As the winter months approach, the drop in temperature creates a threat of the overall efficiency and performance of diesel engines. The dangers of these chilly temperatures can create inadequate conditions for engines to operate properly or even start. Protection and prevention of these risks start with becoming familiar with the difficulties diesel owners face during the winter months.
Water can be damaging to a diesel engine not only in the winter, but all year round. Diesel is susceptible to water through storage, handling, and through condensation forming in the tanks. However, in the winter, water in the fuel can begin freezing at 32°F and begin obstructing fuel lines and water separators. Even if the water doesn’t freeze, it can harbor bacteria if not treated correctly.
Fuel Gelling and Freezing
Diesel is also known to be vulnerable to gelling during the colder winter months. This occurs due to the paraffin wax found in diesel thickening as the temperatures begin to drop. As a result, the fuel becomes clouded and gel-like, causing the diesel to not become combustible while also plugging filters. If the temperatures drop cold enough, the fuel can freeze all together and no longer flow, becoming unusable until the fuel re-liquifies.
Having a plan for winterization in place once the temperatures drop is key to protect your vehicle. The simplest method is to use a fuel additive that can safely remove the water from your fuel as well as an anti-gel that will allow the fuel to withstand colder temperatures. For example, Fuel Ox Cold Charge reduces the effects of wax by lowering the pour point by 15°F. In addition, it will safely filter water our of your fuel system and reduce fuel consumption simultaneously. If you find yourself with already gelled or frozen fuel, Fuel Ox also offers an emergency diesel additive known as Fuel Ox Heat Bomb, that will thaw and restore gelled or frozen fuel safely and efficiently. With Winter coming, be sure to protect your diesel from the frigid and ruthless temperatures! Fuel Ox can help with your Winterization with our Fuel Ox Cold Charge and Fuel Ox Heat Bomb!
“Global Partners LP.” Cold Weather Effects on Diesel Fuel, We’re Ready, Are You?, Global Partners KO, 2012, www.globalp.com/news/article.cfm?articleID=267.
“Prevent Diesel Gelling This Winter.” Atlas Oil Company, Atlas Oil, 25 Jan. 2016, www.atlasoil.com/blog/show/prevent-diesel-gelling-this-winter.