Winterizing Your Diesel Fuel System
Brrr, it’s cold! Here at Ricochet Fuel’s corporate office in Texas, we’re getting quite a few calls asking us for a diesel fuel winterizing additive. Read on to find out how to keep running during the winter and ways to protect your vehicles and equipment from the elements.
Freezing Temperatures & Diesel Fuel Problems
Diesel engines are sensitive to colder temperatures and don’t perform as well in colder weather. At 0 degrees, engines are sluggish at best. Compared to operating at 80 degrees, a diesel engine in cold weather can be up to five times harder to start. That’s because the frigid temperatures make the oil thicker, and that means more resistance for internal engine parts.
What is Diesel Gelling?
Diesel fuel contains paraffin wax (petroleum wax). Gelling occurs when the wax crystals form and fall out of the fuel. These wax crystals, along with ice form in the fuel and begin to clog filters and will prevent equipment from operating. That thickening is called “diesel gelling” and can starve the engine of fuel.
At 32 F degrees, the wax will start turning from liquid to crystals. At 10 to 15 degrees F, it will turn to gel. That gel clogs the fuel filters and tank. Gelling (when the fuel becomes thicker), is also called “cloud point.”
Common Symptoms of Diesel Fuel Gelling
Here are a few signs that your diesel fuel has already gelled.
- Having trouble starting the engine
- A noticeable difference in fuel rail pressure
- Overall Sluggish performance
- Acceleration problems
Problem-Solving Winterizing Diesel Additive
The diesel refiners that Ricochet purchases their fuel from has a special winter formulation that has a lower cold-weather cloud point spec of at least 22 degrees F or lower. Most of our carriers in TX and the southern states do not provide this with fuel deliveries. So, it will be up to the customer to provide their own in most cases.
In the northern states, the diesel formulations are more geared to the cold weather, and a lower temp diesel is more common. In extremely cold temperatures, our carriers in these states are more inclined to provide a winterizing diesel additive.
Fuel additives and treatments can work to control the problem of fuel gelling because they help stop the formation of paraffin crystals. Besides that, they lower the gel and pour points.
Ricochet Fuel is Here to Help in Any Weather
We are here to help you save money and time. We can provide diesel fuel delivery directly into your vehicles, tanks or equipment 24 hours every day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, on a schedule that best fits your operation. We’re here to help you and your business in any weather. Contact us today at 800-284-2540.