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Eastern USA Local discussions for those in the Eastern USA. (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Washington, DC. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)

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Old January 11th, 2018, 15:17   #46
n1das
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Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI View Post
While this year seems to be particularly bad for gelling, the fueling infrastructure has never been great. From algae to water to gelling and beyond, there have been cautionary tales and horror stories about fueling in the US for as long as I can remember.
The algae in diesel fuel is anaerobic bacteria. No Oxygen is needed (anaerobic), only food (hydrocarbons in diesel fuel) and WATER are needed. Bacteria feeds on the fuel and growth will be limited by the available water in the fuel. Avoiding water in diesel fuel will prevent anaerobic bacteria growth.

Fueling up ONLY at high diesel turnover stations along major routes will help prevent these problems. Go where the big rigs go to fuel up.

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Old January 11th, 2018, 17:13   #47
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Although that is not diesel road fuel, it is also not ice and not water contamination.

'nuff said.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 17:35   #48
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Originally Posted by AndyBees View Post
.... I have often thought maybe diesel fuel might hold "moisture" in suspension, similar to humidity in the air. If so, at what temp does it "frost" out? Where does it frost out, in the tank, on the inside of the fuel lines, in the filter? Or, if it does in fact contain water in suspension, will it frost out?
Petro diesel does not retain much water. Water will tend to settle out in a layer. The water that separated out and sank to the bottom of the filter will freeze, but the fuel will still flow above that.

Biodiesel is very hygroscopic. It will adsorb and hold great amounts of water in suspension.
A bio/petro blend that would be good to 0F with "dry" bio, might be only good to 25F. Don't forget, that the bio will adsorb any water that were in the petro. The water separator that would retain the water from petro only, won't catch water when the bio has in effect locked the water within and between its molecules.
The wet bio fuel will freeze in the tank, lines, filter, but usually the lines are the plug point due to the large area to volume ratio.

Water is probably not a big concern for most, as most don't run bio as I do.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 07:37   #49
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Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post

But this winter, I'm having troubles with worn ignition switches dying in the cold. In my wife's 2 cars, anyway. My 4-dr I'm the original purchaser, and I've never hung other keys on the fob. Hers - we don't know their history, but judging by the feel, previous owners have been hanging their workout barbells on the fob. Subsequently, on the coldest mornings, we are seeing ignition switch refusals to start.
PH-What's the relationship between the temp and the ignition switch working/not working?
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Old January 12th, 2018, 07:46   #50
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A co-worker was having what he thought were problems with his ignition switch on his '02 Golf earlier this week. Turns out it was a weak battery.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 18:16   #51
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I thought my ignition switch was bad so I replaced it. A while later it randomly refused to start again. I replaced the battery cables and it hasn't happened since. Battery is what affects the ignition switch in cold weather, due to being weak or having loose/corroded connection.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 15:26   #52
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Originally Posted by hskrdu View Post
PH-What's the relationship between the temp and the ignition switch working/not working?
I had troubles when the temp (absolute, not counting any wind chill) was -5F or lower on the Jetta, the one I fixed. The NB was probably more like -8F or lower.

The one with the most wear was resolved with a new OEM switch, and the other's (the NB TDI) wear was not as bad and has only displayed one no-start episode. I figure as long as my wife doesn't have that happen to her, I won't have to replace it for quite a while (several years) as we're planning on moving south later this year. (I.e. we probably won't be seeing temps this cold after this winter, ever again.)

And the batteries in both of those cars are great - one is 3 months old and the other is about 18 months old. They're both Deka built 'Duracell' branded batteries, AGM, very high RC indicating at least 80 AH capacity (for the one, slightly smaller for the NB because it can't fit a group 49 size) sold by Sam's Club. Since the Jetta with the replaced switch is working perfectly now, I think it was the switch, not the battery. And if it goes dead when you turn it to crank, and then it cranks when you push the key forward, then it probably isn't the battery. This behavior demonstrates internal wear in the switch (IMO, of course - seems logical, anyway). If it has this kind of wear, and cranks anyway, then it is probably arcing inside, and could get really exciting. You might be smelling it in that case.

Anyway, if it was just a slow crank, I would never have played with the ignition switch. But to me, the going completely dead with no solenoid clicks or dash lights when the key was turned to crank, then cranking when the key was pushed forward, says ignition switch.

