When diesel turns to gel
VICTORIA’S peak motoring body says it has rescued dozens of motorists in Victoria’s Alpine regions during recent cold snaps, after their diesel turned to gel in freezing conditions.
Guy Hummerston, RACV General Manager Automotive Services said winter was always a busy time of the year, particularly for RACV’s Bright depot, which provides Emergency Roadside Assistance in the Alpine areas of Mount Hotham and Falls Creek.
In the week from 11 to 17 July, when temperatures dropped as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius, the depot responded to calls for help from 173 members, about a third of which were for frozen diesel.
It is the most common roadside emergency that our members need help with in Alpine areas during the snow season, accounting for 32 per cent of call-outs during the 2015 snow season.
So far this snow season, RACV patrols have helped 100 members get back on the road after frozen diesel incidents.
“Standard diesel turns to a gel at around minus six degrees Celsius, which can be a problem when visitors to the Alpine region fill their fuel tanks with standard diesel in Melbourne for example,” Mr Hummerston said.
“It won’t be a problem while the vehicle is running because the fuel is flowing, but when you try to start the vehicle after it has been parked in the cold for some time, the engine may not start.