In winter, always add gasoline to diesel fuel. Why and what will happen?
One of the most pressing problems diesel cars have during the winter is fuel freezing. More often than not, this happens because of its poor quality at gas stations. The owners of cars with diesel engines have to deal with this problem, and one of the most budgetary ways is the dilution of diesel with gasoline.
What happens to diesel when the temperature drops?
At the beginning of the winter or when it was not very hard, as it was this year, there is a risk that with the onset of severe cold you simply will not be able to start the car, because the diesel will turn if not into solid paraffin, then exactly into jelly. And all that because it is not real winter diesel, but summer one with a small amount of additive antigel.
What happens if you dilute it with gasoline?
According to the old, ancient method, which was used in the days when there were no all these fashionable additives against freezing diesel fuel, you need 1 liter of gasoline in 10 liters of diesel if you do not know summer or winter fuel in. When you are sure you have summer diesel, it is better to increase petrol concentration to 20%, but no more.
Having made such a mix you will be sure that the fuel in the tank will not freeze in any frost. The best thing that will happen to it is clouding and slowing down the fluidity.
True, in such a way to make the summer fuel a winter one, there is one big disadvantage – it reduces its lubricity, which in turn increases the wear and tear of fuel equipment! And also on such a mixture the work of the engine becomes harsher.
Of course, I do not recommend to drive with such fuel in the tank all winter, and if there is a system Common Rail injection, it is absolutely contraindicated, but as a temporary solution to the problem of seasonal fuel for the diesel engine is quite possible to use. But better, and much more humane, in relation to the car, would be adding kerosene, as they do in the north, or antigel, but you need to get it.
And you had to dilute diesel to start and run the engine? Tell us about your experiences – LET ME KNOW YOUR COMMENTS.
What can be added to diesel to keep it from freezing?
The easiest option is gasoline, but its “dry” composition can accelerate the wear of the high-pressure fuel pump. Kerosene or special additives for diesel fuel (antigel or defrosting agent) are added to prevent freezing of diesel fuel in freezing temperatures. Only if on a can of antigel will be written for what volume of fuel it is calculated and to what temperature will allow fuel not to freeze, in the case of gasoline and kerosene to calculate the proportion will have to independently.
What is the best way to dilute diesel?
Proven and good option – kerosene, it almost does not affect the resource of fuel cells and is the basis for many of the cheapest anti-gel additives. It is better to dilute diesel in winter with anti-gels from manol, liquidimoli, haigir, – it will be the safest, but more expensive. And before frosts and preliminarily removing water from it. After pouring such compositions into fuel, not only it will not freeze, but the diesel equipment will receive additional lubrication.
Can I add gasoline to diesel fuel?
Gasoline can be added to summer diesel, observing the proportions, while it is not recommended to add it to winter diesel as a safety precaution. When used, the allowed amount of gasoline should be within the range of 25-30%, and that with the additional addition of oil for two-stroke engines at the rate of 30-50 ml per liter of gasoline. This exact amount of “dry” gasoline, doesn’t decrease the lubricating ability of diesel fuel too much and lower the cetane number. Otherwise the fuel equipment and cylinders are subject to faster wear and tear. You should use gasoline with an octane number of 76 or 82, but no higher, otherwise besides an even greater increase in lubricating properties the valves may burn out.
Can I add kerosene to diesel fuel?
Kerosene can be added to the diesel, but it is worth remembering that kerosene will reduce the density of the fuel and the cetane number, which determines the efficiency. Be prepared for the fact that as a result the engine power will be significantly reduced. That is why it is recommended to use not more than 20 % of the fuel in the tank. In order to make the characteristics closer to the arctic fuel, firstly pour the calculated amount of kerosene, and then the diesel, so that everything would be mixed better.
In what ratio can I dilute kerosene with diesel fuel?
