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Discussion Starter #41
So since your truck gelled up once in 15 years in one of the coldest climates on the planet, it's bad advice?
ROFLMAO.....You even quoted the part about there being exceptions.
And, presuming you're an oil expert up there in the patch, maybe read up on different types of winter diesel. Some are #1/#2 blend, some are additives to #2.
I'm a shadetree diesel exspurt too. Have had diesels from the N Slope to SE AK, Cascades, Rockies, upper midwest. That about covers cold climates on this continent anyway. I've pre-emptively added anti gel additives a few times when record cold snaps and truck parked outside getting cold soaked, or driving from one climate to another but it's not necessary in the vast majority of conditions.
^Good call on watchin out for bio in the winter. An indicator is, if the pumps are filtered and the fuel appears to be coming out of the nozzle slower than it should, there may be some gellin going on.


Yeah you assumed wrong, I work at a refinery. I engineer/program/maintain the the units that blend the diesel before it's loaded into the tanker trucks and hauled off to the stations. The lab that does cloud/pour testing on our fuels is a 30 second walk from my office. I don't need to read up on winter diesel, I do it for a living. I'll let you in on a little secret, there are far more than 2 diesel blends, well over a hundred in our system last I checked.

Oh, and biodiesel isn't sold in the colder months, it's blended in summer only. You are wasting your time with the highly scientific nozzle eyeball flow test. (PS- fuel is generally stored underground at most gas stations where it is much warmer and doesn't gel).


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Thanks for the info and the insight!!!
 

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I run Howes in all my diesels. My 3406E Cat,N-14 Cummins and my poor 5.9 CTD.
Using Howes has never left me on the side of the road. I have run all over North America doing Heavy Haul and been in some pretty frigging cold places.
And the beauty of Howes, If you buy it buy the case and you ever gell up, they will reimburse you the cost of the towing. And they put it in writing and in every case and even on the bottles.
Now that's somebody who puts their $$ where their mouth is. Wreckers ain't cheap.. LOL
 
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So Kilowatt, are you saying anti gel additives are a waste of money? What’s your bottom line?
Not at all, as I said earlier I use them in my truck. Just trying to shed some light on the refining end of things as there is a lot of misinformation out there. The point I was trying to make is that fuel leaving the refinery must meet strict federal regulations and meet local environmental standards, a refinery can't just load up your fuel with bio diesel and sell it into a market that can't properly consume it. For example, our fuel gets certified down to -43°C in winter before it can be sold, if it doesn't meet that spec it goes right back through the refinery. We don't add winter additives, it's the same all year round. It's the distillate blending variations that alter the cloud/pour point etc.

Unfortunately once that fuel leaves the refinery there is very little control over it. It could be diluted by retain in a tank truck or distribution tank, pipeline batch transport, existing fuel in the station's sales tank, and further more by the fuel in your vehicles tank. There are numerous other factors as well, and this is where additives can play an important role. I never had problems with my truck until I put the additional tighter filtration in the fuel stream. It's a crap shoot, you might be fine with no additive, but to say they are not needed at all is a bit short sighted and terrible advice on a public forum (IMO of course).

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Yeah you assumed wrong, I work at a refinery. I engineer/program/maintain the the units that blend the diesel before it's loaded into the tanker trucks and hauled off to the stations. The lab that does cloud/pour testing on our fuels is a 30 second walk from my office. I don't need to read up on winter diesel, I do it for a living. I'll let you in on a little secret, there are far more than 2 diesel blends, well over a hundred in our system last I checked.

Oh, and biodiesel isn't sold in the colder months, it's blended in summer only. You are wasting your time with the highly scientific nozzle eyeball flow test. (PS- fuel is generally stored underground at most gas stations where it is much warmer and doesn't gel).


