John Deere Maintenance Monday: Using summer fuel in winter

John Deere Maintenance Monday: Using summer fuel in winter
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Kevin in Wisconsin. He still has summer diesel in his utility tractor. Should he drain the fuel and replace it, or is there something else he can do?

Mike Daly is a senior marketing representative with John Deere. He says Kevin needs to take action now. Fuel that's available in the summer isn't designed for temperatures below 32-degrees. The diesel gels up, and the tractor can't be driven. Daly says the fuel doesn't have to be drained and replaced; Kevin simply needs to add a conditioner.

"The customer should apply a winter diesel fuel conditioner that has the cold flow properties as part of the formula," says Daly. "They can use that in the pre-cold season, get it to blend in with the fuel before it gets too cold, and then as the cold weather comes on he'll be protected. The fuel won't gel up, and he'll be able to keep running his equipment during that cold time."

Daly says it's important to add the conditioner when the fuel isn't gelled so it disperses throughout the tank. If you don't catch it in time, get the tractor into a warm area.

"If you can bring some measure of heat to the area around that whether it's a heated blanket or something, that would be the best way to resolve the issue," says Daly. "The big concern is that we don't want someone to take off the fuel filter and pour some alcohol or some other product in there that is going to thaw the fuel out chemically because that's going to cause damage to his equipment. And, it's going to allow dirt to bypass the very filter that's there to protect him."

 For the best performance in winter, Daly recommends always having fresh fuel in the tank. Diesel shouldn't be stored for any longer than three-months.

Date: 9/5/2016