In cold weather, diesel gas can gel, becoming thick and cloudy and inhibiting the efficient flow of fuel. Whether diesel is the primary fuel for your home heating or the gas that powers your vehicle, gelling presents a very real problem once temperatures dip below a certain point. Below, learn more about what gelling is and how to prevent it.

What Is Fuel Gelling?

Diesel fuel contains paraffin wax, a crucial ingredient that maintains the viscosity necessary for ensuring smooth flow and preventing the engine from overworking and burning too much fuel.

dieselWhen temperatures drop, the wax will start to solidify and cause the diesel to gel, first becoming cloudy and then thickening up. It can become so thick that it clogs fuel lines and filters; in extreme cases, it can become a solid mass. Paraffin wax in diesel will begin to crystallize and cloud over at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Gelling typically begins once the fuel reaches a temperature of 16 degrees.

How Can You Prevent Gelling?

The best way to avoid gelling is to add additives to your diesel throughout the colder months of the year. There are a number of different additive blends on the market today; talk to your fuel provider to find the one best suited to your needs and environment. Kerosene is also a popular additive, as it reduces the temperature and viscosity of the fuel so it won't thicken and cloud so readily.

Another way to avoid gelling is to be mindful of how you use your equipment. While it might see to make sense to keep a diesel-powered engine running in idle as a way to sustain higher temperatures and prevent gelling, there are a number of negative effects to bear in mind, like excessive emissions and unnecessary fuel burning, as well as engine wear and tear.



When you need diesel delivery in upstate New York, contact Main Energy, Inc. Since 2001, this fuel provider in Palmyra, NY, has been offering diesel, propane, kerosene, and other types of home heating oil. They use Fuel Right® diesel additive to prevent gelling. Call (315) 597-5200 or visit their website to request a quote or to schedule delivery.