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Couple mis interpretations of what you interpreted my post to read. I never said there are only 2 diesel blends, you assumed that. I mentioned 2 ways to blend or treat for cold weather.
You're also assuming that noone could get some diesel with bio in it, in the winter. I whole-heartedly believe that up north. That would be suicide by gel.
However if you come down outta the great white north there, you will see that bio blends are still sold where it can and does get cold sometimes in the winter. There's actually a local station that does here and it has plugged up in the winter. Unless my employee was lying about where he bought fuel after the truck died 50 miles away and 40 degrees colder. (A person here, on the right day could go from +40F to 0 F or +30 to -20F in less than 1/4 tank of fuel if going from the coast to the mountains)
PS, pump mounted filters and hoses to get the stuff into your truck are not underground. Guessing they cool to ambient temp pretty quick once there's no fuel flowing through them?

Back on topic, since you do this for a living. Is fuel blended for winter temperatures where it's needed? Yes or no question.
 

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I run Howes in all my diesels. My 3406E Cat,N-14 Cummins and my poor 5.9 CTD.
Using Howes has never left me on the side of the road. I have run all over North America doing Heavy Haul and been in some pretty frigging cold places.
And the beauty of Howes, If you buy it buy the case and you ever gell up, they will reimburse you the cost of the towing. And they put it in writing and in every case and even on the bottles.
Now that's somebody who puts their $$ where their mouth is. Wreckers ain't cheap.. LOL
Lol, marketing at it's best. Of course anti gel additives will keep fuel that needs it from gelling and say you're a hot-shot driver or OTR trucker and you can fill up enough fuel somewhere warm to get somewhere really cold on the same fuel. You're absolutely the guy that needs it.
Wonderin how Howes makes you prove you added their juice? I mean couldn't you get towed in, walk across the street to the Napa Auto, buy a bottle, dump half in the garbage and phone them up?
Video it? Send them a fuel sample to test?
Remember, believe nothing you hear and only half what you see.
 

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Not at all, as I said earlier I use them in my truck. Just trying to shed some light on the refining end of things as there is a lot of misinformation out there. The point I was trying to make is that fuel leaving the refinery must meet strict federal regulations and meet local environmental standards, a refinery can't just load up your fuel with bio diesel and sell it into a market that can't properly consume it. For example, our fuel gets certified down to -43°C in winter before it can be sold, if it doesn't meet that spec it goes right back through the refinery. We don't add winter additives, it's the same all year round. It's the distillate blending variations that alter the cloud/pour point etc.

Unfortunately once that fuel leaves the refinery there is very little control over it. It could be diluted by retain in a tank truck or distribution tank, pipeline batch transport, existing fuel in the station's sales tank, and further more by the fuel in your vehicles tank. There are numerous other factors as well, and this is where additives can play an important role. I never had problems with my truck until I put the additional tighter filtration in the fuel stream. It's a crap shoot, you might be fine with no additive, but to say they are not needed at all is a bit short sighted and terrible advice on a public forum (IMO of course).

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And I agree with this, save for the last part where in my previous post you didn't consider the whole post but cherry picked part of it as an absolute recommendation for your response, not a conditional one. (Pretty sure I said there are exceptions.)
So a person "might" be fine? You make it sound like the odds are not in ones favor when the opposite is true. The odds are in a person's favor that the fuel will be fine because fine folks like you blended it for the season/conditions. The exceptions that you mentioned are the reason I said there are exceptions. "Crap shoot" implies more like a 50/50 chance of loosing.
 

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Couple mis interpretations of what you interpreted my post to read. I never said there are only 2 diesel blends, you assumed that. I mentioned 2 ways to blend or treat for cold weather.
You're also assuming that noone could get some diesel with bio in it, in the winter. I whole-heartedly believe that up north. That would be suicide by gel.
However if you come down outta the great white north there, you will see that bio blends are still sold where it can and does get cold sometimes in the winter. There's actually a local station that does here and it has plugged up in the winter. Unless my employee was lying about where he bought fuel after the truck died 50 miles away and 40 degrees colder. (A person here, on the right day could go from +40F to 0 F or +30 to -20F in less than 1/4 tank of fuel if going from the coast to the mountains)
PS, pump mounted filters and hoses to get the stuff into your truck are not underground. Guessing they cool to ambient temp pretty quick once there's no fuel flowing through them?