The basic rule should be taken into account – kerosene should not be added more than 20% of fuel oil volume. This is a limit value, which allows normal driving on diluted fuel. Standard summer diesel is able not to freeze down to -5 degrees, and in order to lower its freezing point, you will have to add kerosene in the following proportions:
– 10-15% to -10 degrees; – 20-30% to -20 degrees; – 30-50% to -30 degrees (but this is no longer recommended).
Normal winter diesel does not freeze to -20 degrees. To lower its freezing temperature to -30 degrees it is sufficient to have 10% of kerosene, and to -40 degrees I pour 20% of kerosene of total volume of fuel in a tank into diesel fuel. When you dilute diesel fuel with kerosene, you should remember about cetane number. Diesel fuel has a value in the range of 45-50 and kerosene has a value of 35-40. After mixing you will reduce the total cetane number of the fuel, which leads to a worse combustion.
What is the best way to dilute diesel fuel?
For the autonomous vehicle, it is best to spare no money and buy normal arctic diesel fuel. But if there are no other options, then kerosene will do. It perfectly prevents paraffinization and is practically harmless for fuel system.
What’s the difference between gasoline and kerosene?
The difference between gasoline and kerosene is how they affect the characteristics of diesel:
– the freezing point; – the lubricating ability of diesel fuel; – the ignition temperature.
Different amounts of gasoline and kerosene may be used to achieve the desired diesel freezing point, which significantly impairs the lubricating ability. Note that the lower the wear spot (lubricity), the better, longer the machine’s fuel system will last. Lubricity data for different fuels:
– summer diesel – 398 µm; – winter diesel – 378 µm; – kerosene – 818 µm; – AI 95 – 840 µm.
Gasoline greatly affects three indicators of diesel fuel at once – it reduces the wear spot, cetane number because of which it increases the combustion temperature. The ignitability of diesel fuel is 240 degrees and that of gasoline is 250-300 degrees. A higher combustion temperature can burn out valves, so it is recommended to add low-octane gasoline to diesel, which reduces the cetane number and friction less. Kerosene less changes the lubricity and almost does not violate the other characteristics of diesel fuel. And it is better to take aviation, as it has fewer impurities than the one they pour in the lamps. But unfortunately it can be ignited by static electricity.
When should I switch to winter diesel?
Summer fuel is used until the end of September, and from October 1 gas stations in cold regions start selling winter diesel. In mid-autumn all the tank farms are starting to actively supply exclusively winter fuel to the filling stations, with freezing temperatures of -20 to -30 degrees. Summer diesel fuel freezes already at a temperature of -10 degrees. It is reasonable to fill up the Arctic diesel when the ambient temperature is below -35 degrees Celsius for a long time.
What happens if you fill up the diesel with gasoline?
If you fill with gasoline a diesel engine not in proportion, in greater quantity than it is acceptable, for example, by mistake you filled up a gas station with more gasoline than there was diesel fuel, you should not even start the car, but just call a tow truck to take your car to a service station to drain the fuel and dry the tank. If the system is a system combonrail, then drove a diesel in the fuel which more than a third of gasoline will lead to a sudden stop the engine because of problems with the fuel system and the failure of the high pressure pump. Conventional diesel engine with pump injectors will sneeze and rattle, and will stall because of burnt-out valves and melted parts of the piston group.
Gasoline in a diesel engine – the whole truth about the consequences
Many of our motorists are prone to experiments in the process of maintenance and operation of their vehicle. For example, this may apply to a non-native type of fuel poured into the fuel system. And while refueling a gasoline engine with diesel can be fatal, a diesel engine reacts much more calmly to gasoline.
How Gasoline and Diesel Engines Work – Their Differences
To answer the question “is it possible to add gasoline to diesel,” it is necessary to understand the difference in the functioning of power units operating on different types of fuel. In the gasoline engine fuel is first injected into the cylinder. It is then compressed under pressure and then ignited by an electric spark from the spark plug. When ignition occurs, the combustible mixture pushes the piston and the piston moves. If there is no ignition from the spark, the engine will not run, and diesel fuel does not have these properties.
