The leaves are falling, and although we haven’t experienced a real cold snap yet, the winter chill is in the air, so it’s time to check your vehicle and be prepared.
Check your vehicle – there are some simple checks you should carry out regularly, but especially during winter. Check you coolant, battery, tyres, screenwash and jets, wipers, lights, locks and door seals.
Be prepared – Heavy snow and ice could wreak havoc on the roads. It is advisable to keep an emergency kit in the boot with such things as an ice-scraper, de-icer, torch, warm blankets, first aid kit, water-proofs shovel, phone charger, emergency triangle etc
Normal diesel does tend to wax in cold weather which means that producers have to mix additives to prevent this occurring in your vehicle. Similarly, our biodiesel is winterised for use in cold weather – down to between -5°C and -10°C. If you are using biodiesel and you are not sure about how much winteriser is included, we recommend using no more than a 20% blend.
Last December, the RAC reported a spate of breakdowns in diesel cars, following fuel purchases from garage forecourts. The problem was apparently more prevalent in the North East of England and Scotland, although the breakdowns arose from diesel purchased from any type of retailer.
As stated in the article, the primary cause was (and perhaps is still) unknown. However, they pointed the finger at the small 7% biofuel component, namely biodiesel. According to the biofuels statistics from the Department for Transport, biofuels actually made up about 3.5% of total road fuel and non-road fuel sold between April 2013 and April 2014 – 3.3% of road diesel fuel was biodiesel – less than half the reported 7%! It is conceivable (but highly unlikely) that this small biodiesel component was the cause of the problem if the biodiesel had a high cold filter plugging point (CFPP – learn more here) such as those made from animal fats or palm oils, and if this biodiesel was not adequately winterised. The article mentions that the fuel specification was further tightened when the problem arose – presumably they reduced the CFPP requirement by a few degrees.
Whatever the cause, I expect the fuel producers to have identified and fixed the problem for this winter. If not, we will hear about it soon!
To see the benefits of biodiesel as road fuel, please visit our FAQ page on our website, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a line: 01494521480 – we’ll be more than happy to help, or to answer any questions.