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Diesel Fuel Anti-Gels: Power Service vs. Howes

Posted by Sarah Simonovich on

Owners and operators of diesel-run equipment know the importance of treating their fuel, especially in the winter. Failing to do so can cause a multitude of problems: either your equipment may not run, or it may run ineffectively, losing time, money, and potentially causing further damage.

What can affect your engine?

Ultra-low sulfur diesel already puts your engine at an elevated risk because removing the sulfur oxides in the fuel decreases lubricity and lowers cetane. Lubricity correlates to friction; when a fluid has low lubricity, internal engine components are prone to excessive wear and metal damage. Additionally, diesel fuels with a higher cetane number combust more easily, which is beneficial for fuel economy, drivability, cold starts, and it lowers engine stress.

The addition of renewable fuels like corn and soy are also creating new issues with diesel engine owners. Renewable fuels have a much higher affinity to water compared to traditional diesel. Generally, the sulfur would help to disperse the water, so it gets burned off in the engine, but ULSD doesn’t enable this process, meaning more potential water issues.

Diesel fuel treatments help to combat these issues, as well as present diesel fuel gelling in extremely cold temperatures.

Diesel fuel anti-gels

Diesel fuel anti-gels are a type of diesel fuel additive specially formulated for winter application. They are designed to prevent the crystallization and the eventual gelling of the paraffin present in diesel fuel. Diesel gelling occurs when the paraffin (wax) content of your diesel begins to solidify as temperatures fall below freezing. When diesel fuel is subject to gelling, it may no longer flow freely through the fuel lines and engine components.

This issue is difficult to address once it has already occurred, which is why we recommended keeping several bottles of anti-gel handy when low temperatures pose a risk to the operation of your diesel engine. The problem may be avoided entirely with the timely employment of a diesel fuel anti-gel additive in your gas tank. Even winter-blend diesel likely does not have enough additives present to prevent your fuel from gelling.

Which anti-gel is best?

At PSC, we carry a few products that can be used to treat and protect your fuel in the winter from leading brands like Power Service and Howes. At this time of year especially, we field a lot of questions about which is better: Power Service or Howes? We stand behind both excellent brands and will provide a product breakdown to help you determine which product is best for your application.

Power Service

Since 1956, Power Service has been manufacturing some of the most technologically advanced diesel fuel additives available. They have a wide range of products specially formulated for diesel engines, including their line of winter products.

Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost

Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost is a winterizer/anti-gel for use in the cold winter months to prevent fuel gelling and keep fuel-filters from plugging with ice and wax. It is intended for use only when temperatures drop below +30F. This product is endorsed by Cummins.

Benefits:

  • Prevents fuel gelling in temperatures as low as -40F
  • Protects against fuel-filter icing
  • Boosts cetane
  • Contains Slickdiesel® Lubricator to protect fuel pumps and injectors
  • Effective in all diesel fuels, including ULSD and biodiesel blends (up to 20%)

View treatment ratios here.

Sizes available at PSC:

9/16-ounce cases

6/80-ounce cases

12/32-ounce cases

2/2.5-gallon bottles

55-gallon drums

Arctic Express Diesel Fuel Antigel

Arctic Express Diesel Fuel Anti-gel improves cold weather operability and prevents fuel gelling. This fluid modifies the shape and size of wax crystals which fall out of solution as the temperature decreases but also prevents the wax crystals from settling to the bottom of fuel tanks during storage.

Benefits:

  • Prevents fuel gelling in temperatures as low as -40F
  • Contains anti-icing additive protects against fuel-filter icing
  • Meets lubricity requirements for all diesel injection systems
  • Effective in all diesel fuels, including ULSD and biodiesel blends (up to 20%)

View treatment ratios here.

Sizes available at PSC:

Diesel 911

Diesel 911 is a winter emergency use product for when your fuel has already gelled or your fuel lines are frozen. It does not prevent fuel from gelling.

Benefits:

  • Reliquifies gelled fuel
  • De-ices frozen fuel filters
  • Removes water
  • Prevents fuel filter icing
  • Contains Slickdiesel® Lubricator to protect fuel pumps and injectors
  • Effective in all diesel fuels, including ULSD and biodiesel blends (up to 20%)

View Treatment ratios here.

Sizes available at PSC:

9/16-ounce cases

12/32-ounce cases

6/80-ounce cases

Howes

Howes has been developing high-quality and proven lubricants and fuel additives since 1920, making them early pioneers of the additive market. Independent owner-operators, fleets, and farms all depend on Howes’ line of additives and lubricants for diesel engines.

Diesel Treat

Diesel Treat is a diesel conditioner and anti-gel formulated for winter use in all diesel fuels. Diesel treat works to solve many of the problems caused by ULSD, including water removal and improvements to engine performance.

Benefits:

  • Prevents diesel fuel from gelling
  • Safely removes water from diesel fuel
  • Contains no alcohol or other harmful solvents
  • Increases power and fuel economy
  • Effective in all diesel fuels, including ULSD and biodiesel blends (up to 20%)

Howes offers a free Winter Tow Guarantee. Learn more here.

Sizes available at PSC:

6/64-ounce cases

12/32-ounce cases

55-gallon drums 

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