Back on topic, since you do this for a living. Is fuel blended for winter temperatures where it's needed? Yes or no question.
Listen, I work in the industry, have for 20 years. I didn't assume or misinterpret anything, just replying to what you wrote. The company I work for has refineries in Canada and the US, been to many of them. The engineering firm that designed our loading/blending facility is in the US, your home state in fact. They also do the engineering work for the big refineries you are probably getting your fuel from (Cherry Point, Anacortes etc.). Take my experience or leave it, your call. I'm not getting into a pissing match with a guy who bases his opinion on an employee who may be lying about where he filled up with bio diesel.

Yes refineries adjust operations to produce lighter yields in colder months, we start optimizing for winter production during the summer months.
 

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Acutally, 6 refineries in Washington St, all producing hwy diesel. The 2 in Anacortes produce combined more than Cherry Point. Some of the Washington diesel also comes from Cali and from the states E and SE via pipeline and tanker

Most get into problems when heading to cold climates with a load of diesel from a warm climate or season area that never sees temps below 30d F.

Oregon mandates commercial biodiesel mix B5% year around. Great for cleaning the fuel system, can increase gelling if not offset by adding more #1 or antigel additives at tanker farm rack or rig fuel tank fill. Biodiesel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel derived from used cooking oil are exempt from the $0.34 per gallon state fuel excise tax.

Cold weather diesel needs, not just an antigel:
Low temperature operability additives
Flow improvers
Wax anti-settling additives
Cloud point depressants
De-icing additives
to improve fuel flow in cold temperatures

Cetane improvers, (the best 2-EHN( 2-Ethylhexyl Nitrate), improve cold weather starts and cold weather power performance. Extra 2-EHN often will start a diesel where the fuel is starting to gel and slow fuel flow.

Extra diesel fuel corrosion additives are needed in winter cold temperatures due to the increased water in winter diesel. ULSD is hydroscopic with water, creates a water emulsion suspension that is difficult to very expensive to filter out.

Refineries put in the lowest amount they fell is necessary for different climates and seasons, increases the bottom line. Retail stations, especially the cut rate cheapy stations, order the cheapest fuel they can get which means less additives. #1 is more expensive to produce than #2, another place to cut on wholesale fuel costs.

If you're headed to a cold climate area or expecting a sudden Polar Express from the north, add and carry a cold fuel additive mix with cetane and corrosion prevention chemicals.

On the Cummins Ram, with cold slow gelled fuel starts, keep key clicking on the fuel pump, also powers up the fuel heater. May heat the fuel enough to get started and warm fuel returned to tank

Refineries are not perfect in their fuels mixing.
 

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Acutally, 6 refineries in Washington St, all producing hwy diesel. The 2 in Anacortes produce combined more than Cherry Point. Some of the Washington diesel also comes from Cali and from the states E and SE via pipeline and tanker

Most get into problems when heading to cold climates with a load of diesel from a warm climate or season area that never sees temps below 30d F.

Oregon mandates commercial biodiesel mix B5% year around. Great for cleaning the fuel system, can increase gelling if not offset by adding more #1 or antigel additives at tanker farm rack or rig fuel tank fill. Biodiesel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel derived from used cooking oil are exempt from the $0.34 per gallon state fuel excise tax.

Cold weather diesel needs, not just an antigel:
Low temperature operability additives
Flow improvers
Wax anti-settling additives
Cloud point depressants
De-icing additives
to improve fuel flow in cold temperatures

Cetane improvers, (the best 2-EHN( 2-Ethylhexyl Nitrate), improve cold weather starts and cold weather power performance. Extra 2-EHN often will start a diesel where the fuel is starting to gel and slow fuel flow.

Extra diesel fuel corrosion additives are needed in winter cold temperatures due to the increased water in winter diesel. ULSD is hydroscopic with water, creates a water emulsion suspension that is difficult to very expensive to filter out.

Refineries put in the lowest amount they fell is necessary for different climates and seasons, increases the bottom line. Retail stations, especially the cut rate cheapy stations, order the cheapest fuel they can get which means less additives. #1 is more expensive to produce than #2, another place to cut on wholesale fuel costs.

