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Diesel Fuel Additive - Cold Weather


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In general, if you buy your diesel fuel in the same area as you are traveling you should be fuel that has been adapted for cold weather when needed. I drove a diesel in Wyoming for 4 years and never had a problem but did buy my fuel at major stations.

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Be careful. Out west you can cross from warm to frigid in less than 100 miles.

 

A friend filled up his diesel on the "warm" side and promptly came to a halt once he got to the "frigid' side.

 

I always try to fill up on the "frigid" side. I even ask if they have winter blend in their tanks....but many times the folks have no clue.

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When I lived in Michigan with a 2006 Duramax motor, 13 deg F was the magic number. If the temp got below the magic number, the truck would start and run for about 2 miles before the fuel filter would gel up and shut down. If I added 911 to the fuel tank in the evening, I would have no problems in the morning down to 0.

Greg

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One thing you NEED to do when fueling up is LOOK AT THE PUMP. There will be a sticker close if not on the pump telling you what temperature the fuel is good for. If you are around Minnesota or Wisconsin watch out for the pumps at Kwik Trip that say #2 fuel NOT Winterized. They mean it........... Most places winterize the fuel and you don't normally have much of an issue. In fifteen years of northern Minnesota my pick up only gelled once and I rarely used additives.

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Now in Montana, this is new upkeep for me. Someone did mention that the fuel stops have blends for cold weather, but it sounds like it can be hit and miss. I never concerned myself with this in Puget Sound - even on the few occasions when temps dipped into the teens. I can see why a good many of the p/u trucks here in MT are gas... probably got tired of having to fuss with diesel in cold weather :). I'm trying Stanadyne at the recommendation of the shop who recently did some service for me. I know many on the forum have diesel and just wanted to get advice on what works. It was -24F yesterday morning with a high of 0F.

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Now in Montana, this is new upkeep for me. Someone did mention that the fuel stops have blends for cold weather, but it sounds like it can be hit and miss. I never concerned myself with this in Puget Sound - even on the few occasions when temps dipped into the teens. I can see why a good many of the p/u trucks here in MT are gas... probably got tired of having to fuss with diesel in cold weather :). I'm trying Stanadyne at the recommendation of the shop who recently did some service for me. I know many on the forum have diesel and just wanted to get advice on what works. It was -24F yesterday morning with a high of 0F.

At those temperatures, use a "winter-front" like you see on semi-tractors. It keeps operating temperature near normal. Hard on a diesel engine to operate it "cold" continually, as heat is what ignites the fuel/air mixture, and makes a complete burn.

Do not use a full winter-front when towing, you can quickly overheat the engine. The winter-front has small panels you may open when towing, in fact that's what GM requires, otherwise the coolant fan cannot operate properly.

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As has been said about #1 and #2 fuels. I add Howells fuel treatment in Oct. and continue till April. This will keep us running fine till warm weather returns. We have been caught and had the genset gel up due to not getting enough fuel ran through it when i serviced it in the fall. That was one co;d trip to Tucson from the Wichita area as we are total electric.

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I have run my 2007.5 Chevy 2500HD LMM for about 100k with no additives (I know it was a risk, but ignorance and my own laziness contributed to the decision). No ill effects so far, and never had trouble starting in cold climates (spent a winter in Lake Tahoe, so it got cold a few times). I did generally plug in the engine block heater though. Before embarking on our latest full-time adventure, I had preventative work done at a Duramax Shop (Dmaxstore in CA) and they recommended using Opti-lube Boost! for warmer times, and Opti-Lube XPD for colder times. Whether or not it has helped things, I am not sure, but I'll keep using it. I just recently crossed the US in December through the northern route, and am camped out in Maine at the moment. Only issue I have had was making the mistake of filling up in Sioux Falls SD with bio laced desiel, and not using enough Opti-Lube to mix in with it. Even with the engine block heater plugged in overnight, I went into limp mode at the beginning of the day trying to pull the trailer (in 0 degrees). I shut it down, cleared the codes, and started it up and things were back to being fine. I believe the engine had built up enough heat at that point to keep things burning. Burned through that tank, and avoided bio laced fuel from that point!

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Power Service additive mixed about 20% stronger than listed. Always carry a spare fuel filter, know how to install it and a bottle of PowerService 911 in the orange bottle "just in case". The 911 is not a fuel additive, it is an ice melter.

 

My diesel is pre-emission and I also use a quart of trans-fluid in the fuel tank when it is about 1/4 full two or three times a year. The new diesel is "dry" and the earlier pumps need the extra lubrication (according to my diesel mechanic).

 

Jok Nicholson

'94 Hawkins Motor Coach

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