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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Diesels in the Winter . . . Be ready!

Diesel vehicles have a little hard time in very cold conditions, generally below 20º degrees! If your truck sits out and is exposed to windchill conditions it can cause problems pretty quick since the fuel lines are partially exposed to the wind. If you see wind chills below 10º you better condition your fuel or add a heater/plug it in!

Most folks are safe below the Mason-Dixon Line but this year may be different with a frigid cold front moving down from the North. Number #2 diesel contains wax in the fuel and separates at colder temperatures (20º and below) which then starts to clog fuel filters, lines and pumps. Number #1 diesel is good to about 0º degrees however consider in the wind chill when determining treatment for your fuel.

The old way of handling this was adding kerosene to the fuel, but this works for slight temperature change and not extreme changes. There are two or three commercial de-gel or preventive fuel additives plus an emergency additive once your diesel does gel.

DIESEL Motorsports endorses a NEW additive on the market from a very old and reliable chemical company, CRC made just outside of Philadelphia, PA. CRC is best known for their product Brakleen but their new diesel fuel additives are quickly making a difference with truck owners.


CRC Quick Flow is for the diesels that have already gelled or starting to gel, this quart bottle treats 125 gallons of fuel. If you travel a lot I would suggest keeping 2-3 bottles of this inside of your truck for emergencies or others who may be in need.


CRC Cold Flow treats fuel before gelling and adds about a 40º difference when mixed properly. This additive also adds lubricity for easier flow of the fuel during cold weather, one quart treats 500 gallons. I have used this additive in my own truck and we are at -30º wind chill for the past three days so it works great - still running!

CRC makes a number of different products for cold weather including Fuel Therapy which cleans injectors plus has anti-gel, CRC Air Brake/Anti-Freeze Conditioner which eliminates moisture in the lines, and CRC Diesel Dry that removes any water in the fuel.

They also make a great diesel Stabilizer that treat diesel in tanks during long storage, 1 oz treats 10 gallons. Any farmer or rural business with their diesel tanks needs to stock up on this product before the winter months.

Also as a precaution change your filters out for oil and fuel before the cold sets in for the duration. This will help eliminate clogs and gelling over the winter. I always change my oil before the cold sets in, it's easier to start the old diesel if it's got fresh oil in it plus it warms up faster.

I use Champion Blue Flame oil in my truck because they made it special just for us older diesel truck owners (pre-2007)! They added all of the additives back in that was taken out around 2007, sure quieted my old 12V down and runs clean.


Many of our diesel shops rely on maintenance before and during the Winter months for business. Make sure you take your diesel vehicle in so you won't get stuck out in the COLD - literally!

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