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Trouble with Diesel in Winter?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Antnee77, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Hey,
    I have an 04 Dodge 3500 with a Cummins 600 Series Diesel on it. Last winter I had no troubles with it in the winter, but I didn't plow it. I'm about to put a plow on it and I was wondering if any of you guys have had any problems in the winter with your trucks. My buddy had both his trucks out of comission last year due to fuel gelling up and so forth. What do you do to prep your diesel for a plowing season?
     
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,961

    Get in and turn the key.

    I have a 2003 and a 2005 Dodge Cummins 2500. Both of them started every morning.

    We even hit -25 here a couple of times last winter, didn't even plug them in.

    I will say however, one time when I was heading up to "UpNorth"'s area, it got as cold as -29 on the overhead thermometer. I had a hard time keeping the engine warm, and thus the heater. It probably didn't help that we were doing 75 down the road.

    Finally I got to a town and found a piece of cardboard to put over the frontend to keep the cold cold wind out of it.

    But as far as starting, here in MN, they run a blended form of diesel in the winter that's supposed to be good down to -30.
     
  3. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    When it gets cold add any over the counter antigell fluid like "Power Service" to your tank. Here a blend is 50/50 mix diesel #2 and #1
     
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    This might be a dumb question but.....Did buddy ever hear of an Anti-Gel additive? No Ive never had a problem with any of my diesels in the winter.:rolleyes:
     
  5. GetMore

    GetMore Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    The important things to remember are:

    Don't use old fuel- if you bought it during the summer you will have problems during the winter. Even a month can make a difference in the formulation.

    Buy from a place with a high turnover. If they sell to the big rigs you should be okay. If the sell 100 gallons per month you should stay away. See tip above.

    Don't buy fuel in Florida and go to Minnesota. If you've got a truck this sort of thing probably won't be an issue for you, but different states get different formulations. Again, same thing as the first tip.

    If you are worried about it, use an anti-gel additive. Almost any of them should work for you. Some are better because they do more, like remove water, raise the cetane rating, clean the pump and injectors, etc. Stanadyne is supposed to be very good. Power Service works well.


    I normally run additives in my fuel year-round, but that is for the cetane and cleaning. I only had trouble with diesel in one vehicle, one year. I wasn't using additives at that time, but one of the following years I skipped them and I still didn't have problems, so it may have been the station I got the fuel from.
     
  6. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Ummm....yeah actually I have. I currently use it on every fill-up. My main concern was even with the anti-gelling additive, do you guys have problems. 2 good friends of mine had 3 trucks combined out of service because of fuel gelling and they both used the Anti-Gel regularly. You guys have been of great service, though. I appreciate the responses, and I can't see myself leaving diesel for gas anytime soon! :drinkup:
     
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    If it gelled they did NOT use antigell in that fill up- period. Or, it wasn't gelling- it was water. Not in New England.
    Refineries use antigell in the winter to keep Diesel from gelling in the trucks and in the station tanks. Use antigell as per the bottle instructions and it will not gell. Make sure you empty the fuel/water seperator regularly and watch out for water from stations. ( don;t wait for the water in fuel light to come on to empty it) If you empty the seperator regularly you will notice what stations have given you water, or more water and you;ll know to A: tell them they have water in their tanks (which they always know already) and B:Don;t buy fuel there again.

    Read the owner manual and follow what it tells you about cold weather opertaion and you will have no problems.

    I got a load of water and froze my lines my forst winter with my Ram- learned my lesson. Never had fuel gell. Oh, and unless you;re in a place lik Alaska or northern Montanna where it gets below -20 ALL THE TIME NEVER mix Kerosene and diesel for vehicle fuel (#1 and #2 fuel oil) Kerosene has less lubrication than diesel and will cause wear in the fuel system, primarily the injector pump. 24V Cummins engines (98 and newer) are very suceptible to this and VERY expensive to repair.

    Incidently- I plug my Ram in when it gets below 40 at night- always starts easy in the morning on a single heat cycle. That's what Dodge suggests to do anyway.