When temperatures plunge, diesel can thicken and clog your motor. Here's how to prevent itWith temperatures approaching -20C forecast for some parts of Britain, diesel drivers could find that the fuel in their engines and tanks clogs up because of the cold, leaving their vehicles undriveable.
Experts at the Institute of Advanced Motorists say that diesel can ‘wax’ – forming crystals within it at low temperature and this may block vehicle fuel pipes and cause a breakdown. Petrol engines don’t have the problem. To counter this, the IAM advises that drivers of diesels should use their garages whenenever they can. If they can’t, where possible they should park down-wind if leaving their cars for some time or overnight. In other words, they should point the car’s boot into the wind and shelter the bonnet and grille.
On starting up, they should run the engine at idle for several minutes to give fuel in pipes under the bonnet a chance to warm.
Car fuel tanks often contain small amounts of water along with diesel, which can freeze and cause blockages. The best way to prevent this is to keep the tank topped up while the cold weather is with us.