Winter Diesel? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Winter Diesel?

I know there are different winter and summer formulations for unleaded fuel. Does the same thing happen with diesel?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:00 PM
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Yes. Make a long story short. In MN they modify their winter blends every few weeks as the temps get colder.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:38 PM
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Yep they change the blends as the temps drop. I think they add more agents that prevent the fuel from gelling up. Most stations will have a sign up that says "Winter Blend" or something like that.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 01:55 PM
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Refiners will wither mix diesel No.1 and No.2 to obtain a winter blend or mix additives to No.2 diesel to create a winter blend.
Note: refiners blend winter diesel based on average temps for your region.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:02 PM
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Anyone adding an anti gel additive?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 02:08 AM
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Anyone adding an anti gel additive?


No. I'm up in ND and have been running straight what I pump. Temps as low as -20F. Even have let the tank get down to DIC est 100 miles left and starts right up.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 07:52 AM
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In winter, the diesel should have the additive we call COLDFLOW already in which is ant- geling. My boss used to have me pick up on-road diesel with COLDFLOW all year round that we used in the yard to fuel our trucks (never asked for a reason). The fuel at least at the terminal I pick up at in the tanker, mixes it at the actual "pump" to get your blends since there is over 20 mixes of diesel available.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 09:08 AM
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Yep they change the blends as the temps drop. I think they add more agents that prevent the fuel from gelling up. Most stations will have a sign up that says "Winter Blend" or something like that.
......you have to know.....someone on the internet has already made a meme about it:
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 09:13 AM
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My father-in-law was trying to get me to put some in when we got to 0*. Everything in the manual was basically saying "No"... and it wasn't needed till "maybe" -20*.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. Thanks for the info.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 05:22 PM
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You guys have pretty much covered it, but will add my experience in Montana. Prior to the Minimax, I had a 7.3L PowerStroke for ten years, and dealt with plenty of cold weather. First, as has been said, depending where you live, fuel stations switch to a winter blend #2 diesel sometime in the fall and switch back to summer straight in the spring. For us, it's October and April.

I've never had a problem with gelling of #2 winter blend anytime it's been above -20F, and that's with my truck always parked outside. No additives required.

#1 diesel has an even lower gelling point, I believe somewhere around -35F. If the forecast showed lows below -10F, I usually went ahead and pumped some #1 in there. However, right before we traded the 7.3 in, we had several -20 nights where I only had #2 in the tank, and had no problems. Of course, I had the block heater plugged in to help the big beast turn over, but that block heater does nothing for the fuel lines running from tank to engine.

If #1 isn't an option, you can add a winter-specific diesel additive - almost every fuel station, WalMart, or auto parts store has it. And finally, if you are on the road and it seems as if the fuel may be gelling, there's a specific product called Diesel 911 that rapidly breaks down gelled fuel. The engine still needs to be running for it to work, as it needs to make it through your fuel lines.

We've had a very cold winter so far. The 2.8 has been mine for 1.5 weeks, only with #2 in the tank, and has done just fine down to negative teen temps. I must say I love how well the truck starts cold - zero smoke is amazing considering the freight-train smoke that accompanied starting the 7.3.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 12:14 AM
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I just use some Power Service in the white bottle for when its cold. Basically for 3 reasons-1. Don't have to worry about whether or not the fuel stations got their mix right. 2. It's not going to hurt anything to use, it only takes one to time for it to gel up to turn a good day to crap. 3. Seems to help with getting 30+mpg even when it's -20f outside.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 12:28 AM
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No. I'm up in ND and have been running straight what I pump. Temps as low as -20F. Even have let the tank get down to DIC est 100 miles left and starts right up.
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Originally Posted by MontanaSteve View Post
You guys have pretty much covered it, but will add my experience in Montana. Prior to the Minimax, I had a 7.3L PowerStroke for ten years, and dealt with plenty of cold weather. First, as has been said, depending where you live, fuel stations switch to a winter blend #2 diesel sometime in the fall and switch back to summer straight in the spring. For us, it's October and April.

