Is Your Fuel Tank Ready for Winter?
September 29, 2022
Written By Adam Buckallew
When is the last time you checked your diesel fuel storage tank for water or wear? If it’s been a while, it is time to take action to ensure your fuel tank is ready for winter. Keeping your tank clean and free of contaminants is crucial to maintaining fuel quality.
Preventative tank maintenance not only protects your stored fuel – it is critical to maximizing engine life and avoiding unplanned downtime. Contaminants can impair fuel injector performance, leading to loss of power, poor fuel efficiency and costly damage to engines.
Before the cold weather strikes, prepare your equipment for the season by following these suggestions:
Check your tank for water and debris
Water, dirt and other contaminants can wreak havoc on fuel quality if left unchecked. Water is the number one cause of problems with diesel fuel when temperatures drop below freezing, and the water crystalizes as ice. Even minor ice accumulation can clog filters and reduce fuel flowability. Check tanks regularly for the presence of water.
You can test the bottom of your tanks for water using a gauge stick and water-finding paste. Apply the paste to the end of the stick and then dip it into the bottom of the tank. If water is present, the paste will change colors. The MFA Oil Laboratory can also analyze fuel samples for the presence of water. Remove water immediately if found.
Replace fuel filters
A clean fuel filter goes a long way in blocking unwanted dirt, water and other impurities from entering your fuel system. As the filter catches contaminants, the flow rate is gradually reduced. Clogged filters can cause pumps to work harder and shorten equipment life. Filters should be changed at least twice a year. An easy way to remember when to change your fuel filters is to change them whenever you update the time on your clocks for daylight saving time.
Keep water out
Water can enter your fuel system through damaged gaskets, hatches, hoods, vents, hoses and fill caps. Regularly inspect these parts for damage and replace any damaged parts as necessary. MFA Oil stocks a large supply of tank parts and can assist you with replacements. Contact your local MFA Oil office to place an order.
Top treat summer fuel with BOSS All-Season Additive
If you’ve yet to use up any summer diesel fuel in your tank, top treating is a great way to guard against winter weather issues in your reaming fuel.
If you have any questions about fuel tank maintenance or the suggestions above to get your fuel tank ready for winter, contact the MFA Oil Laboratory at 800-827-0116.