Changeover To "Winter" Diesel

listerone

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Location
Connecticut
TDI
2018 BMW 540d
Is there any reliable formula as to when diesel suppliers in various parts of the country start delivering "winter diesel" to their client stations? I'm new to diesel and have read that this is an important subject in cold regions like mine (New England).TIA.
 

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
Depending on yourdrving habits, it may be best to check with your fuel station this fall and begin to use power service white bottle (there are other acceptable brands) with each tank as the weather turns to avoid the dreaded gelling.

In the US, it is a top down approach but depending on the fuel supplier and how quickly the station goes through diesel, unfortunately, it is possible to find D2 way past the changeover season
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
listerone said:
Is there any reliable formula as to when diesel suppliers in various parts of the country start delivering "winter diesel" to their client stations? I'm new to diesel and have read that this is an important subject in cold regions like mine (New England).TIA.
No.

Fuel suppliers deliver when it is requested by the station or when the refuel schedule due.

But..if you buy fuel at a station that goes through a good volume of fuel you will be fine. A dose of additive w/each tank is good idea to keep any water "dissolved"/suspended depending on your choice of additive brand.
Usually distributors have "winterized" fuel to the dealer/stations well before its really needed as a preventive measure in case of unseasonly cold weather. I've only been "caught" once. A tank lasts me two weeks. Filled up and several days later got a sudden -20F in early Nov. :(

The station I buy most of my fuel from locally does post a sign above listing the dates the "gell" point of various temps are met.
 
Last edited:

scooperhsd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
Take a look in the TDIFAQ - there's a chart that shows what the gell points should be for each area for each month.

Best advice - buy your fuel locally, and if you're travelling from warmer area to colder area - fill up with local fuel before you shutdown. The various additives are also a good idea, as is buying from stations with a good turnover (this is a good idea all year round - but is even more important in the colder months). Keep in mind that even my O1M equipped New Beetle has a 500-600 mile range - enough to go from Jacksonville FL to DC, or DC to Boston, on ONE TANK ! Those of you with cars that do even better should register what this means for you...
 
Last edited:

TwoFuel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Location
East coast of Pennsylvania
TDI
'04 Golf PD, and a '04 Jetta PD
If you stay with the major brand fuel, or a high volume fuel station you won't have any problems. The suppliers will have the winter diesel in the storage tanks ahead of the cold snap of winter weather. I deliver diesel and the refineries I load out of, will start with the winter diesel next month. The Ultra Low diesel has lubricity additive year round and when the winter diesel comes online, a cetane improver goes into the fuel.
I don't use any additional additives any more for a couple reasons. I was a firm believer in Stanadyne for years, then I had the in-tank elec. pump go bad on my Golf and when replacing the pump I found alot of funky residue in the bottom of the fuel tank. It looked like the same stuff I would see in the bottom of the Stanadyne bottles and 1/2 gallon jugs I would use. Then I thought about the trucks I drive at work. The fleet burns the same fuel we deliver to the stations. No additives, millions of miles each year and not a single fuel or injector issue with the entire fleet... ever. So last winter was the first winter I went with no additves. I had no problems, did not notice any additional smoke on start ups and zero degree and slightly warmer starts went fine with only the glow plugs doing their thing. BUT... thats only my 2 cents.
 

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
TwoFuel what is your experience with non-major brands (i.e. Shell franchise that fills with non-label/secondary diesel presumably also made by Shell but not Shell branded)?

I realize that it is also possible to have a brand franchise getting their diesel from sources not at all affiliated with the brand and these definitely require an inquiry from the end user particularly if chancing the absence of an additive with every tank
 

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
just to color the picture in a little more, expecially for the OP, light duty diesels are not the same as heavy duty diesels. Also, there are definitely truckers that use additives and of course truck stops and heavy duty diesel truck and bus service stations stock fuel additives- some by the pallet load
 

TwoFuel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Location
East coast of Pennsylvania
TDI
'04 Golf PD, and a '04 Jetta PD
CsTDI said:
TwoFuel what is your experience with non-major brands (i.e. Shell franchise that fills with non-label/secondary diesel presumably also made by Shell but not Shell branded)?