If you're headed to a cold climate area or expecting a sudden Polar Express from the north, add and carry a cold fuel additive mix with cetane and corrosion prevention chemicals.

On the Cummins Ram, with cold slow gelled fuel starts, keep key clicking on the fuel pump, also powers up the fuel heater. May heat the fuel enough to get started and warm fuel returned to tank

Refineries are not perfect in their fuels mixing.
I agree with some of what you wrote, however the additives injected at the refinery are not adjusted based on seasonal requirements. They are primarily lubrication improvers. The seasonal adjustments are made in the crude distillation tower. The diesel you are buying in winter months has a lower specific gravity, it's closer in make up to jet fuel or kerosene. It also contains lower BTU's which is why some people feel a slight loss of power in winter. Gasoline flows in winter because is has a much lower specific gravity than diesel, not because it's full of additives. We store the heavier diesel produced in winter until it can be sold in summer, and vise versa with the lighter diesel.

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Let me explain a little more...

Refineries don't buy huge totes of chemicals to treat winter fuels, it would cost them millions of dollars and as we all know oil companies are in the business of making extraordinary profits. Rather than spend money on chemicals, the process can be optimized to produce a lighter diesel that flows without chemical treatment in winter. Here is a picture of a crude distillation tower which separates crude oil based on the boiling points of the various components. The heavier (specific gravity) fluids settle toward the bottom of the tower, and the lighter fluids rise to the top. As you can see, the components coming out of the upper half of the tower all flow freely in colder months, the lower down the tower you go the quicker the product will set up as the temperature drops.




Right in the middle is the diesel output. It's pretty clear the boiling point is higher, and has a higher specific gravity than gasoline; this is why is doesn't flow as readily as gasoline as the temperature drops. Simply put, there are more molecules in diesel than gas (and thus more BTU's). So what do the refineries do? They optimize the diesel production to produce diesel that is closer in composition to kerosene which you can see is lighter. That's the trade off, the end product has fewer molecules in it allowing it to flow when colder, but it also contains less energy. They can only optimize the production so much without going off spec, the heavier diesel that can't be "optimized" is stored in the tank farm until temperatures warm up. Refineries are self sustaining, meaning is doesn't cost them money to fire the heaters harder to optimize the outputs to their liking, makes more sense than buying millions of dollars in chemicals.

Oh, and one other point, refineries are pretty good at delivering on spec product, the equipment doing the blending at the racks is no joke. Refineries also have on site labs that test the fuels as they are produced, and the blending facilities are federally inspected/certified/proved. Once it leaves the gate, anything can happen...

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That's the trade off, the end product has fewer molecules in it allowing it to flow when colder, but it also contains less energy.
Which should mean that me buying diesel primarily in the summer, then treating it against gelling as needed, should be the ideal situation.
 

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Which should mean that me buying diesel primarily in the summer, then treating it against gelling as needed, should be the ideal situation.
Depends what specifications the refinery must meet in your area are. I doubt you would notice a difference, I certainly don't in my truck. Some of the tanker drivers that load up at the refinery say they can pull an extra gear up the hills in summer when loaded, but I don't drive for a living so...

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Can't say that I know what we normally get around here.

What I do know is that we often have 50-degree temperature swings in a day, and no matter what direction I go I'm losing altitude. Anywhere from just a few thousand to much more (starting at 7,500) if I drive more than 75 miles.

Of course, I can gain over 3,000 feet within 20 miles, too, but there are no gas stations there.

In other words, it must be easier said than done to decide what fuel to send to this 'hood. Sometimes it drops to -20, sometimes not.
Maybe now you understand why I use anti-gel (usually Howes) in the winter, no matter what.
 

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Actually it's fairly easy to decide what to send to your hood. Look at a temperature trend for the last 20 years in your area. Find the lowest recorded temperature and blend to a temperature 5-10° below that temp. Altitude has little effect, jet fuel is really just light diesel with much more stringent testing/certification etc.

