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Old 09-28-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
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Winter (anti-gel) additives for summer diesel

Time to worry about diesel during winter storage. I live in Minneapolis, and recently a few nights have been starting to push 32 degrees. I have about a half-tank of diesel (50 gal out of 100) left over from warmer weather that is going to need to carry through during storage. I do know that once the pumps carry the winter mix I will top up the tank with that ... but in the meantime, I have two questions:

First: at what temperatures should I start worrying about gelling, and thus when should I add anti-gelling additive to the existing fuel in the tank??

Second: what additive (for summer fuel) do you recommend as the best for protection against gelling??

Thanks, as always, for sharing your experience!
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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When we purchased our 2004 Newmar DSDP I had the same question in mind due to the widely fluctuating temperatures from October to March, sometimes as low a 0 F. & even lower.
I went to a local truck repair centre & they recommended a additive, only to be used if temperatures fall below 15 F. that they sell & is also sold at Flying J's.
Sorry, I can't remember the name but it comes in a big yellow jug. One jug treats a whole tank of fuel which I add it to a full tank in the fall & the unit usually sits from early December to the end of February.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
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Summer blend diesel will not start to gel until the temps are -10F. That is actual temperature not wind chill. The only thing that is affected by wind chill factors is living tissue
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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Summer blend diesel will not start to gel until the temps are -10F. That is actual temperature not wind chill. The only thing that is affected by wind chill factors is living tissue
Wind will cool a non living object off sooner though, but only living tissue is subject to the wind chill factor.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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Wind will cool a non living object off sooner though, but only living tissue is subject to the wind chill factor.
The time it takes an object to cool off is a moot point. The fact is that when a wind chill factor is reported, it does not affect the gel point of diesel. If the temp is reported as 0 degrees and the wind chill is -20 or -30, it doesn't make any difference. The temp of the fuel is still 0 degrees.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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The time it takes an object to cool off is a moot point. The fact is that when a wind chill factor is reported, it does not affect the gel point of diesel. If the temp is reported as 0 degrees and the wind chill is -20 or -30, it doesn't make any difference. The temp of the fuel is still 0 degrees.
Please reread my post. I never said it made a difference in the fuel temp, just that it will cool off quicker
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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Please folks - from where I sit I think we are in violent agreement with each other

Thanks for the input: looks like I have a little while to go before I need to worry about gelling
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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My thinking is that gelling is not a problem during the winter if the engine is not going to be started. If it gels, won't it "ungel" when it warms up in the spring? I've had a diesel gel and pulled into a warm shop and after some time it started and ran fine. Is there anything wrong with my thinking?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:04 PM   #9
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Slapfoot .. Nothing wrong with your thinking ...I used to do the same, that is let it sit with 'summer' fuel all winter. When spring came and I was ready to use the RV , the fuel would be ready too.. That having been said , when I plan on using the RV in the winter I take a belt and suspender approach .. I buy fuel as late in year as is practical..Add enough undyed kerosene to make a 25% blend. Add 2 Qts of antigel. and go south..
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Howe's lubricater is all you need. Howe's will keep fuel from gelling and also will prevent algea formation in the fuel as wel as the lines and filters
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:09 AM   #11
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Is the same bottle of antigel good for 2 seasons or do you need to purchase every year?
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:30 AM   #12
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A couple questions as follow-up:

1) is the Howes additive available at standard auto supply stores (like AutoZone) or do I need to trek to my nearest friendly truck stop??

2) just what is the **downside** of using additives like this (expense? potential damage to the engine fuel system components?, long term degredation?? etc?). I guess another way of asking this is why isn't diesel #2 just available year-round (expense perhaps??).
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:04 PM   #13
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Diesel #2 is available year round ..Up in the colder climes #2 is mixed with kerosene to make a 'winter blend' . The colder it gets the more kero is added. This help to prevent gelling. This is done at the fuel depot not the truck stop. Kerosene is equivalent to #1 diesel fuel. You may find truckstops in northern areas of cold states that sell #1 diesel.
most truckstops rely on a winter blend which is adjusted as temperatures dictate. You may find a name brand anti gel at your local auto parts store or you may have to trek to a truck parts place or truckstop. In my opinion there is no downside to using a anti gel when needed other than cost . there may be a big upside if it can prevent fuel gelling.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #14
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Sorry - I guess I got confused between which is #1 vs. #2. If I understand you correctly, #2 is "standard" diesel, and #1 is kerosene, used for extreme cold conditions???? (somehow I thought it was the other way around. :-(.
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