14 Tips for Optimizing the Winter Performance of Your Diesel Fuel
When temperatures drop toward freezing, diesel engines begin to face several unique challenges. Here are 14 tips to help ensure your diesel equipment and vehicles run strong all winter long.
1. Talk with your local CountryMark dealer about adequately treating your fuel storage tanks for the temperatures you will be dealing with this winter. Our energy professionals are trained to help customers develop plans for ensuring their diesel fuels will provide optimal performance all winter long.
2. Installing a 30 micron filter on your fuel storage tanks in preparation for the coldest months of the year can help insure the performance of your diesel fuel all winter long. Need new fuel storage tank filters? Contact your local CountryMark dealer today for the winter diesel fuel supplies you need.
3. Wind chills in the negative numbers will make outdoor experiences uncomfortable for people and animals, but will not have the same impact on diesel fuel. When determining how diesel fuels will operate, it is more important to study air temperatures. Over-treating diesel fuel with either additives or kerosene to compensate for bitterly cold wind chill factors can significantly increase the cost of operating your diesel engines. Our promise to our customers it to deliver premium diesel fuels that are properly treated to maximize fuel value and keep your diesel engines running strong all winter long.
4. Block heaters are not designed to warm an engine. They are designed to maintain the heat already generated in the engine. Thus it is crucial that the truck be plugged in while the engine is still warm.
5. Remember to unplug diesel vehicles before starting them. Two to three seconds of the engine running while the block heaters are plugged in is enough to burn out the block heaters.
6. Icing can be as much of a challenge to diesel fuel, as can fuel gelling. Because of the threat of icing, we regularly check the fuel storage tanks we fill for moisture. In addition to good tank maintenance practices, CountryMark premium diesel fuels also contain powerful de-icers, which dramatically lower the point at which free water in the fuel system freezes.
7. Remember to drain fuel water separators. As the ambient air temperatures fall, the ability for water to condense in fuel tanks increases and can be carried into the filter/heater unit. During periods of extreme cold this should be done on a daily basis. The fuel filters on your vehicle are the only protection the engine has against contaminants in the fuel. A larger micron fuel filter should never be used to extend filter life or increase flow on the vehicle. It may void the warranty and can be damaging to the pump and/or the injectors.
8. Be sure air hoses are hooked up to each other or to the dummy gladhands when the equipment is not in use. This is one of the leading causes of brakes freezing up.
9. Be sure gladhands hook up tight. If they go on loose they will come off in a tight turn and will cause unnecessary cycling of the air compressor. Make sure you have a nice and snug fit.
10. When temperatures drop to their coldest, make sure you are running a HIGH CETANE diesel fuel. Cetane is a measure of diesel engine startability. The higher the cetane number, the quicker the fuel will ignite. CountryMark premium diesel fuels have a minimum cetane number of 50, which give these on-and off-road diesel fuels a significant advantage in colder conditions.
11. Did you know CountryMark kerosene is treated with lubricity additives to protect fuel injection system components? We don’t believe you should have to pick between cold weather operability and protecting your fuel injection system components. CountryMark premium diesel fuels are built to meet the needs of today’s modern diesel engines.
12. Premium diesel engine oils, such as CountryMark Advantage 15W-40, are formulated to provide increased cold weather start-up protection at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the kind of diesel engine oil you need when temperatures are at their coldest!
13. In late winter months, temperatures can swing dramatically causing condensation to collect in fuel storage tanks, which can then lead to icing should temperatures drop again dramatically. Keeping fuel tanks full this time of year will minimize opportunities for condensation and ice-related fuel failures.
14. Mark your calendar to change fuel storage tank filters back to a 10 micron filter as spring weather approaches.