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I learn something new every day.

If it also heats, can it use some of that heat to keep the fuel thawed?
The only way I"m aware of for fuel to get heat. Is when it's inside the fuel rail in the cylinder head. But I have no idea if today's systems are returnless. And if there's any other source for heat. I haven't heard about it yet.

Refers also have their own tank. They don't run off the truck tanks.

I haven't pulled refer since I left CDL school. 19 years ago. I"m not up to date on what all they have these days.
 

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The only way I"m aware of for fuel to get heat. Is when it's inside the fuel rail in the cylinder head. But I have no idea if today's systems are returnless.
My understanding is that all diesel engines have a fuel return. That's how injectors are kept cool with fuel functioning as the coolant that returns to the tank, with a secondary function being to keep fuel above the cloud point as it's constantly recirculated. This is for diesel engines as the motive power of vehicles, but in theory it should be the same for diesel engines that are APU generators or reefer generators as the need for cooling of fuel injectors there doesn't vanish just because the engines aren't powering vehicles.

Once a diesel engine is started and running, it's hard for fuel to gel up enough to clog injectors or a fuel filter. The injectors begin to be heated by waste heat from the cylinder head after a very short period of engine running (seconds or minutes) and the rest of the fuel system gets waste heat from the spill return. Heated fuel filters helps even more because the fuel flowing into the filter has a heater that brings the temperature above the cloud point so the filter has a very hard time clogging once the engine is running.

Returnless fuel injection is a thing only for gasoline engines. When cars used to have fuel returns it meant waste heat from the engine would increase the vapor outgassing of gasoline and that would increase evaporative emissions. Those vapors had to either be consumed by the engine with a vapor line feeding into the intake, or they were vented to the atmosphere with a huge increase of pollution. Returnless injection means the fuel is just held in the fuel rails at higher pressures than was ever accomplished with carburetors, and the increase in temperature of the fuel from waste heat just means the fuel evaporates more thoroughly when it's injected into the intake (or directly into the cylinder with gasoline direct injection).
 

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Once a diesel engine is started and running, it's hard for fuel to gel up enough to clog injectors or a fuel filter.
nope

the only time ive had fuel gel (starting to gel, truck was sputtering) on me was while running.

pulling over and dumping a gallon of methyl in the tank and it cleared up.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I know everyone says it shouldn't be a problem, but a friend went up to Big Bear without adding anything to his Duramax and it wouldn't start the next morning. I suspect gelling. I was just wondering if there was a concrete temperature when you should start adding to our summer fuel, but it sounds like you can never really be sure. Thanks.
 

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i drove 017 cruze stick in arctic conditions from boston to minnesota on its first winter, high temp was +16F, low temps were -16F (without wind chill).

I added no power-service/anti-gel but certainly did refuel at major truck stops and did worry about gelling on those -16F nights. An F-250 at my motel 6 did gel - rookie owner had driven it north from Texas without refueling/recirculating after arrival in Rochester Minnesota.

The only thing I wish I added to the car was BLIZZAK TIRES. Not a fuel additive .

To the previous comment that we can have no idea the actual blend of the diesel we buy, that's not entirely true. On the -16F arctic-conditions driving to/from/in minnesota, I refueled at at least one location that my eldest son had filled the diesel tank from his fuel tanker the day before or the same day - blended the diesel with additive at the refinery/terminal as he loaded it into the tanker "pockets" (i think thats maybe what he called them.)

ps - Minnesota is awesome.
 

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I know everyone says it shouldn't be a problem, but a friend went up to Big Bear without adding anything to his Duramax and it wouldn't start the next morning. I suspect gelling. I was just wondering if there was a concrete temperature when you should start adding to our summer fuel, but it sounds like you can never really be sure. Thanks.
You never said how cold it was in the morning in question.

It is impossible to know 100% what temperature the fuel you buy can handle before gelling,
but any diesel fuel should be able to handle down to around 20F/-7C.

It would be a good bet to top up at a local station once arriving at the colder destination so that some likely lower temperature rated fuel can be mixed in to reduce the risk of fuel gelling. If fuel is not available like up on some mountains, and you don't know how cold the fuel can operate, then definitely buy an additive and use it.
 

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An F-250 at my motel 6 did gel - rookie owner had driven it north from Texas without refueling/recirculating after arrival in Rochester Minnesota.
That truck didn't have to refuel at least once somewhere along the trip? I don't know a F-250 that has the range to travel from Texas to Minnesota without needing to refuel.
 

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i drove 017 cruze stick in arctic conditions from boston to minnesota on its first winter, high temp was +16F, low temps were -16F (without wind chill).

I added no power-service/anti-gel but certainly did refuel at major truck stops and did worry about gelling on those -16F nights. An F-250 at my motel 6 did gel - rookie owner had driven it north from Texas without refueling/recirculating after arrival in Rochester Minnesota.

The only thing I wish I added to the car was BLIZZAK TIRES. Not a fuel additive .

To the previous comment that we can have no idea the actual blend of the diesel we buy, that's not entirely true. On the -16F arctic-conditions driving to/from/in minnesota, I refueled at at least one location that my eldest son had filled the diesel tank from his fuel tanker the day before or the same day - blended the diesel with additive at the refinery/terminal as he loaded it into the tanker "pockets" (i think thats maybe what he called them.)

ps - Minnesota is awesome.
compartments

-tanker driver here
 

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The trucker hauling the fuel might know what HE added to the loadout. But does he know how it was brewed?

He might have some vague idea but for US. The consumer. We have no clue.
 

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Mistakes can happen. The F-250 dude didn't refuel when he arrived in MN from TX, else his wouldn't have gelled up at -16F over his multiple Hampton Inn nights. Clearly his mistimed his refuels and/or he did not refuel at his northernmost destination. Maybe he had the dual-fuel tanks too, who knows. You gotta think ahead with this stuff: burn off the warmer-climate-diesel and refuel with coldest-climate-diesel upon arrival.

No mistakes from my son the former tanker-delivery/driver now supervisor. Drivers at his place are fired for failing to report minor mistakes. Honesty is paramount. He knows everyone at the terminal and knows every processes & procedures all the way from terminal to consumer fuel tank, including the ways to test/verify/calculate what is in each "compartment", every detail of every safety procedure, in addition to 'thinking outside the box' when the going gets rough or something weird happens. He is not an engineer or physicist but asked "laymans questions" in his first week on the job relating to physics & angular momentum of the fuel compartments that prompted the 50 other drivers to all say "I've been driving for 40 years and never thought of that and barely understand it". He knows petroleum/fueling/tanker/hazmat-delivery operations & processes & procedures similar to how I know computers from transistor/solid-state/quantum-mechanics level up to the highest level languages & APIs. Also he knows all the unwritten rules/tricks/workarounds that drivers do, the stuff that isn't in any book. He supervises all the other drivers now.

They have ways to measure what is in the compartment and to "fix" in case of a wrong mix (back to refinery and re-refine it to separate the wrong mix.)

In the tanker-driver training videos, a happy voice at the end always announces something like: "remember that the tanker you are pulling is considered a weapon of mass destruction under international law!!!"
 

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I was just up in Plattsburgh, NY where the temps went to -3F/-19C and I didn't have problems, but I also used Power Service in the white bottle. I did run into 1 station that had gelled pumps, so not everyone is cycling through fuel fast enough or getting the right blend. I had to drive another 30 minutes for a station that had diesel. I prefer to use the additive just so I don't get stranded because not everyone else is on top of things enough to ensure a low enough gel point for the nightly low temperatures.
 
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