hard drive, in order to lower the wholesale price of the item.

As I get diesel in various places now, I've noticed that if I see a price on GasBuddy that is 10-20 cents lower than all of the neighboring stations, it almost always turns out to be a B5-B20 blend and the neighboring full-price stations are selling straight #2 without bio-diesel or the minimum state-mandated biodiesel content. Now, I always try to fill where I know what I'm getting, either a place where they post on the pump the temp that their diesel is treated for (or what % #1 or #2 it is) or a place where I can walk inside and they will be able to tell me the temp rating on what's in the tank today. Whenever it gets wicked cold like this weekend, I have a station I can always rely on to have a supply of -40F rated fuel on hand so I can be sure I'll stay on the road. I gelled the car once because I was pushing the envelope with the fuel I used trying to get better fuel economy. Now I play it safer and make sure I know what I'm putting in and that it will be good for several degrees lower than the temps I'm expecting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I sure would like to know where you guys are finding diesel where the station is standing behind the statement that their diesel is B5 or less? Here in northern ILL every pump has some kind of disclaimer on it i.e. a local BP station has the label "Diesel is not a BP product and therefore not responsible for it" :uhh:. A lot of the stations will label their pumps B5 - B20 or better yet no label at all and ask the attendant, they have no clue!!

ILL is is the wild west where anythings goes with what ever you can get away with when it comes to diesel!! So far in 10 years of driving my F350 6.0L PS on Petro diesel has given reliable performance with non issue but at a premium of about $0.20 more a gal.

Although Murph's disavows any relationship with Walmart they do acknowledge the mutual agreement where if you use a Walmart gift card you get .03/gal off and if you used Walmart credit card you get .05/gal off their regular pricing. I have to also admit that I found a Murph's in Montgomery, IL where I could pump the diesel when it was 0F outside but it seems to come down to Clint Eastwood's phase from the movie Dirty Harry... "do you feel lucky punk". Simply stated you get what you pay for. Personally I believe each pump should be marked what they are actually selling with temp rating and cetane index in clear view or otherwise be held in strict liability for violations.
 

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I doubt there's really any regulatory body that would actually monitor this, especially on a station by station basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do not need regulatory body, just clearly label the product for what it is (% GEL/temp additive, % BIO and cetane ratings) with strict liability laws to sue their ass out of business when they fail to deliver the product as the label certifies!! Give the consumer a chance to judge for himself what he buys at what price rather then making it a crap shoot every-time you turn the diesel pump handle on. There appears no problem clearly labeling gasoline for octane and identifying the percent alcohol content... so why is it so hard to properly label the diesel for BIO content, cetane and GEL temp % additive? Just imagine what it would be like if you did not know what octane and alcohol content gasoline your were buying and there was a wide price difference station to station:angry:. Try pumping the 80% gasohol into your regular non eco gas engine or maybe putting 80 octane gas into your Ferrari that require 95 octane gas.

Make the industry responsible for regulating itself and the quality of diesel the product they sell!!! It use to be when I first bought the '05 F350 you could find a cetane label on the diesel pumps. WHAT HAPPENED :question:, The good old days :uhh:
 

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There appears no problem clearly labeling gasoline for octane and identifying the percent alcohol content... so why is it so hard to properly label the diesel for BIO content, cetane and GEL temp % additive?
Actually I find the gasoline pumps can be lacking in actual information as well. Octane is only labeled as a minimum rating, and ethanol percentage is usually followed by a vague "up to" wording. I believe its worded this way due to changing blends in summer and winter. Let's not forget not all states require labeling at all for ethanol, and those that do have a variety of laws on what is required to be marked(more info if your interested).

As for Biodiesel, isn't the law only B5 nationally year round? Minnesota is the only state that is B10 everywhere during the summer months and switches back to B5 October - April. According to the website below B20 has a gel point of -15F before additives, so I would assume B5 would be much closer to pure diesel fuel gelling performance. Bio-Blend Fuels, Inc. - BioDiesel

Since refiners have summer and winter blends if murphys or anyone else has gelled fuel I would assume its old fuel. The only other thing I can think of is just like discount gas stations lacking in gasoline additives and detergents maybe this could also translate into having less than stellar diesel fuel treatment as well.
 

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What stations label their fuel as, and what's actually in the tanks, might not always be in agreement. Intentional or not. 99.9% of the time, I think we are safe if we follow common sense practice when refueling.
 

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What stations label their fuel as, and what's actually in the tanks, might not always be in agreement. Intentional or not. 99.9% of the time, I think we are safe if we follow common sense practice when refueling.

Thus the common sense reason I stay with Shell or BP for my fuel. Unless I was in a pinch, I don't want to take a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thus the common sense reason I stay with Shell or BP for my fuel. Unless I was in a pinch, I don't want to take a chance.
After over 35 years of buying diesel I've not found a "common sense" practice for buying diesel other then maybe buying from a high volume truck stop.
Gasoline pumps usually label what one can expect, however there is seldom any identification on diesels pumps what one can expect other then low sulfur.
However one local BP station puts a sign on their diesel pump that states "diesel is not a BP product and does not have responsibility for it" , :shipwrecked:LOL. When it comes to diesel it is the wild west and anything goes!!!
 
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Thus the common sense reason I stay with Shell or BP for my fuel. Unless I was in a pinch, I don't want to take a chance.
In the small town I live there are two gas stations, a BP and a Cenex. If you bought diesel at the BP you would be buying old diesel fuel since nobody buys fuel there. The Cenex has a constant flow of trucks and farmers buying fuel for their equipment, that stations has to sell at least 8X the amount of diesel.
 

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Those are some examples of what I mean by common sense, like high volume stations, name brands (except BP). But yes, it is a bit like the wild west.
 

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Actually I find the gasoline pumps can be lacking in actual information as well. Octane is only labeled as a minimum rating, and ethanol percentage is usually followed by a vague "up to" wording. I believe its worded this way due to changing blends in summer and winter. Let's not forget not all states require labeling at all for ethanol, and those that do have a variety of laws on what is required to be marked(more info if your interested).

As for Biodiesel, isn't the law only B5 nationally year round? Minnesota is the only state that is B10 everywhere during the summer months and switches back to B5 October - April. According to the website below B20 has a gel point of -15F before additives, so I would assume B5 would be much closer to pure diesel fuel gelling performance. Bio-Blend Fuels, Inc. - BioDiesel

Since refiners have summer and winter blends if murphys or anyone else has gelled fuel I would assume its old fuel. The only other thing I can think of is just like discount gas stations lacking in gasoline additives and detergents maybe this could also translate into having less than stellar diesel fuel treatment as well.
Bio diesel use is by state laws not national law. PA mandates 2% year round here. Their law has stipulations for percentages based on production in the state. So if bio production rises and meets another set level it will bump up to 5% or something like that. PA law also mandated that bio-diesel content be labeled on the pump at levels of 5% or higher. Pumps are labeled very well around my area, including gas. My guess is the local regulators make sure of this. I also have 8 or so stations within a 20 minute drive that offer 91 octane ethanol-free gasoline. One is just a few blocks away.
 
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