3 Tips for De-Winterizing your Diesel

Is your fuel system ready for planting season?  Here are three tips to “de-winterize” your diesel.

When temperatures dip in the fall, many farmers know to blend down their fuel to #1 diesel for better cold-weather performance.  However, with spring just around the corner, it’s time for producers to start de-winterizing their diesel for maximum efficiency as temperatures rise and strenuous work begins.  “Owners and operators should now start assessing how to get their equipment ready for summer,”  says Steve Hinds, Refined Fuels Business Development Manager at CHS.  “They can do that by blending back to Ruby diesel, changing their filters and draining off any tank water.”

Here are three tips to make sure your fuel system is prepared for planting season, according to Hinds:

  1. BLEND BACK TO RUBY DIESEL

During colder months, #1 diesel is important to ensure equipment can still start and run in low temperatures.  “When it starts to warm up, it’s equally as important to blend back to Ruby diesel to ensure optimal efficiency,” says Hinds.

#1 diesel has a lower viscosity, which means it doesn’t gel as quickly in extreme winter situations.  However, lower viscosity also means that in high temperatures, equipment may not run as efficiently when carrying heavy loads.

To blend back to Ruby diesel, owners and operators can use the same process they use for blending down, only reversed.  However, there are special considerations to be aware of.  “The spring has a tendency to go back and forth quite a bit with cold snaps,” says Hinds.  “When blending back to Ruby diesel, remember temperatures will fluctuate, and blend accordingly.”

  1. CLEAN OR CHANGE YOUR FILTERS

“Filters are the most important part of any fuel system,” says Hinds.  Colder temperatures often make engines work harder, which means more soot and debris could be present after winter—ultimately leading to issues like plugged injectors and potentially even downtime.

  1. DRAIN ANY WATER

During winter, condensation from temperature changes can lead to water buildup in the fuel tank.  This is especially true for diesel in a bulk storage tank as opposed to fuel being actively used in a piece of equipment.

“Water accelerates fuel breakdown, damages filters and can lead to engine damage, possibly total engine failure,” says Hinds.  “It’s vital to get water out of bulk storage before using the fuel.”

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