Fuel Gauge Or Mileage?

Topic 25697 | Page 2

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Matthew W.'s Comment
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Why run with a lower fuel level in cold temps, Bruce?

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Schneider wanted us to keep no more that 3/4 tank during that extreme cold last winter. The lower volume helped keep the fuel that was left to circulate warmer. They said it helped eliminate gelling.

First I heard of that, I'm a rookie and I dont know one way or the other on this on with my limited mechanical experience, however my company told me to just put antigel in every time I fuel below 30 or going towards the north in colder temperature months.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Matthew said: "First I heard of that, I'm a rookie and I don'tknow one way or the other on this on with my limited mechanical experience, however my company told me to just put antigel in every time I fuel below 30 or going towards the north in colder temperature months."

Matthew, I'm a rookie too. So I do what I was told because I know they have the experience and I don't.I think different companies have different ways of dealing with fuel in extreme cold. I actually called in and asked if they wanted me to add anti-gel additive. They said no, just try to have your tanks at 3/4 full or less when you park. It has to do with fuel circulation and fuel heating. Maybe somebody with more technical and mechanical knowledge will clarify this.

Always keep learning! Never stop learning!

Rick S.'s Comment
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Matthew said: "First I heard of that, I'm a rookie and I don'tknow one way or the other on this on with my limited mechanical experience, however my company told me to just put antigel in every time I fuel below 30 or going towards the north in colder temperature months."

Matthew, I'm a rookie too. So I do what I was told because I know they have the experience and I don't.I think different companies have different ways of dealing with fuel in extreme cold. I actually called in and asked if they wanted me to add anti-gel additive. They said no, just try to have your tanks at 3/4 full or less when you park. It has to do with fuel circulation and fuel heating. Maybe somebody with more technical and mechanical knowledge will clarify this.

Always keep learning! Never stop learning!

If you idle when it's cold (which I suspect you do), the fuel is pressurized by the fuel pump, and any excessive (un-needed) fuel, is returned to the tank. So the returned fuel is warmed up from circulating through the system, and that warm fuel helps keep the fuel in the tank warm.

Rick

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Rick, that's exactly it. I was told two things by different sources at Schneider. Idle below 20 degrees and idle below 10 degrees. I never had a problem with the 10 degree number, but I guess every company has their own recommendation on this.

PackRat's Comment
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I use the anti gel at 10 degrees and lower, whether I move or sit. I don’t have an accessory tank warmer, so I keep the tanks as full as possible during the cold temps.

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Yep just like a car fuel system, has the return line to the tank, for un-burnt / unused fuel so do diesels, thru the injector pumps mounted on that warm engine ! lol Although, I doubt even with them small steel fuel lines has too much of an effect on 100 gallons Suspecting 90% "full" tanks may be for any expansion of the fuel, in their wisdom...

Marc Lee's Comment
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Mathew W. said:

I see a lot of experienced drivers recommend actually looking in your tanks during pti for this very reason, you never know when your fuel guage is going to go out on you.

In class we were told (when checking the fuel cap gasket and cap retaining chain) that "I would check my fuel level with my dipstick and compare it to my fuel guage" because it is supposed to be difficult to estimate fuel level by looking in the tank.

Funny thing about fuel levels in cold is for general aviation aircraft (small planes) the prevailing wisdom is full tanks minimize condensation so keep 'em full! Difference in fuel composition maybe explains that one?!?

Once borrowed a small truck from my Uncle. Seems it had two issues he forgot to mention. Fuel guage didn't drop and truck was prone to backfiring. Managed to get it to sputter to a pump, but had to prime it by pouring fuel into the carbs. That's when problem #2 showed up! Engine fires at gas pumps are always special!

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Susan D. 's Comment
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Winter fuel is generally treated to be good to 10 degrees F. That said, winter fuel is generally NOT AVAILABLE south of I-40 any time of year. Since I do run to Florida and other places south of I-40 and fuel down there, then might head directly to colder climates, if I've fueled in the south and headed to where temps will be below 30, you can bet I'll throw some Howells diesel treat in both tanks. There's no such thing as too much antigel and the howell's will also boost your cetane rating of your fuel, so your engine will really be happy and running good.

Also, during winter months, I swear by the "purple power" windshield washer fluid sold at Petro or TA exclusively. I've has the blue stuff which isn't supposed to freeze to around 0, freeze in my wiper fluid lines at 14 F, literally forcing me to shut down, because the washer wouldn't work and I was getting hit with salt and road grime spray. I carry a bucket and my own telescoping squeegee and got it all cleaned so I could see (several times) and had to pull into a TA shop to thaw my wiper lines allowing them to work. Beginning in early October I start buying the purple power and top it off as often as possible to get my warmer weather fluid out of the reservoir. I carry 2 gallons of washer fluid with me in my sidebox as well as a spare gallon if oil, because you just never know. In warmer weather I use the green bug removal formula with a drop of blue dawn dish liquid per gallon.

For you rookies, have you ever had your fuel tank caps get stuck or very difficult to remove in cold weather? Lube that rubber gasket on the underside of the caps. A smear of the pink 5th wheel grease or even a smear of vaseline will eliminate that problem. Vaseline isn't the best for the gaskets, but it'll work in a pinch and you only use a tiny smear anyway.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Susan, those are great tips and I learned a lot from your comment. I was told to put some isopropyl alcohol in the washer fluid reservoir to avoid freeze up. I didn't do that, but I've wondered if that is good advice or bad. I also fought the fluid freeze monster this past winter. I went into the shop when I was at an OC and asked if they could get the fluid working for me. The service advisor said "Nope, all the drivers are froze up and we have so much other work to do we can't help with that."

Ever since, I've wondered about the safety aspect of that issue. As much as my company stressed safety, why don't they invest in better washer fluid? Not being able to clear your windshield is one GIGANTIC safety issue.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Susan D. 's Comment
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It is a huge safety issue and yes, year before last I had to shut down because I was too far from a shop to pull my tractor in to thaw them and the road spray was making a mess and my washer lines were frozen. If I can't see, I'm NOT driving. I do keep that bucket and squeegee handy and yes, I've pulled onto a shoulder to wash my windshield because I couldn't see and was close enough to get to a rest area to shut down until after daylight and the temperature rose, then got to a TA shop to get them thawed. I learned my lesson and only use the purple power in winter and I've never had it freeze even in -25F weather with a windchill of -50 F. I buy it and turn in the receipt and my company reimburses me. It runs just under $5/gallon and worth every penny. I haven't tried this, but a friend suggested if you get froze up, wrap some of those hand warmers around the frozen lines to help thaw them but our shop warned me you can actually catch the lines on fire from heating them directly.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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