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Diesel Fuel Gelling 101

DIESEL FUEL GELLING 101
February 7, 2021

Let’s take a minute and get down to the basics of diesel fuel gelling and ways to prevent and treat the gelling once it becomes an issue. Gelling occurs when the temperature of the fuel drops so low that wax naturally found in the diesel begins to crystallize. Gelling can occur as high as 20 °F, depending on the source and quality of fuel. Diesel fuel gelling can stop you in your tracks or before you even get the engine started, by clogging fuel lines and the filter(s), causing havoc on your fuel system. You will know if you have a possible gelling issue when your diesel will not start or stops operating during cold temperatures.

Diesel is comprised of straight and branched chain hydrocarbons. These kinds of hydrocarbons, also called paraffin waxes, become solid around 17.5 °F for #2 Diesel. The amount of paraffin wax diesel contains depends on the kind of crude oil used to produce the diesel fuel and the process used to manufacture it. Also biodiesel fuel which is required to be mixed with diesel fuel in many states also adds to gelling. Biodiesel gels at higher temperatures than conventional diesel.

You can undo gelling, but it is best to prevent it from happening in the first place. One method is to use an additive such as Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Winter Anti-Gel promoting coverage down to -40°F. In addition, Diesel Winter Anti-Gel contains a powerful cetane improver for quicker cold starts and a maximum boost in power and performance. A treatment of Diesel Winter Anti-Gel is recommended with every fill-up for best results. Diesel Winter Anti-Gel should be added to fuel before reaching the cloud point. The cloud point refers to the temperature which wax in diesel forms a cloudy appearance. By adding Diesel Winter Anti-Gel at the pump, you get the advantage of warmer fuel from underground tanks, preventing fuel gelling in its tracks. Diesel Winter Anti-Gel when added to diesel has a pour point of -65° F, for outstanding cold weather protection. The pour point is the temperature at which the paraffin in the fuel has crystallized to the point where the fuel gels and becomes resistant to flow

You don’t have to take our word that Diesel Winter Anti-Gel works, check this video from
Project Farm on YouTube. He compared many of the top brands of diesel fuel treatments and Diesel Winter Anti-Gel came out on top in testing. Trust your diesel to the best, use the products powered by science. 

When you suspect you are a victim of gelled fuel, you will check in two areas: the fuel tank and fuel filter(s). If gelling has occurred you will need to use an emergency additive such as Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Winter Rescue. If the fuel is gelled in the tank, add entire contents (32 ounces) of Diesel Winter Rescue to every 40 gallons of fuel in the tank(s). Remove fuel-filters and fill with 50% Diesel Winter Rescue and 50% diesel fuel. Reinstall fuel-filters. Start engine. Let engine idle to warm up fuel system. If fuel is liquid in fuel tanks but engine won’t start: Remove fuel-filters and fill with 50% Diesel Winter Rescue and 50% diesel fuel. Reinstall fuel-filters. Start engine.

Diesel Winter Rescue is a diesel fuel de-icer additive is a fully formulated emergency product that contains a military grade de-icer and lubricity additive. It is formulated to re-liquify gelled fuel and de-ices frozen fuel filters to restore the flow of diesel fuel to the engine allowing the vehicle to be fully operational again. Products such as Diesel Winter Rescue are a helpful option to carry in your vehicle during the winter months, when gelling occurs.

So the best defense of diesel gelling is prevention, by using an additive such as Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Winter Anti-Gel with every fill-up during the cold weather season. This will help keep you moving down the road for temperatures down to -40°F. The Diesel Winter Anti-Gel has the added benefits of increased cetane and lubricity for better performance. If gelling occurs use an emergency additive such as Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Winter Rescue to re-liquify gelled fuel, getting your diesel engine running again.