Additized Diesel 3: Cold-weather Performance

In our previous two articles, we’ve discussed how diesel additives enhance engine performance, responsiveness, and economy, all while protecting your equipment for the long haul. Diesel additives help keep your fuel injectors clean and properly functioning, and prevent rust from getting into your engines.

Now, as summer winds down and the prospect of chilly fall and winter jobs becomes more and more inevitable, we need to turn our attention over to another way additized diesel can keep your equipment moving.

Fuel Gelling & the Cold Filter Plugging Point

Cold weather causes diesel fuel to form waxy compounds, eventually causing it to resemble more of a jelly than a liquid fuel. This is what happens when diesel “gels”. As you can imagine, fuel pumps designed for warm liquid fuel have a very hard time moving gelled fuel through the system. Indeed, there is a point, expressed in degrees Fahrenheit, at which the fuel will begin to plug the fuel filter, called the cold filter plugging point (CFPP).

Each year during the month of November, cold flow improvement additives are added to the formulation of our diesel fuel.  These additives reduce the CFPP, usually to a temperature less than -10°F, by modifying the wax crystals into smaller shapes that will flow through fuel filters. This enables the fuel to flow properly in a lower temperature range, allowing cold starts when you need them most. The bottom line is that your equipment starts moving when you need it to move.

Fuel Icing

Fuel icing may also occurs in cold weather.  This happens when a small amount of water is present in the fuel, and like gelling, will stop the flow of fuel through a fuel filter.  Small amounts of water in a fuel tank are not uncommon.  Condensation can result from your fuel tank being partially filled and exposed to warm days and cooler nights, which builds up over time if not removed.  Fixing a frozen fuel filter means removing it, priming it with liquid fuel, and replacing it back into the engine…not something anyone looks forward to especially when it’s cold and your equipment is supposed to be running.

All of the additized diesel fuels Radio Oil carries have de-icing additives, to help suppress the freezing point of water in the fuel, grabbing those molecules of water and helping pass them through the filter and burn in the engine.  Like the CFPP-lowering additives, de-icing additives improve the temperature range at which your equipment will keep running properly, meaning more uptime and more work done.

To learn more about Radio Oil’s additized diesel and other commercial fuels, see our Commercial Fuels page, or contact us directly. We provide fuel all over central Massachusetts from our headquarters in Worcester. You can reach us by phone at (508) 756-2461, or by email at Or you can contact us online!