Blog > September 2021 > Winter Ready Diesel

Winter Ready Diesel

September 15, 2021

When winter hits hardest, make sure your fuel and equipment is ready. Cold temperature performance of diesel-powered equipment is of utmost importance; especially when winter is extreme. The last thing any of us want is a stranded school bus with a load of kids, or a farmer who can’t feed his cattle because his tractor won’t start. Many cold-weather-related fuel problems can be eliminated with some proactive preparation before it gets cold.

Consider the following:
  • Water in the fuel system. This is by far the number one problem. Water gets in the system as a result of condensation in the spring, summer and fall. It is usually trapped in the filtering system where it freezes and blocks the flow of fuel.
  • A dirty fuel filter restricts the fuel flow. Cold weather makes pumping fuel harder, if the filter is dirty; it can block fuel flow causing system failure.
  • Blended fuel is not run through system. When blended fuel is placed in the fuel supply tank but the vehicle is not run enough to get treated fuel completely through the fuel system, including the filter, the untreated fuel will gel in cold weather.
  • The fuel lines or filters on some equipment are located very close to the engine fan and a tremendous wind chill is created especially when the engine is first started.
Enough can’t be said about changing your filters. Many times when fuel problems occur in the winter it is assumed to be the fuel, when in fact, most of the time the problem is in the filter. It is recommended that these filters be changed twice a year, spring and fall, prior to cold weather. A filter that is partially dirty will restrict the fuels ability to flow through it properly. A fresh fuel filter gets rid of any water, wax or sludge that may be in the filter and allows the winter diesel to flow properly.

Central Valley Ag winterizes our diesel fuel by purchasing Premium Ruby Diesel that has a Cold Flow/Winter Aid additive injected at the pipeline. Ruby itself has a lower cloud point and with the Cold Flow/ Winter Aid additive, the fuel should be safe to around 10 degrees. At some retail sites, we will blend our diesels with #1 fuel to lower the fuel cloud point. For every 10 percent of no. 1 diesel you add, the fuel cloud point will drop by approximately 3 degrees F.

For on-the-farm diesel tanks CVA recommends blending your tank with 30- 50% No.1 diesel for greater cold weather protection. A good rule of thumb is to switch to a winter blend when overnight temperatures begin to dip down near the 30 degree mark. Don’t wait until you have freezing weather forecast for several days in a row, or you might be too late.

Though no method is 100% guaranteed, the key to reducing or eliminating cold-weather diesel fuel problems is preparation. Changing filters and using quality winterized diesel fuel can save time and money when the hard, cold winter sets in. If you have any questions concerning winterization of diesel fuel, call your local Energy partners at CVA.
by Tracy Haller
Posted: 9/15/2021 6:32:45 PM by Mallory Shoemaker | with 0 comments

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