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#3291086 - 02/22/14 09:21 PM When and where is "winter" diesel used?
Number21 Offline


Registered: 10/23/13
Posts: 230
Loc: OR
I bought a diesel truck a few months ago and I'm trying to track down why I'm not getting very good MPG. How does one know if the gas station is pumping out a "winter" blend of diesel? I'm in NW Oregon, where it doesn't normally get that cold, but definitely below freezing this time of year.

Is it variable based on the weather forecast? Do they just sell the winter stuff all winter anywhere it gets cold? Should there be a sign on the pump somewhere?

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#3291117 - 02/22/14 09:47 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
Brybo86 Offline


Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 2468
Loc: Chicago, IL
make model and engine would help.... as well as advertised city and highway mpg ... as would type of driving , city/hwy percentage and idling times
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#3291122 - 02/22/14 09:51 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Brybo86]
Number21 Offline


Registered: 10/23/13
Posts: 230
Loc: OR
Originally Posted By: Brybo86
make model and engine would help.... as well as advertised city and highway mpg ... as would type of driving , city/hwy percentage and idling times


I'm not asking about my mileage, I'm asking where winter diesel is used.

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#3291135 - 02/22/14 09:57 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
R80RS Offline


Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 989
Loc: Wisconsin USA
All you ever wanted to know about winterized Diesel, courtesy of Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_diesel_fuel

Around here most gas stations begin to advertise winterized diesel beginning in late autumn and through the end of winter. I get my diesel fuel at truck stops with a lot of semi traffic, because the fuel inventory turns over quickly so the blend is current & correct for the season.

Generally if your fuel filter is plugging due to wax crystals forming the engine will simply stop running when it can't get fuel. I've not heard of low MPG being a symptom of fuel gelling. I don't see an appreciable change in MPG in my TDI Jetta between seasons.

If you are concerned about your fuel quality in low temps, try Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement & Cetane Boost (white bottle). I treat my fuel with it and I did not have any problems even when it was -15F here earlier this year.
_________________________
2004 F150 251k mi. Pennz Plat HM 5w-20, Wix 51516XP
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#3291174 - 02/22/14 10:47 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 39485
Loc: New Jersey
I can't say Ive ever seen #1 diesel at the pump.

In my MB manuals they state to blend kerosine or gasoline (I forget which, Ive never done it).

#1 diesel is more like JP-4/JP-5, which is a high flashpoint Navy jet fuel. It is a narrower cut of hydrocarbons. Kerosine is similar to JP-8 and Jet-A, but generally far lower sulfur for indoor use.

Diesel hydrocarbon distribution:



JP-5 hydrocarbon distribution:



DF-2 has around 130575 BTU/gal
JP-5 has around 125964 BTU/gal
JP-8 has around 123138 BTU/gal

So the question is what kind of MPG loss are you seeing and is it comparable to the changes in energy content?

Also, thermal efficiency of diesels is highest after a decent amount of use. Short tripping will cause poorer MPGs. That's why the MPGs for VW diesels is so low per the EPA yet people can pull >50 MPG when driving long-term steady state.

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#3291181 - 02/22/14 10:53 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 18196
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Number21
I bought a diesel truck a few months ago and I'm trying to track down why I'm not getting very good MPG. How does one know if the gas station is pumping out a "winter" blend of diesel? I'm in NW Oregon, where it doesn't normally get that cold, but definitely below freezing this time of year.

Is it variable based on the weather forecast? Do they just sell the winter stuff all winter anywhere it gets cold? Should there be a sign on the pump somewhere?


You may need to hunt down the fuel supplier and ask. Many areas will thin it with some kerosene which does hurt mileage. But some posts suggest there are better anti-gel additives that cost less than kerosene and work better and do not effect mileage.

I am not sure there is any standard for how much kerosene. Nor will it be listed anywhere. Its almost like the lubricant additive that suppose to be in diesel fuel. You hope its there but hard to tell.
_________________________
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2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#3291327 - 02/23/14 06:47 AM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
Fleetmon Offline


Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 1113
Loc: Pa
Winter-blend diesel fuel, at least in my area of the northeast is a blend of #1 and #2 diesel fuel. I receive a blend from the middle of October to March. Kerosene and Jet would be very expensive to use as a blend. Years ago however, depots would use those as well as gasoline sometimes.

We have always experienced a slight decline in MPG's through the use of winter-blend as well as the resultant slight loss of power. I notice the slight drop in my personal vehicle.

If you are not experiencing gelling/excessive water then, IMO, you don't need an additive....some people do use them to allow them to sleep at night.

I would expect no more than a 5% drop maximum in fuel mileage and that number would be surprising. What fuel mileage are you getting and what were you expecting to get?


Edited by Fleetmon (02/23/14 06:47 AM)
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#3291368 - 02/23/14 07:39 AM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
Dieselsrule Offline


Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 93
Loc: nc
Originally Posted By: Number21
I bought a diesel truck a few months ago and I'm trying to track down why I'm not getting very good MPG. How does one know if the gas station is pumping out a "winter" blend of diesel? I'm in NW Oregon, where it doesn't normally get that cold, but definitely below freezing this time of year.

