From Our Farm to Your Table

Diesel Fuel Gelling is a Real Thing

Tue, 2018-01-09 18:07 -- Carole Soule
Gelled diesel fuel on a filter

We are not the only one's having issues with our diesel truck and Bobcat. Today I found out that loggers, other farmers, town trucks, anything that is diesel powered has been hit with a  malady called, "Diesel Fuel Gelling."  This happens when diesel fuel that was not properly treated for cold weather gels in equipment filters as it flows through the engine.

Diesel fuel gelling happens when the paraffin usually present in diesel starts to solidify when the temperature drops. At 32 degrees, the wax in liquid form will crystallize and leave the fuel tank clouded. At 10-15 degrees, it will finally start to gel and clog the tank and fuel filters.  Fuel distributors are supposed to put additives in diesel they sell in cold weather, apparently that didn't happen in our region.

A truck that starts and is running perfectly well will just lose power and die when fuel gels.  Wait a bit and the engine will restart only to die again a few minutes later. Loggers and other diesel operators have had to drain all the fuel, put in new fuel and replace filters to get their equipment running again.  This problem seems to include most diesel fuel in the region. 

Originally I had thought it was just our little farm that was cursed with cold weather and dirty filters but we are not alone.  Did you have trouble with your diesel equipment during the deep freeze? It might be good to find the root cause of our troubles.

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