Before you add gasoline to diesel, you need to understand that it has a completely different principle of action. Under the influence of the piston, ordinary air is compressed and heated sharply. As soon as diesel fuel is injected through the nozzles, it is instantly ignited. After that, the process of action will be similar to the power unit described above. That is, the operation of the motor depends no longer on the spark, but on the pressure needed to ignite.
Characteristics of each type of fuel – octane and cetane number
It is not uncommon to hear drivers trying to improve the quality of diesel fuel by adding gasoline to the proportions. This is especially true in winter, because the winter types of diesel fuel are more expensive because of the special additives it contains. In order to improve combustibility of the mixture and to make it less dense, this is how fuel oil is diluted with gasoline, and the consequences of such actions can bring both benefit and harm. Why does it happen? Because many of our fellow citizens are trying to create a combustible mixture that will not freeze during the cold winter months.
Before you start pouring diesel into your gasoline in the winter, you need to consider how important ignition timing is to a diesel engine. If the working mixture starts to ignite on its own, there is a so-called “glow ignition” effect. In contrast to the concept of octane number, which describes the ability of gasoline to ignite itself, diesel has the opposite indicator, called the cetane number.
It is about the same criterion, only it shows the fuel’s ability to ignite during compression. The higher it is, the faster it will ignite and create useful energy. The best grades of diesel can have this index as high as 55 units. Therefore, if you add gasoline to diesel fuel, even in winter, you can cause an interaction of mutually exclusive values. When mixing the octane number of gasoline in the native engine decreases, as well as the engine power, but the detonation increases and the valves start banging harder.
And what happens in the reverse process? Accordingly:
- The cetane number will go down;
- the lubrication properties of the fuel will go down;
- the combustion time of the mixture will increase;
- the useful efficiency of the engine will be reduced.
What happens at refueling with gasoline
It is worth noting that the dilution tradition was invented by Toyota, which at one time recommended diluting fuel with low-octane gasoline. Later on, this practice was abandoned. And here’s why: the consequences of diluting diesel with gasoline are directly related to paraffin. When the temperature drops, it changes its state, or, to put it simply, crystallizes. The process starts already at a temperature of minus 5 degrees, that is, with the first frosts. It can be detected by eye, in the form of turbidity of fuel.
Subsequently, these crystals get stuck in the paper filter, and then form a cork, through which fuel can hardly penetrate. That’s why so dangerous are the first frosts and the hardest frosts, when there is a great risk to fill your iron horse with summer diesel fuel, not suitable for the weather. To reduce the threshold filterability, car owners and ask themselves a constant question: how to dilute the fuel with gasoline?
Since ancient times, this method of fuel dilution has been practiced by domestic motorists, especially those who regularly work in the northern regions. In some cases, up to 70% of the mixture could be diluted with kerosene. Even for trucks, such methods can hardly be called painless. The fact is that diesel fuel is an additional lubricant for the rubbing elements from the fuel system. When it is diluted, its lubricating characteristics, as well as viscosity, are reduced. This reduces the operating life of the fuel system.
How the consequences depend on the dilution proportions
As mentioned earlier, it all starts with a decrease in the cetane number. The auto-ignition rate of the combustible mixture increases due to its compression. The combustion process becomes tougher, and the load on the crank mechanism parts increases. Engine starting properties deteriorate, the exhaust becomes smokier, and the spare parts wear out prematurely. That is why even in winter adding diesel to petrol is by no means the best way out of the situation.
Filling the tank of a diesel car with gasoline of any octane number can lead to unpleasant consequences, which will turn into costly repairs. True, the consequences will depend on how much and what kind of fuel turned out to be in the tank in the end. If the tank was completely empty, then the car will be able to continue movement only because the fuel system will contain some amount of diesel fuel. However, later on the power unit will simply stall. What will the driver do in this case? Most likely, he will tow his car to the nearest service station, and then the fuel system will be flushed, and the filters will be replaced with new ones.