For what it's worth, I have never seen a load returned to the refinery due to not meeting temperature specs, the problems can almost always be traced back to storage/transportation/retain issues. I have however seen diesel returned because it was blended with gasoline but that's a story for another day...

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Since your the expert kilowatt and you know exactly how fuel is blended for winter, I'm still trying to figure out how it's terrible advice to state that, in general, one does not need to add off the shelf anti gel additives in the winter.
Are the millions of diesel engines that start up every day in colder climates without a bottle of Power Service dumped in just miracles, or what?

Unlike you, I don't know schitt about oil refining, but I've operated, managed or been around 1000s maybe 10000s of diesel engines in construction, many in the winter and it's not the case that adding anti gel is necessary in most cases. Even for winter work up on the N Slope AK, fuel came ready for use, because it was blended, specially produced, additive packages added, whatever was done to it, to work right outta the tanker truck.
That's all I'm saying. I do not doubt your knowledge in your profession.
 

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Actually it's fairly easy to decide what to send to your hood. Look at a temperature trend for the last 20 years in your area. Find the lowest recorded temperature and blend to a temperature 5-10° below that temp.

Altitude has little effect, jet fuel is really just light diesel with much more stringent testing/certification etc.
If I only bought fuel nearby, yes it would be simpler. What I was trying to say is that the climate can change quite a bit within an hour or two of driving from here.
Getting fuel on the way home, in the fall or winter, 500 miles away is most likely not blended for here. And I don't expect it to be.

My reason for bringing up altitude was simply because it affects temperature. I can gain 20-35 degrees by driving SSW for an hour. And I often get fuel there.
 

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Since your the expert kilowatt and you know exactly how fuel is blended for winter, I'm still trying to figure out how it's terrible advice to state that, in general, one does not need to add off the shelf anti gel additives in the winter.
Are the millions of diesel engines that start up every day in colder climates without a bottle of Power Service dumped in just miracles, or what?

Unlike you, I don't know schitt about oil refining, but I've operated, managed or been around 1000s maybe 10000s of diesel engines in construction, many in the winter and it's not the case that adding anti gel is necessary in most cases. Even for winter work up on the N Slope AK, fuel came ready for use, because it was blended, specially produced, additive packages added, whatever was done to it, to work right outta the tanker truck.
That's all I'm saying. I do not doubt your knowledge in your profession.
Because that's a blanket statement, every region or even gas station could be different from the one you use. You are basing your opinion on past experience but in reality you have no guarantee that what you are buying hasn't been blended with off spec products. If you haven't had any problems buying fuel that's great, but it shouldn't be preached out to the other millions of diesel drivers. A lot of members here run tighter filtration on their truck, that should be considered when deciding whether or not to use additives.

As I said, I made it 15 years not using additives with my truck, last winter it froze up. I know for a fact the diesel I bought was on spec when it left the refinery, I can see the records here for the station I fill up at. However, somewhere along the line it was diluted.

I'm in no way saying you MUST use additives, I'm only saying it's bad advice to tell people NOT to use them. When I said crap shoot, it really is because there is no control over the fuel once it leaves the refinery. You have been lucky, I have not.

Use additives at your discretion.

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Lol, marketing at it's best. Of course anti gel additives will keep fuel that needs it from gelling and say you're a hot-shot driver or OTR trucker and you can fill up enough fuel somewhere warm to get somewhere really cold on the same fuel. You're absolutely the guy that needs it.
Wonderin how Howes makes you prove you added their juice? I mean couldn't you get towed in, walk across the street to the Napa Auto, buy a bottle, dump half in the garbage and phone them up?
Video it? Send them a fuel sample to test?
Remember, believe nothing you hear and only half what you see.
You have to provide the receipts showing you purchased it by the case prior to your incident requiring a tow and with in 30 days you get a check. There is a neat little booklet in the bottom of the case that spells it all out on how to claim the reimbursement.And they also have points decals on the bottle neck and you can also get free swag from them. My wife has commandeered the sweatshirt I got from them. LOL

https://www.howeslube.com/guarantee
 
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