Diesel #1 vs #2 gel points in winter. Whats the difference?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by mitmaks, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. HillbillyDeluxeTruck

    HillbillyDeluxeTruck Road Train Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    San Antone
    Just over a year ago I had the fuel gel in a company truck. And that was just N of San Antonio. I think it was 19deg and felt about like 10 lol. I fueled in or outside of Houston iirc.
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  3. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Understanding the Differences Between #1 Diesel and #2 Diesel

    “The Difference in Diesel Fuels

    Before getting into details, let's take a look at the main differences between these two fuels. As you'll see, there are a few key points that give each distinct advantages and disadvantages.

    1. Volatility
    #1 diesel has higher levels of a compound known as cetane. This makes it more volatile than #2.

    Higher volatility translates to a faster and more fuel-efficient start. However, lower volatility means a slower burn while driving which means better fuel efficiency while you're on the road.

    2. Viscosity
    Like all liquids, diesel fuel can be measured by its viscosity or thickness. This is especially important to consider in the winter as diesel can become thicker as the temperature drops.

    #1 diesel has a lower viscosity which means it's thinner than #2 diesel. So, in the winter months, #1 diesel will work better in engines because it won't end up too thick.

    On the other hand, in hot weather, #1 diesel may become too thin which can also be a problem for engines. In that case, #2 diesel may work better because it will maintain some of its viscosity.

    Other Properties of #1 Diesel
    #1 diesel is considered by many a premium fuel and its cost reflects that. As you'll see, there are several reasons you may choose to invest in this higher-grade of diesel fuel.

    1. Added Lubricants
    Lubricants help keep your fuel diesel system running smoothly. When there's less friction in the gasoline pump and other engine parts, you'll extend the life of your engine.

    2. Added Fuel Additives
    Over time, diesel fuel systems can get dirty due to sediments and other debris. #1 diesel contains fuel additives that can help clean your system as you drive.

    This is another way that #1 diesel can extend your vehicle's life. It can also improve fuel efficiency since your engine doesn't have to work as hard to get around the debris.

    Other Properties of #2 Diesel
    On the other hand, #2 diesel is the most commonly available in all petrol stations. It's also the most used one among diesel drivers. Let's look at why that is, considering all the benefits of #1 diesel.

    1. Better Fuel Economy
    As we stated above, #2 diesel is not as volatile as #1. That means the fuel doesn't burn as quickly. This is why #2 diesel is more fuel efficient than #1 diesel, making it ideal for long trips and highway driving.

    2. Less Expensive
    Overall #2 diesel is also less expensive than #1 diesel. This is because #2 diesel doesn’t require as many refinement processes to produce as in #1 diesel.

    If using #2 diesel, you may want to use your own fuel additives to ensure excellent fuel efficiency and longer engine life.”
  4. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Why More Diesel Tanks are Gelling This Winter - Mansfield Energy Corp

    “To summarize:

    • Waxes in fuel bind together when temperatures fall, and get stuck on fuel filters.
    • With additives, filters will clog when temperatures are 18° below the Cloud Point.
    • Kerosene can lower the Cloud Point, giving you additional protection at a rate of 3° per 10% blend.
    • The Cloud Point varies based on refinery production and geography.”
    larry2903 Thanks this.
  5. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    I've not seen any problems, and we get down to -15 a couple of times a year.
  6. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    For severe cold around here, they used to blend 70% #1. Good to minus 35⁰ F. But not seen that blend in years. Kwik Star premium is supposed to be good to the same temp.

    When it gets below Zero, and even not that cold, we don't shut it off. Except at the shop where it gets plugged in with a heated Davco fuel filter.
  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Which product do you add to your fuel? I'm in the Northwest but all previous experience has been in less cold areas. Thanks
  8. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Power Service

    tscottme Thanks this.
  9. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Louisville, Kentucky
    General rule of thumb:

    If you bought it above i70 it's probably been treated.

    Below i70 you better bring some howes or something because it's gonna freeze halfway up illinois.

    ....troy illinois isn't treated...
    Only time I had that situation.

    Luckily got to a truck stop in time to buy a bottle. Dumped most of it in ate my sandwich and kept going issue free.
  10. Colt6920

    Colt6920 Light Load Member

    Apr 28, 2017
    Also depends on the refinery it came from.
    Some #2 has a lot more wax than others. More wax= higher gel/cloud temp.
    mitmaks Thanks this.
  11. mitmaks

    mitmaks Road Train Member

    May 16, 2014
    Gelled up in MN after getting fuel at loves in des moines and adding anti gel to both tanks
    tscottme Thanks this.
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