Diesel Maintenance: Winterization Tips for Icy Weather

If winter weather makes you pull up the covers every morning, hoping to put off getting up just a few more minutes, or if simply walking out the door on a frigid day makes your bones feel stiff, you can appreciate the importance of diesel maintenance for winter weather.

In this blog post, you’ll receive important details specific to winterizing your fluids for optimal operation during the winter months. From your fuel to your lubricants, your diesel engine will function better in the cold with fluids adjusted for winter conditions. Here are the specifics:

Fuel: Choosing a winter fuel blend may be the most important diesel maintenance step you can take. There’s a certain level of paraffin wax in diesel fuel, and it’s this wax that can make your fuel gum up in cold weather, resulting in difficulty operating your truck and potentially even engine failure.

While you use a 2D blend of fuel during warmer months, you will want to switch to a mix of 1D and 2D diesel when the temperature drops. It’s not as energy-efficient, but it will prevent gumming up in cold temperatures.

You should also be mindful of the cetane number of your fuel. The number is indicative of the speed at which the fuel combusts, in turn determining how quickly your engine will start. You can find the cetane number on the pump at your truck stop.

It’s also important to take steps to keep water out of your fuel, which is more likely to occur with temperature fluctuations that occur in winter. You may want to fill your tank at the end of the day, which can reduce the amount of condensation forming overnight. You can also invest in a water separator that collects condensation and stores it apart from the fuel. It must be drained daily.

Oil and Other Lubricants: It’s a good idea to change your oil before the winter months settle in, but you may want to switch out your other fluids as well, including differential, power steering, transfer case and transmission fluid. Consider opting for a synthetic or synthetic blend that will be less reactive to fluctuations in temperature, making them more reliable in winter.

While you’re at it, you should ensure you have enough wiper fluid for navigating winter weather without giving up visibility.

When it’s time to get your truck ready with diesel maintenance, contact us at Gray’s Diesel & Equipment Services. From basic fluid changes to extensive maintenance and repairs, we can help you get your rig ready for an uninterrupted run of successful routes this winter.