Diesel vehicles need anti-gel regularly added into the tank during the cold, winter months. This additive keeps you on the road and prevents expensive maintenance repairs. The anti-gel is specific for diesel fuel #1 or diesel fuel #2, so be careful when selecting this necessary additive for your vehicle. Diesel fuel anti-gel can be purchased at most local parts repair and hardware stores.
Diesel fuel contains hydrocarbons, known as paraffin wax. When the paraffin wax in your fuel reaches 32 degrees, the wax will start to crystallize. At 15 degrees, it will start to solidify, clogging the tank and fuel filters. If a fuel filter is gelled, there is no repair remedy available, only a costly replacement.
When the weather turns unreasonably cold, make sure to leave the engine idling, when possible. Although this will limit your fuel efficiency, it will keep the fuel warm and prevent it from gelling. Additives and fuel treatments can be added to the fuel for the express purpose of preventing gelling and avoiding disaster when diesel problems occur in the winter. This is a better option, when possible, than idling because these additives were designed specifically for this purpose. Keep in mind that most fuels reach their cloud point “between 20 degrees F and -18 degrees F. Make sure to use an all-season additive or one that’s specifically designed to shine in cold climates.” (Diesel Tech).
Make sure to have an anti-gel on hand in your vehicle during the winter months. Most anti-gels will work even if the fuel in your vehicle has completely gelled. You simply have to pour the gel into your fuel take and wait a few hours for it to do its job.
Not sure of how much, what to do, or where to go? Visit our expert Mechanics at IPR. We’re happy to assist!