How to Protect Your Diesel In Cold Weather

(BPT) – As more manufacturers produce diesel vehicles for consumers,
owners need to be aware of the issues that may occur during the cold
winter months and learn how they can protect their vehicle.
Gelling
Cold weather can cause starting problems in diesel vehicles because the
fuel tends to gel. Most consumers cannot control what kind of fuel they get
at the pump. The recommended grade of diesel fuel for passenger vehicles
is No. 2 which has some naturally occurring wax that crystallizes when the
temperatures drop. The adverse effect is that the fuel does not flow as it
should which can lead to filter plugging and cause hard starting. In states
that have annual freezing temperatures during the winter, diesel fuel is
“winterized” with No. 1 diesel at the distributor before it goes into the
pumps.
Anti-gelling additives
One way to combat gelling is to use an anti-gelling additive like Royal
Purple’s Max-Tane . Recommended for light, medium and heavy duty
diesel engines, using the additive can improve engine start up in cold
weather, improve cold flow by preventing gelling and will clean deposits
from fuel injectors, combustion chambers, intake valves deposits and
piston crowns.
Basic maintenance
It’s easy to forget that basic maintenance can prevent expensive repairs.
Change your fuel filter. Using a dirty fuel filter can cause wax crystals to
collect, cutting off the fuel.
Change your motor oil and your oil filter. Depending on the climate where
you live, consider changing the viscosity of your oil to help flow during the
cold winter months. The “w” in the motor oil viscosity indicates the flow
during winter months. Engine damage can occur if the motor oil is too thick
due to the cold and the flow is restricted to the engine. While modern multiviscosity
motor oils are designed to work over a broad range of operating
temperatures, you should check your owner’s manual for the
recommended viscosity for winter temperatures.

Check list
Even if you don’t live in a cold climate, if your travels during the next few
months take you through winter weather states, check the condition of your
tires paying special attention to the tread. You will also want to inspect the
condition of your belts and hoses looking for leaks and cracks. Finally,,
make sure your windshield wipers are working properly. There is nothing
worse than driving in the snow or battling sleet or slush without wipers.
Winter weather shouldn’t keep you off the road but making sure your diesel
vehicle is in good working condition will help ensure you arrive safely to
your destination.