It has felt like winter for a couple of weeks now here in Meridian, Idaho, but as of December 21st, its official.
Cooler temperatures and winter weather can lower the gas mileage you get from your diesel pickup and lower the fuel energy content. This happens because manufacturers change the diesel fuel blend to keep it from becoming thick and gel-like. The fuel used in winter is thinner and contains less energy as a byproduct of the mixture.
Fortunately, there are ways to limit the effects of winter on your diesel fuel consumption. However, it is important to note that while you can make the fuel go a little further, it still won’t last quite as long as it does in the warmer months of summer.
Here are three ways to make diesel fuel last longer in the winter:
According to the US Department of Energy, diesel fuel contains around 10-15 percent more energy than regular gasoline. This is just one of the qualities that make driving diesel so efficient. However, in cooler temperatures the cetane level (how fast the fuel burns) in the fuel drops and it loses some natural energy. This results in less mileage.
To combat the effects of the thinner winter fuel, you can use an additive like Optilube XPD. When combined with the fuel, this additive helps to offset the effects of the lower cetane levels in the fuel. Using an additive in winter also helps with lubrication and protecting the injection system.
The cost of the additive per tank may seem high, but it pays for itself in the money you save on fuel from the extra mileage you receive.
Location is Everything
As it is in real estate, it is all about location, location, location. If you’re driving your diesel to a warm place like Phoenix, you might not be able to find winter diesel. But in Idaho, you can find it everywhere.
If you live in a place that is milder in temperature and plan on visiting a cooler location, try and fill your tank once you get to the colder terrain. This way you can ensure you receive diesel fuel that works best for the climate you are in, thus saving mileage.
Some regular upkeep can help your diesel fuel to last longer. These things include switching to synthetic oil (it flows easier in the cold), plugging your pickup into a block heater for an hour or so in the morning, and maintaining proper tire pressure.
For any of your diesel repair needs in the Meridian, Idaho area, you can rely on the experts at Gem State Diesel. We have a team of highly experienced mechanics who are committed to customer satisfaction. Call us at 208-288-5555 today or visit us online to set up an appointment at your convenience.