While it’s been a pretty mild winter so far in northeast Ohio, we can be pretty certain that colder weather is coming as we head into the heart of winter. Cold winter weather has some interesting effects on diesel fuel.
Diesel fuel turns to a gel-like consistency as it approaches what is know as the cloud point. The cloud point is defined as the temperature below which wax in diesel forms a cloud appearance. When the wax is solidifying it will thicken the oil and clog fuel filters and injectors in engines. The crystals formed will build up in the fuel line until the engine is starved of fuel.
While poor quality fuel can have a cloud point as warm as 40ºF, most will have a cloud point at around 32ºF (0ºC). The point at which the crystals clog the fuel filter is known as the cold filter plugging point (CFPP). A fuel with a cloudpoint of 1ºC (33ºF) can have a CFPP of -10ºC (14ºF).
AMSOIL has a product, Diesel Cold Flow, that will help to lower the CFPP by up to 15ºC. So in the above example the CFPP is lowered to up to -25ºC (-13ºF), which would make quite the difference in performance of your diesel engine.
Water is diesel fuel’s most prevalent contaminant. Of course water cab be a problem you wrestle with any time of the year, but in the cold months, you also have to deal with the water freezing at temperatures below 32ºF (0ºC). Good housekeeping and fuel management can minimize the water in your fuel, but the Diesel Cold Flow product has an added benefit of using a jet-fuel-type deicer that disperses water to control ice formation throughout the fuel system. The AMSOIL Diesel Cold Flow can improve the diesel pour point (the temperature at which the fuel becomes semi-solid and loses it’s flow characteristics) as much as 58ºF (32ºC).
So there’s the 5 minute lesson on diesel fuel. I’ve learned quite a bit myself in research this post. Check out the AMSOIL Diesel Cold Flow product (as well as AMSOIL’s complete line of diesel fuel additives and oil)