As we wake up to frost on the lawn and the windows, it can only mean one thing: winter is almost here. Before the temperature drops too much, let’s talk about a big winter problem, fuel gelling, and how to prevent it.
Unlike you and I, diesel doesn’t just shiver when it gets cold. Instead, it goes through the process of fuel gelling. As the temperature continues to drop, the paraffin wax, which naturally occurs in ultra-low sulfur diesel and normally provides extra power when burned in the engine, begins to clump together. The colder the weather, the more the wax clumps. When that clump gets too large, it plugs filters, stopping fuel from flowing through. The point at which your filter plugs is called the Cold Filter Plug Point (CFPP). At this point, your engine can’t get any fuel and stops operating. If this happens to you, make sure to use your TruckSmart app or call 1-800-824-SHOP to contact RoadSquad.
The CFPP varies depending on geography and fuel quality. In the United State, the CFPP must be under 10 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to start taking precautions around that temperature to avoid unwanted breakdowns and costly repairs.
The easiest way to prevent fuel gelling is by adding winter fuel additives to your diesel fuel. Winter fuel additives can help prevent those paraffin wax crystals from clumping together and plugging your fuel filters at low temperatures. They work by mixing in with your diesel and lowering the CFPP. There are other benefits to winter fuel additives, too. They can help improve cold engine starts and prevent harmful deposits from clogging your fuel injectors.
Protect your truck when the weather turns cold with winter fuel additives from TravelCenters of America. Our winter fuel additives can either be purchased individually or in winterized diesel, a blend of diesel and fuel additives. Pick up fuel additives at TA, Petro and TA Express travel stores and Truck Service locations around the country to add to your diesel fuel. The specially formulated additive will substantially reduce the CFPP of your diesel. You can also mix these additives into winterized diesel for added protection.
If you prefer winterized diesel, fuel up at participating TA, Petro and TA Express fuel islands network wide. TA monitors our fuel tanks throughout the year to ensure they are ready for the cold weather months. When it is time to treat our fuel, it is single, double or even triple-treated, depending on regional forecasts, using a specially formulated cold flow improver that substantially reduces the CFPP and helps prevent fuel gelling and eliminate unnecessary breakdowns. If conditions warrant, we can even reduce or stop blending the additive, making sure your truck is running its best.
Winter will be here before you know it, and the weather can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to prepare for common winter issues like fuel gelling. Don’t forget to check out our Diesel Fuel Winterization Checklist for more tips on how to prepare your vehicle for harsh winter conditions. And if you find yourself stuck in the cold this winter, RoadSquad will be there to help!