Diesel fuel gelling - At what temperature do you idle your truck?

Discussion in 'General Diesel Fuel Discussion' started by Mike, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    No gelling, to hot/humid.
    I low Idle my CAT with eng. fan on, cold AC on. sleep like a baby.
    In Dec. When Mike back in Dec. 2014 posted this conversation it was cold and I was low idiling with full tanks always, never let go below 1/2 tanks, used anti gel treatment(but think it's a scam?), no bio, only real fuel.
  2. Mike

    Mike Well-Known Member Staff Member

    At this point, as long as I am comfortable with my fuel being treated, I don't mind shutting the engine off and relying on the APU to crank up and keep the engine coolant above 30 degrees at least down to 0. Any colder, and I might crank the engine. Don't find myself in those temps too often though.
  3. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    I don't have an APU, next truck maybe, not this one. This past Dec. It was -9, (not wind chill or heat index nonsense, i'm old school), in Tucumcari one night sitting at the J waiting for the 40 vehicles to get cleared. The tanks were full and idled all night, no anti gel treatment added, no crystallizing, all was good.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  4. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    I try to run my tanks as low as possible all the time. Regardless of time of year.

    I've started my truck as cold as -11°F at New year's with just running the Apu for a while to warm the big engine.

    At home, I run a space heater in the cab to warm it up before I leave in the winter.

    Getting rid of moisture is critical to keeping the fuel system from gelling. It becomes an issue when the stations have too much biodiesel in them.
  5. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    You run your tanks as low as possible, "say what"? I did that and picked up dirt and that black crud that floats at the top of the fuel filters.
    I have the choice of going to any fuel stop I want. I go for the smaller regionals, cheaper for me and real Diesel. You can't be running Bio in these Cat's.
    I'm only getting the cash price also.
  6. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    In nov/dec 2012, I had major issues with fuel. Inside of my tanks had a black scum. Why? Improper fuel system maintenance. Constantly keeping old fuel in the system is the cause of it. Fuel collects water and debris, you want it gone? Treat the tanks occasionally with cleaner or run it through a system filter. Since I treated my system, I've had zero issues. And I go back and treat it about once a year with a "flu shot" in the hopes it never happens again.

    Ever heard of asphaltene? It's a black tarrish like substance that builds up over time as you recirculate the fuel under pressure and heat. Never had to deal with it on old mechanical engines because all the fuel system was external and the pressures we're considerably lower.

    New systems are seeing pressures upward of 30,000 psi and full engine heat from internal rails. Biggest reason we no longer need fuel heaters in the winter. The engine automatically heats the fuel.

    If you ever have issues with winter fuel, it's mainly from too much moisture in the system. Biodiesel has residual alcohol which is hygroscopic. It absorbs water. Every fall I dump an 80oz bottle of 911 in my tanks to remove any moisture. Go read the instructions carefully. Any biodiesel content over 10% and temps under 10°F require doubling the dosage. So I just smile and turn away when these guys are dumping in a 32 oz bottle that says it "treats 100 gallons". You've just done nothing.

    I've had clean, clear tanks now for 5 years because I run my tanks empty regularly. Against the advice of every old timer out here and quite a few shops and mechanics.

    When I listened to others, I had nothing but problems.

    When I listened to the guys who run the fuel stations, I finally figured out my problem and fixed it.

    I refuse to get fuel in Minnesota. They require 15% biodiesel. And it's unregulated so you might actually be getting upwards of 20%+ biodiesel. Winter time, the state still requires 5% biodiesel and it could be as high as 15%+.

    Every state in the union requires some level of biodiesel. So you can't avoid it. This is talking with the station owners and managers, not just fuel desk employee's.

    I swore it was the stations faults I was using a fuel filter a day for November and December. In reality, it was just a dirty fuel system on my truck.

    I replaced every fuel line I had even trying to find/fix/ solve my issue.

    My "flu shot" fixed it.

    This is the **** that came out of the system when I filtered the tank from the right side to the left.

  7. Mike

    Mike Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Since my truck was new, I have been unable to go 15k on a fuel filter.

    7 micron filter would be clogged at 5k. 10 micron filter clogged at around 10-12 k. Looking back, I think this may have been a result of fuel sitting in the tanks for an extended period of time.

    I have ran various additives in the fuel at times. Power service would result in a partially clogged filter ending up lower in the filter, but that was only temporary. By the next fill up, I was back to the same level of restriction on the filter(unless I used additive again). Cheaper at that point to just replace the filter.

    A few months ago, I decided to dump a bottle of hot shots into each tank. This stuff cleaned whatever was causing my problems. Filters now last like they were intended to. With my last filter, 10 micron Donaldson, I had gone between 30-40 k on the filter. During an oil change, I forgot to tell the people to not replace it, so it was taken out. The filter still showed more than half life available.

    On my current filter, it's gone right at 15k, and there is less than a half inch of fuel showing.

    I don't know what they put in Hot Shots, or what was in my fuel system, but whatever the case, the system went back to normal.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    Except for this part- "Every state in the union requires some level of biodiesel. So you can't avoid it. This is talking with the station owners and managers, not just fuel desk employee's"

    I will double check, but by law it is supposed to be labelled on the pump if and what % of Bio is used.
    My eyes can see real Diesel, I don't know everything, but I know the difference between real and bio mixed fuel and what it does to a CAT. 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, also, there is a major smell(can't describe it,) and color difference(Aqua vs Brown) between the two.
  9. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    True diesel is clear like kerosene.

    As the biodiesel content goes up, the color goes golden.

    Quick link to a clearing house for all the state laws.

    For the most part, every state, under federal law is required to have a minimum percentage of diesel sold as renewable fuel. (biodiesel)

    Alternative Fuels Data Center: Biodiesel Laws and Incentives
    • Like Like x 2
  10. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    I run a 10 micron wix. I get them dirt cheap from my local guy buying a case at a time. I generally use a dozen or so a year.

    I can tell really quickly if I ever want to go back to a station thanks to running a davco. I see how clear or colored it is and can guess how much biodiesel is in it. Fuel that's rather brownish always results in really poor fuel mileage. Biodiesel has less energy content than diesel. Can't argue physics and chemistry.
  11. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    What makes the Aqua color?
    The Marathon exit 99 I-75 North Anna,OH was clear last time there.
  12. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Aqua? Like a blue?

    Most likely an additive.

    Diesel and kerosene are not far apart from each other in a cracking tower. Using kerosene is like using df1 or jet fuel. In the army, it was called jp 8. Initial change over was a nightmare for trucks, but after we ran for a while, things got better.

    It's naturally clear.

    Any additives will change the color. Years ago, flyin j made it a point to dye fuel red. It was a "trademark" for them.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    Yeah, a light blue
  14. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    @Keendriver is hauling fuel now.

    Most fuel is supplied from the same tank farm for regions. The difference is who owns the "stock" and how much in each tank. Then when they load the tanker, the additives are loaded first and then mixed with the required amount of fuel.

    At least it was done that way when I learned how to haul fuel back in the 90's.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    Petro, TA - Dark Roast Brown.
    Speedway - Medium Roast
    Mapco - No Roast that I can see.
    Lite additive for flavor.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Mike

    Mike Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Got the part number on that? I'm about to look up some stuff on Amazon and get it coming to the house.
  17. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Petro in Rochelle Ill claim to have a set of islands for pure diesel. My davco never showed that. Even when I was only getting fuel there. The price definitely reflected a difference between the east side islands and the west side.
  18. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Wix 33651
    NAPA 3651

    Same filter.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. SaddleTramp

    SaddleTramp Well-Known Member

    How much of a difference?
  20. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter


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