When diesel turns to gel

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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