I realize that it is also possible to have a brand franchise getting their diesel from sources not at all affiliated with the brand and these definitely require an inquiry from the end user particularly if chancing the absence of an additive with every tank
Branded vs. non-branded fuels. If the dealer has a major brand sign out front and on the dispensers, he is by contract using "that" brand of fuel that will contain their proprietary additives. Funny thing is, the unbranded fuels 9 times out of 10 get the same additves injected in at the load rack when the tanker is loading. Some major brands have their own "trade secrete" additives where others use "generic" additives. Those are mostly in gasoline/gasahol. Diesel fuels usually use the generic lubricity and cetane improvers, all top quality components by industry leading chemical manufacturers, just no fancy trade secrete blends. The major brand fuel may get an extra cc or two injected into the fuel over the unbranded. The exception in some cases is when the load is going to a private fleet storage tank and to save a little $ on their end, may order their fuel without the cetane improver because they may add their own when the load gets delivered. I don't know of any large fuel terminals sending out anything less than top quality fuel in over 20 yrs of doing this. They wouldn't stay in business long if word got out they were moving bad fuels. Sometimes things happen and fuel may be "off spec" but as soon as they catch that they trace it down usually catching it before it leaves the terminal.
 

TwoFuel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Location
East coast of Pennsylvania
TDI
'04 Golf PD, and a '04 Jetta PD
CsTDI said:
just to color the picture in a little more, expecially for the OP, light duty diesels are not the same as heavy duty diesels. Also, there are definitely truckers that use additives and of course truck stops and heavy duty diesel truck and bus service stations stock fuel additives- some by the pallet load
Generally, the difference between light and heavy duty diesels is in the engine block, having replacable liners, the heads being cast iron not aluminum and the beefyness of the internals. The fuel injection systems though are similar with the precise tolerances being the same, so fuels and fuel additves will affect a light duty diesel about the same as a heavy duty.
As for the additives... man that is big business. Just look at all the stuff available for adding to lube oils, fuels, gas and diesel. Shoot, I know of a particular car wash product that claims it has vitamins in it's blend to revive your paint. Now, whether your vehicle "needs" any of these things thats a whole different thing.
 

XXX_er

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Location
northern B.C.
TDI
2002 golf
I did use Howes in my 2001 golf pretty religiously but I havent used any additives in my 2002 golf ,both cars are silver with black interiour,both cars look exactly the same and both cars have always ran exactly the same

all the fuel around here comes from the husky refinery in prince george , all the fuel trucks with the differnt paint jobs for each oil company all park beside one another in the same p-lot and I don't notice any difference in any one brand of fuel

I think since the switch over is going to come soon and I am not driving so much nowadays I will soon start to just buy 20$ worth at a time so I don't get stuck with a tank full of summer fuel
 

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
TwoFuel said:
Branded vs. non-branded fuels. If the dealer has a major brand sign out front and on the dispensers, he is by contract using "that" brand of fuel that will contain their proprietary additives. Funny thing is, the unbranded fuels 9 times out of 10 get the same additves injected in at the load rack when the tanker is loading. Some major brands have their own "trade secrete" additives where others use "generic" additives. Those are mostly in gasoline/gasahol. Diesel fuels usually use the generic lubricity and cetane improvers, all top quality components by industry leading chemical manufacturers, just no fancy trade secrete blends. The major brand fuel may get an extra cc or two injected into the fuel over the unbranded. The exception in some cases is when the load is going to a private fleet storage tank and to save a little $ on their end, may order their fuel without the cetane improver because they may add their own when the load gets delivered. I don't know of any large fuel terminals sending out anything less than top quality fuel in over 20 yrs of doing this. They wouldn't stay in business long if word got out they were moving bad fuels. Sometimes things happen and fuel may be "off spec" but as soon as they catch that they trace it down usually catching it before it leaves the terminal.
Maybe it is the 1 (or so) out of 10 then. Plenty of branded stations getting non-labeled gasoline (persumably brand contents in the tanker more or less with the primary additive package or maybe it is the secondary additive that may or may not be as effective) but I have seen separate diesel deliveries (in a branded station)- gas by non-branded tanker and diesel delivered by a different supplier who specializes in home heatin fuel and also supplies additives. I can't say the fuel is bad in any vehicle except mine because some of the local big rigs come there time and again, as do a number of pickups but when I use it I see a noticeable decrease in engine performance, a hit to the MPGs, and an increase in exhaust soot compared to some of the other stations.

I think if you are sure of what you are getting and the additives meet what you are looking for including higher cetane as reccommended by VW (not the 40 minimum at most pumps), enough antigel (seasonal), and enough lubricity (this one is not as obvious to discern) then you may not notice enough of a difference short term. However, at least with what I have seen, not using a quality additive is pound foolish if you plan to minimize repair costs or keep the vehicle longterm
 
Last edited:

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
TwoFuel said:
Generally, the difference between light and heavy duty diesels is in the engine block, having replacable liners, the heads being cast iron not aluminum and the beefyness of the internals. The fuel injection systems though are similar with the precise tolerances being the same, so fuels and fuel additves will affect a light duty diesel about the same as a heavy duty.
As for the additives... man that is big business. Just look at all the stuff available for adding to lube oils, fuels, gas and diesel. Shoot, I know of a particular car wash product that claims it has vitamins in it's blend to revive your paint. Now, whether your vehicle "needs" any of these things thats a whole different thing.
I am not familiar with the vitamin blended car wash but assume it is citrus-based to remove oxidation but in terms of car related additives, I agree there are alot- and some are better then others and there are strong opinions as to which ones are purely snake oil. The VW diesel fuel requirements and fuel system on the other hand can be a real issue, so much so that the manufacturer has a TSB on diesel fuel additives and how much/when to use for their dealership technicians. Also, there are a series of car problems that diesel customers come into VW for, that VWs diagnosis is poor fuel quality. Essentially, most diesel fuels available here, without owner additives, are below the specification required for optimal engine performance.
 
Last edited:

N8116B

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Location
NW Suburbs of Chicago, Il.
TDI
2009 Jetta
Is there any recommended additive to use with the 2009 Diesel? Since we have the DPF we have to be a little bit cautious about what goes into the tank.
 

UFO

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Location
A mile high
TDI
2001 Beetle
N8116B said:
Is there any recommended additive to use with the 2009 Diesel? Since we have the DPF we have to be a little bit cautious about what goes into the tank.
2%-5% biodiesel for lubricity + winterized diesel. An antigel if temperatures fall much below seasonal lows.
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
CsTDI said:
just to color the picture in a little more, expecially for the OP, light duty diesels are not the same as heavy duty diesels. Also, there are definitely truckers that use additives and of course truck stops and heavy duty diesel truck and bus service stations stock fuel additives- some by the pallet load
Many truckers use a system that warms the fuel to keep it from gelling. Then they buy unwinterized fuel because it helps them get better fuel mileage and it costs less per gallon

So here's my advice. If you always buy at the same station(s), ask about their fuel. If they don't know, then ask for a phone number for their fuel supplier and ask THEM.

If they have regular diesel and premium diesel, the premium stuff will be the winterized stuff. 5-10 cents/gallon extra but definitely worth it.

If you are on the road and need to stop at an unfamiliar station, ask whether their fuel is winterized and to what temperature. If the answer is unsatisfactory, add a healthy dose of Diesel Kleen Power Service, winter version. There may be better additives, but PS is the one that most every station and auto parts store will carry.

If it starts to get unseasonably cold, like 10°F in November or -10°F in December, consider adding a double or triple dose of PS, or getting a bottle of Diesel 911 for a really hard-core dose of anti-gel.

Spending $15 or $20 for additives unnecessarily is better than paying $80-$150 for a tow and then letting your TDI sit overnight in a warm garage.
 

iameric

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Location
Broomfield, Co
TDI
2006 Beetle 1.9
Fuel for you and your new diesel advice

If you are new to diesels and dont know think of these things.

Change your fuel filter minimum 2x per year.

IF you find good fuel (without water and plugged filters often) use that place....dont price shop and get fuel here and there. Keep records like in a check book register. Put your milage, date, price, gallons etc...plus it helps you keep track of mpg. Early indicator of engine problems.

I will tell you why you want to do this.

Should you get BAD DIESEL. You have P R O O F. Should that water get past your filter it will jack your stuff up - Diesels break H A R D when they break. A new engine will cost you minimum 5K and about a month out of service.

Every fuel station has insurance for this, its liability insurance. You have to prove it though. Its kinda hard to poo poo it if you have this simple record keeping system and especially if you exclusively use that 1 station too!

Fuel for you and for the VW :)
Im the big dude in the little BUG - Eric
 

scooperhsd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
Going beyond double dose on Powerservice in the white bottle is a waste of money (unless you just have to use the whole bottle - like I would). My reason for using the whole bottle would be that the stuff gives me severe headaches if it is in the car with me - better to use it all than attempt to store the rest of the bottle in the engine compartment.

I generally just follow the "buy your fuel locally" rule when on the road.
 

CsTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
TDI
'10 TouaregTDI, '15 JettaTDI
scooperhsd said:
Going beyond double dose on Powerservice in the white bottle is a waste of money (unless you just have to use the whole bottle - like I would). My reason for using the whole bottle would be that the stuff gives me severe headaches if it is in the car with me - better to use it all than attempt to store the rest of the bottle in the engine compartment.

I generally just follow the "buy your fuel locally" rule when on the road.
Storing it in the trunk in a big ziploc, if necessary, will get it past me but my wife still detects a hint at times... or maybe it is the lingering PS on my hands??
 

UFO

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Location
A mile high
TDI
2001 Beetle
iameric said:
If you are new to diesels and dont know think of these things.

Change your fuel filter minimum 2x per year.
You must drive a whole lot of miles. The service interval on these things allows me to change filters every other year.
 
Top