Cold Weather Fuel Management Guide for Drivers Nov. 1 – Mar. 1

Your truck will not operate in below zero temperatures if the fuel has not been treated.

Fact: Untreated Diesel Fuel will Wax/Gel and clog fuel filters below +15°F.


Truck stops start treating their fuels in November to what their average low temperatures are.  (See the zone map below) This means fuel you buy in Minnesota (zone 4) in November has already been treated to -10°F but the fuel you buy in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Etc (zones 8,9, and 10) is not treated and will start to Gel/Wax and clog filters below +15°F degrees.

It is critical that you know where you last fueled and what temperatures you will be driving through. If you fueled in Zones 7 through 10 and are heading into Zones 6 thru 2 and know the temperature will be below +15°F degrees, you must treat your fuel. Or if the Temperature where you fueled has a sudden drop below its normal zone average, you may need to treat your fuel.   Remember: Untreated Diesel fuel will Wax/Gel and clog fuel filters below +15°F  degrees, and fuel purchased in Zones 8,9, and 10 is not treated.


Fuel Additives

Fuel additives: come in various 16oz to 1 Gallon bottles.  Typically 16oz of additive added to 100 gallons of diesel will improve the Wax/Gel temp by 15°F degrees.  An example is; most sleeper trucks have two 100 gallons tanks, if you added 16oz in each tank the untreated fuel would improve from +15°F degrees to -0°F Degrees.   But different fuel additives may require more or less so please read the instructions.

An example is: If your fuel is untreated and you are operating in --

  • Below +15°F, add 16oz of additive per 100 gallons of diesel, this would improve your fuel to -0°F.
  • Below -0°F, add 32oz of additive per 100 gallons of diesel, this would improve your fuel to -15°F.

If you fueled in Zones 2 thru 6, your fuel is already treated, but in those zones, the temperature may drop drastically below their average. If the temperature there or where you’re heading is less, then follow the 16oz per 100-gallon rule which improves the Gel/Wax temperature by +15°F.


Wind Chill

Wind Chill: has a major effect on you because it takes body heat away quickly which makes you feel colder “the wind chill factor”, but it has no effect on fuel, metal, or any material.  So if the outside temp is -10°F and the wind chill is -25°F the coldest your fuel or any material can physically get is -10°F.


Fuel Additives Cost

Fuel additives are expensive: Please help keep our costs low and only add what you need. Do Not Over Additize - It’s expensive and will cause fuel pump and injector issues if you add more than what is recommended.


Recommended Fuel Additives

Innospec – Extreme Winter Flow

Howe’s – Diesel Conditioner and Anti Gel

Power Service – Diesel Fuel Supplement (do not use Power Service 911)

Polar Power – Anti Gel