For owners of diesel cars, cold weather performance can be a serious issue. For people who work and live in very cold climates, it is important for them to make sure that their car will work perfectly when needed. Diesel fuel has more complex structure than gasoline and it contains the complex paraffin wax. It could contribute to the overall energy value of the diesel fuel. However, the diesel fuel could become cloudy when the fuel gets cold. In very low temperature, these waxes slowly come out of the solution. When waxes are out of solution, they will stick together and bigger crystals of wax will form. The whole effect could increase when the weather is colder. The problem may occur when enough amount of wax floats in the fuel.

When the temperature gets even lower, the fuel will start to gel and the fuel filter will be plugged. The fuel flow will be shut off and the car will fail to perform at peak performance. Many car owners prefer to use products that improve cold temperature performance. These products will prevent the diesel fuel to turn into gel and wax crystals in suspension will not stick together. Wax will be kept small enough so it could pass through the fuel filter. In this case, the wax will burn off in the chamber along with the rest of the diesel fuel. For people who live in cold northern climate, it is important to consider using these products.

Cold weather could allow bigger diesel engines to have difficulty in starting. Diesel engines will heat the compressed air in the cylinder and any gas that’s compressed will eventually have higher temperature. Cars with gasoline engines are more resistant to cold-start problems, because they are aided with spark plugs. There are no spark plugs in a diesel engine and it is necessary for diesel engines to turn over for a number of times until enough heat accumulate. When enough heat builds up and permeates the cylinder wall, the auto-ignition will eventually occurs. This is the reason why big trucks with diesel engines don’t start easily during very cold winter days.

It is important for diesel car owners in colder regions to choose fuel with higher cetane ratings. Molecules with higher cetane ratings are able to burn more easily. It is also possible to use products with cetane-raising products to gain the benefits of higher-cetane fuel. We should be aware that diesel fuel has specific lubricating property as it flows slowly through the engine. When considering engine lubrication, car owners usually think about the engine oil, which is usually the standard 10E30 blend. However, diesel engine also relies on diesel fuel for its lubricating property. Both fuel pumps and injectors also rely on the lubricating property of diesel fuel.

In recent years, there have been rules on the reductions of the maximum sulphur levels in diesel fuel. This will make the emission much cleaner and without the release of SO2 or SO3, acid rain will no develop. Unfortunately, the low-sulfur fuel can’t lubricate the engine parts properly enough. This will cause fuel pumps and injectors to wear out a bit faster.

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