But if the proportions between gasoline and diesel are different, the results will be different. Let’s say a certain amount of both types of fuel manages to get into the engine. If there is more gasoline in the tank, again the engine will stall, and this is fraught with little damage to it. Mechanical destruction of the diesel engine can occur when the driver manages to drive on an unintended fuel for a long time. It is recommended to pay attention to the following possible symptoms:
- Running the engine in “hard” mode;
- noticeable power decrease;
- increase of operating temperature;
- Unstable engine operation.
Peculiarities of compression and ignition
It is known that there is a short time delay before the ignition of the diesel fuel, unlike the same gasoline-air working mixture, which is ignited by a spark at a strictly defined moment. As for diesel, the largest volume of mixture must burn before the piston even reaches its upper point. This is done so that the pressure created due to the expanding gases is transferred to the piston in the form of energy from the first seconds of its movement. Too late or too early ignition will lead to loss of efficiency of the engine and impair the stability of its operation.
Adding gasoline to the fuel is not an option, since certain characteristics of the latter prevent it from burning properly in a “non-native” motor. With mixing, the ignition delay in the working mixture increases, it burns up earlier than it should, and therefore the efficiency and power decreases. In addition, it is necessary to understand some peculiarities of the diesel engine fuel supply. First, a small amount of fuel is injected into the injector, and the bulk of it comes with a delay – this allows the mixture to burn more qualitatively and effectively.
Thanks to this feature of functioning, the pressure of the gases on the piston becomes more uniform. On the other hand, both portions of the fuel, which are fed through the injectors separately, burn and burn more efficiently. Such injection makes the engine run smoothly and quietly due to the even combustion of the mixture in the cylinder. What’s the difference when the driver tries to mix gasoline and diesel? At the moment of the first injection, there is no ignition. It is not ignited until the entire volume of the mixture has been fed into the cylinder and the piston has compressed it to its maximum pressure.
Consequences and remedies
From a momentary explosion in the combustion chambers, the expanding gases create a very high pressure on the cylinder walls, and their energy propagates so rapidly that it has time to catch up with the piston rushing down. The loads increase sharply – the crank and camshaft and piston group suffer from them. It is easy to hear by the operation of the engine due to the appearance of metal sounds and ringing. The main negative consequences are:
- Cracks in the cylinder walls;
- mechanical damage or destruction of pistons;
- premature engine wear and the need for overhaul.
And that is not all the dangers of petrol diluting with diesel fuel. The fact is that diesel fuel has a lubricating ability, which is necessary for the fuel feeding equipment. This amazing property allows lubricating the engine with the fuel itself, without involving the lubrication system. Loss of lubricating properties will automatically lead to the failure of injectors, fuel injection pump, pump plunger pairs and a number of other elements.
Therefore, even if there was an undesirable mixing of fuels in the diesel fuel system, the following algorithm of actions will help:
- stopping the engine with the removal of residual fuel from the tank;
- check operation of fuel priming pump;
- elimination of fuel in the fuel line system;
- complete flushing of the system elements;
- purchase and installation of new fuel filters.
Instead of wondering “what will happen if you dilute between gasoline and diesel fuel”, it is better to use special additives in winter time. In contrast to the types of fuel which are not intended for diesel engines, diesel fuel additives are added in insignificant quantities, not more than a few fractions of a percent of the total tank volume. In this way the viscosity of the fuel does not decrease and its lubricating properties are preserved.
Many of these modern additives do not directly influence the cetane number. Instead they create protection for the fuel system from premature wear and corrosion. The producers even promise to reduce the volume of exhaust gases and the level of smoke. The only difficulty is to apply them in the winter months of the year. The greatest effect is achieved at a temperature of +5 and higher, which should have diesel fuel. For this purpose you will either have to have a canister of diesel fuel in a garage, or mix them in a warmed up room. If you do not use any additives, it is better to fill up at reliable gas stations, as well as timely inspection and maintenance of the diesel power unit and its fuel system.