Cheers,

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; January 14th, 2018 at 15:40.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 08:10   #53
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I hate to ask the question, but why are posts involving ignition switches in a thread titled "Boston Area Gel Issues"? For others to find information on ignition switches in the future, they likely won't look in a thread with this title.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 09:47   #54
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Originally Posted by 93celicaconv View Post
I hate to ask the question, but why are posts involving ignition switches in a thread titled "Boston Area Gel Issues"? For others to find information on ignition switches in the future, they likely won't look in a thread with this title.
I understand your logic here but it's also relevant that a failing ignition switch or weak battery can have same effect as gelled fuel - as in vehicle won't start (or will fail on road in case of weak battery or gelled fuel) which is the main concern under discussion here. Many threads here and elsewhere tend to get some "thread drift".

Also, if one searches for keywords here about ignition switches this thread should pop up in the search results. Note I said keywords, not searching for thread subject - there is a difference!
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Old January 15th, 2018, 15:09   #55
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Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post
I had troubles when the temp (absolute, not counting any wind chill) was -5F or lower on the Jetta, the one I fixed. The NB was probably more like -8F or lower.

The one with the most wear was resolved with a new OEM switch, and the other's (the NB TDI) wear was not as bad and has only displayed one no-start episode.

And the batteries in both of those cars are great - one is 3 months old and the other is about 18 months old... And if it goes dead when you turn it to crank, and then it cranks when you push the key forward, then it probably isn't the battery. This behavior demonstrates internal wear in the switch (IMO, of course - seems logical, anyway). If it has this kind of wear, and cranks anyway, then it is probably arcing inside, and could get really exciting. You might be smelling it in that case.

Anyway, if it was just a slow crank, I would never have played with the ignition switch. But to me, the going completely dead with no solenoid clicks or dash lights when the key was turned to crank, then cranking when the key was pushed forward, says ignition switch. Cheers,
PH
Thanks PH. I agree with your diagnosis- The troubleshooting for a NSC points to ignition switch under the circumstances you describe.

My question was more about the relationship between the temp and the switch. I was thinking that a failing switch would show itself regardless of temp, while fuel gelling as a cause of a NSC would (obviously) only take place in bitter temps, and weak battery as cause of a NSC is much more likely during cold temps.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 15:17   #56
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Originally Posted by 93celicaconv View Post
I hate to ask the question, but why are posts involving ignition switches in a thread titled "Boston Area Gel Issues"? For others to find information on ignition switches in the future, they likely won't look in a thread with this title.
If Fred's kept threads restricted to title content, instead of relevant associated topics, we'd all be stuck with only a few solutions to a problem. Powder Hound mentioned ignition switches as one portion of his NSC, such that some members thinking they have a gelling issue, might be enlightened to discover that they have a different issue altogether. Does this help bt (the OP)? No, not unless his issue is other than gelling, but it may help many others who still use a key to start the car and find they have the problem that PH described. I can't count the number of times I thought I knew what the source of a problem was, only for a good thread to lead me to the actual culprit.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 15:43   #57
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Originally Posted by hskrdu View Post
If Fred's kept threads restricted to title content, instead of relevant associated topics, we'd all be stuck with only a few solutions to a problem. Powder Hound mentioned ignition switches as one portion of his NSC, such that some members thinking they have a gelling issue, might be enlightened to discover that they have a different issue altogether. Does this help bt (the OP)? No, not unless his issue is other than gelling, but it may help many others who still use a key to start the car and find they have the problem that PH described. I can't count the number of times I thought I knew what the source of a problem was, only for a good thread to lead me to the actual culprit.
Yes, when you look at it as you explained, it does make sense. Appreciate the inputs.
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Old January 17th, 2018, 10:57   #58
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Originally Posted by hskrdu View Post
Thanks PH. I agree with your diagnosis- The troubleshooting for a NSC points to ignition switch under the circumstances you describe.

My question was more about the relationship between the temp and the switch. I was thinking that a failing switch would show itself regardless of temp, while fuel gelling as a cause of a NSC would (obviously) only take place in bitter temps, and weak battery as cause of a NSC is much more likely during cold temps.
I agree. In my case, I theorize that it might have to do with the differences between the coefficient of expansion at low temps - what a slight amount of wear will do when it gets cold, even though it works fine at 30 or 40 degrees warmer. That might be a contributor to the weak battery cause - if the battery is marginal, a little more resistance during the glow cycle, and the battery voltage dropping just enough that it can't bridge a wear-caused gap. It is hard to say, and it would probably take a lot more resources than any of us have to figure it all out under controlled conditions.
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