Is it variable based on the weather forecast? Do they just sell the winter stuff all winter anywhere it gets cold? Should there be a sign on the pump somewhere?


I got to ask first , is the truck used? are the injectors in good condition? Is it a common rail fuel system? Common rail injectors on newer trucks don't last like old mechinical injectors did. Make sure your fuel system is healthy and turbo boast is what it should be and is the air filter clean ?
I don't know if winter blend is nationwide or not. I can add that I get lower fuel mileage in the winter, espcically my 98 cummins dodge. 1 or 2 less mpg.


Edited by Dieselsrule (02/23/14 07:39 AM)
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#3291378 - 02/23/14 07:54 AM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
Fleetmon Offline


Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 1113
Loc: Pa
I'm pretty certain winter blend is available throughout the US during the winter months.....how else could a trucker fuel with confidence for a trip up north?

"Bad" fuel is typically full of water that freezes or garbage that clogs filters.
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#3291426 - 02/23/14 09:04 AM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Fleetmon]
volk06 Offline


Registered: 10/04/10
Posts: 4713
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By: Fleetmon
I'm pretty certain winter blend is available throughout the US during the winter months.....how else could a trucker fuel with confidence for a trip up north?

"Bad" fuel is typically full of water that freezes or garbage that clogs filters.


Or biodiesel that was made from a cheap base stock like beef tallow. That stuff plugs up filers real quick in cold temperatures. We use Howes lubricant at work on the Fleet of 100 OTR engines, power service just didn't seem to be working and kept gelling up the trucks. Around here most diesel is blended with no.1 and no.2 with additive depending on your station. I know some truckers who truck up to Canada and use straight no.1 with howes or stanadyne, their engine never shuts off and never seem to have many issues.
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#3291438 - 02/23/14 09:18 AM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
Fleetmon Offline


Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 1113
Loc: Pa
^+1 on badly formulated biodiesel. #1 ULS diesel is available if you look for it and it's much easier found the further north you go. You do pay a pretty good price in reduced power/fuel mileage though.
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"In order to become the Master, a cunning person may act as a servant."

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#3291582 - 02/23/14 11:52 AM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: volk06]
R80RS Offline


Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 989
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Originally Posted By: volk06


Or biodiesel that was made from a cheap base stock like beef tallow. That stuff plugs up filers real quick in cold temperatures. We use Howes lubricant at work on the Fleet of 100 OTR engines, power service just didn't seem to be working and kept gelling up the trucks. Around here most diesel is blended with no.1 and no.2 with additive depending on your station. I know some truckers who truck up to Canada and use straight no.1 with howes or stanadyne, their engine never shuts off and never seem to have many issues.


+1 on the biodiesel concern. I stay away from it in cold months. Thanks for the tip on Howe's. I've seen it but never used it. So far Power Service seems to be doing a good job for me but if that changes I'll give Howe's a look. Stanadyne is also great stuff, but hard for me to source locally.
_________________________
2004 F150 251k mi. Pennz Plat HM 5w-20, Wix 51516XP
2003 VW Jetta TDI, 222k mi. Amsoil HDD 5w-30, Mahle

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#3291612 - 02/23/14 12:14 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: Number21]
TiredTrucker Offline


Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 2956
Loc: Central Iowa
Well, I have to get a broad variety of bio at the various locations I need to fuel. Unfortunately, commercial truckers don't have the luxury to track down, or even get in to, some of the smaller outlets that don't put bio in diesel in the winter months. I have had great results dealing with it using the Schaeffer line of fuel additives in the winter. I used to use Howe's and liked it. I can get the Schaeffer for a lot less so it is more cost effective to use. I can get a 5 gal pail for $136.55 and it goes a long way. Much cheaper than the off the shelf stuff. 1 oz per 7.5 gallons of diesel and I know it handles the bio problem for me right down to -25F using 7 micron fuel filters.

But, all that being said, it has been common for years that winter diesel is not as efficient as summer grades. We all have to deal with lower mpg in the winter. It isn't Kerosene that gets mixed in by the fuel suppliers, it is #1 diesel. Yes, they are not the same, though they are commonly thought to be so. Kerosene has a higher market price than #1 diesel.
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#3293165 - 02/24/14 07:19 PM Re: When and where is "winter" diesel used? [Re: TiredTrucker]
Number21 Offline


Registered: 10/23/13
Posts: 230
Loc: OR
Hmmmm...well, I think I found a solution. I called the local fuel supplier, and I'd save about 20 cents a gallon over retail if I get 275 gallons delivered. I can just order #2 and be SURE of what I'm getting, I wanted a bulk tank anyway. I can split it up with my buddy so it won't last us more than a few months.

I realize there are a whole lot of factors that can effect my mileage, I just wanted to start at the top with what kind of fuel I'm getting. Apparently it's not that easy to know. Truck is a Powerstroke...I just fixed the FICM and haven't checked the mileage again yet, it may have helped. Even so, the Powerstroke isn't known for great mileage...

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