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cold and diesel


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I was in some brutal  cold last couple nights, (low 20s, maybe high teens) with full diesel tanks on my 2008 Cummins 8.3L.  It's nice and warm now (60s) and will not get that cold again for awhile.  I'm planning on leaving on Sunday, but heading to warmer weather and will not be experiencing cold like that. 

Is my fuel ok? Can I travel tomorrow without concern or has there been any damage done?

Edited by hemsteadc
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No damage. The only effect of cold temperatures is a temporary thickening of the fuel. If you weren'trunning, you'll never notice it. As soon as the temps climb, the fuel returns to it's earlier state. 

I have been wrong before, I'll probably be wrong again. 

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The fuel will be fine after temps rise, but the question is, where did you buy the fuel? If you bought it north of the Mason Dixon line, it's already blended for winter use. No worries. If you bought it in FL, you may want to treat it, or add some northern fuel. Jay


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13 minutes ago, hemsteadc said:

Cortez Co, late september

I'm no sure when they start to winterize the fuel, but I'd not worry too much about it, yet. When we lived in WY we got some diesel that wasn't winterized in our pickup and had fuel jell problems that caused the truck to quit on us one night. We went back the next afternoon to pick it up and it started right up and ran fine. As Jay said, it is a temporary thing and doesn't harm the fuel at all. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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Today's diesel MAY gel at a higher temp than you think because it's mixed with BIO up to 5% WITHOUT telling you.  This happened to us in North Dakota.  A gallon or quart of the White bottle of Diesel Kleen will solve the issue of gelling.

Alie & Jim + 8 paws

2017 DRV Memphis 

BART- 1998 Volvo 610

Lil'ole 6cyl Cummins

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Last January i hooked up the truck to the trailer and pluged in the block heater in order to get an early start the next morning. The temp dropped to -35 overnight but i wasn't worried cause it was plugged in right?  Well she started right up and we waited till she (both the truck and my wife) warmed up! Soon we were headed to the open road....woohoo!  Once on the highway i found that i could not get more than 25-30 mph!  What the??  I had a quart of 911 that is supposed to thaw frozen fuel in a few minutes but no joy!  I had to limp 8 miles to my local truck shop.  Had to drop the trailer in his yard and pull into his shop where it was at least warm. After changing the fuel filters i bobtailed to the nearest fuel station and topped up the half full tanks with winter fuel. No more problems.  But i did buy a full gallon of 911 in case i ever freeze up again!  

And Hemsteadc just an FYI 20F is NOT brutally cold!  When you are trying to talk to your buddy who is only 10 feet away and he dosn't hear you cause your words froze in mid air and fell to the ground....now that is brutally cold!

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  • 2 months later...

Fuel starts to cloud at 17 degrees. If you are already driving and you run into cold weather you should be fine because your fuel is warmed my the return line but need to get some additive in soon. Or a blend of no.1 and no. 2 diesel. We run a 50/50 blend on the farm because the bulk barrel is above ground and exposed the 30% blend jelled at -30.  On the road you will probably only find a 30% blend but the barrel is under ground so its at a temp or 40-50 degrees when you put it in the tank.. That and with a bottle of howes should be good enough to get anywhere.

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