I've never had a problem with gelling of #2 winter blend anytime it's been above -20F, and that's with my truck always parked outside. No additives required.

#1 diesel has an even lower gelling point, I believe somewhere around -35F. If the forecast showed lows below -10F, I usually went ahead and pumped some #1 in there. However, right before we traded the 7.3 in, we had several -20 nights where I only had #2 in the tank, and had no problems. Of course, I had the block heater plugged in to help the big beast turn over, but that block heater does nothing for the fuel lines running from tank to engine.

If #1 isn't an option, you can add a winter-specific diesel additive - almost every fuel station, WalMart, or auto parts store has it. And finally, if you are on the road and it seems as if the fuel may be gelling, there's a specific product called Diesel 911 that rapidly breaks down gelled fuel. The engine still needs to be running for it to work, as it needs to make it through your fuel lines.

We've had a very cold winter so far. The 2.8 has been mine for 1.5 weeks, only with #2 in the tank, and has done just fine down to negative teen temps. I must say I love how well the truck starts cold - zero smoke is amazing considering the freight-train smoke that accompanied starting the 7.3.
Good info from you both as I'm in Wyoming. This is my first diesel truck. Not knowing this I have been adding a small amount of additive as I fill up. Most stations here show that they are running winter blend. I hope that we are all past the coldest of the cold. I may stop adding this, with your info now. Thanks for the pointers all.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 05:04 AM
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Since the fuel companies are regionally compensating for the expected colder temperature in the fuel they sell, manually adding the additive is unnecessary.

Where you run into trouble is trying to run summer blend in the winter. Since my diesel tractor is filled up from a remotely located farm tank that is only filled twice a year, manually adding the additive is sometimes recommended. The farmer where I get my fuel only fills the tank in the spring and fall so it never has winter blend.

What we have found is the gelling blockage occurs in the inline filter at around 0 F. on summer blend fuel. On one Case tractor we added a 12 volt silicone heater wrapped around the fuel filter to heat the to filter and eliminate the gelling problem. My John Deere tractor has never had the problem because the filter is located under the hood where it stays warm.

In the military when I was in Korea, when we had the gelling problem at below 0 F. temperatures, we simply added about 5% gasoline to the diesel tank. (1 gallon of gas to 20 gallons of diesel)
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 07:34 AM
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In my experience, winter fuel typically nets lower mpg. I have noticed a slight drop in fuel economy with my Colorado, but not nearly as drastic as previous diesels(7.3, 6.0, 1.9, 5.9)
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 10:39 AM
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That is correct. Less mileage. That is why the local farmers here never buy winter diesel. They use very little diesel in winter and they do not want to get stuck with a 1000 gallon tank near full of lower energy fuel in the spring.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by n9cv View Post
Since the fuel companies are regionally compensating for the expected colder temperature in the fuel they sell, manually adding the additive is unnecessary.

Where you run into trouble is trying to run summer blend in the winter. Since my diesel tractor is filled up from a remotely located farm tank that is only filled twice a year, manually adding the additive is sometimes recommended. The farmer where I get my fuel only fills the tank in the spring and fall so it never has winter blend.

What we have found is the gelling blockage occurs in the inline filter at around 0 F. on summer blend fuel. On one Case tractor we added a 12 volt silicone heater wrapped around the fuel filter to heat the to filter and eliminate the gelling problem. My John Deere tractor has never had the problem because the filter is located under the hood where it stays warm.

In the military when I was in Korea, when we had the gelling problem at below 0 F. temperatures, we simply added about 5% gasoline to the diesel tank. (1 gallon of gas to 20 gallons of diesel)
Not completely accurate. Refiners blend for an area based on average temps. If there is an extreme cold spell, diesel can still gel.
When I was stationed in Korea, the army had switched to JP8 and gelling wasn't an issue.

Our trucks have a fuel heater just before the fuel filters; gelling in the lines between the filter and tank should never be an issue.
I use Opti-Lube; adds cetane and lubrication to the fuel system. It's anti-gel properties are a plus.

Never assume diesel fuel can't gel.

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