06 Feb AMSOIL Diesel Additives Improve Cold-Weather Performance
As performance concentrates, they provide results for diesel owners unsatisfied with “all-in-one” additives
El Niño continues to disrupt weather patterns around North America this winter. It’s been warmer than normal here in Superior, WI, but above average temperatures here don’t mean people elsewhere aren’t seeing temps drop below freezing, which can cause great pain. Pipes freeze and burst, frost kills crops and conventional oils can thicken to the point of preventing vehicles from starting. Just like AMSOIL synthetic motor oils solve cold-weather weather, our diesel additives also make life a lot easier for diesel owners this time of year.
Like oil, diesel fuel is measured by its viscosity and thickens as the temperature drops. When the temperature gets just right, fuel can gel and cease to flow, leaving you stranded. Diesel fuel is typically available in two grades this time of year, often giving us a choice at the pump between diesel #1 and diesel #2. Diesel #2 thickens more readily.
Adding to the challenge, diesel fuels contain waxes, which begin to solidify in cold weather. The hydro-treating process used to desulfurize fuel increases the fuel’s wax content. Normally, the wax is a liquid in fuel and is important to diesel components because of its high cetane value. As thetemperature drops, wax crystals form in low-sulfur diesel (known as the cloud point). The fuel becomes thicker and gradually gels until it finally clogs the filter (known as the cold-filter plugging point), fuel lines or injectors. Once you’ve reached this point, you will likely run into difficult starting, reduce power or even the potential for the engine to stop running altogether due to fuel starvation.
Ensuring proper winter operation in diesels requires reducing the cold-filter plugging point of the fuel. The two common methods for achieving this include:
• blending diesel #1 and diesel #2 to produce winter-blend diesel
• or, treating fuel with additives to create winterized diesel.
Diesel #1 fuel has a lower pour point than diesel #2, causing it to flow more easily and making it preferable in cold weather.However, diesel #1 fuel produces approximately 95 percent the energy output of diesel #2, resulting in reduced fuel economy and lower horsepower. The optimal combination of the two is mixed at the fuel refinery using historic temperature patterns to predict temperatures over the coming months.
Winterized diesel is produced when #2 diesel has been treated with additives, like cold-flow improvers. They work by modifying the size and shape of the wax crystals, which allows the treated diesel to operate at lower temperatures without problems. Modifying wax crystal formation lowers the cold-filter plugging point, eliminating fuel-line freeze and preventing fuel-filter icing.
The refinery’s choice to blend the most appropriate fuel for the season is based on fuel grade availability and economics. No matter which method they chose, refiners follow guidelines for the expected temperature each month in every state, meaning fuel is blended based on averages and not actual temperatures. If a region suffers a cold snap that defies these expected averages, the fuel available at the time may not be blended to handle the lower temperature, causing problems for diesel owners.
In a perfect world, diesel available at every pump in every region would be blended to provide your vehicle the best performance.
Unfortunately there are limited diesel fuel standards. In fact, there are significant and worsening
problems associated with cold-weather performance due to the variability in fuel sources across countries and regions.
AMSOIL diesel additives help relieve customers from worrying about cold-weather performance or low-quality fuel. As performance concentrates, they’re formulated with the necessary level of cleaning agents and other chemicals to get the job done the first time, unlike some less-potent all-in-one additives.
AMSOIL Diesel Cold Flow (ACF) is formulated with an advanced deicer to enhance fuel flow and help prevent fuel filter plugging incold temperatures. AMSOIL Diesel Injector Clean (ADF) removes performance-robbing deposits from diesel fuel injectors to restore horsepower and protect fuel system components from wear, especially modern high-pressure common-rail engines. Diesel Injector Clean + Cold Flow (DFC) combines the benefits of both in one convenient package. Diesel Cetane Boost (ACB) raises the cetane number of diesel fuel up to seven points for maximum horsepower, increased fuel economy and easier starts in all diesel engines.
Finally, Diesel Recovery Emergency Fuel Treatment (DRC) quickly dissolves gel fuel and thaws frozen fuel filters where fuel hasn’t been treated.
No matter what winter throws at you, AMSOIL has you covered.