Jonathan on March 7th, 2013

2013_Mercedes-Benz_SprinterThere is a high possibility that we have readers from places with cold climate and like everyone else, you also want to save some money on your car fuel.

If you are driving a vehicle dependent on diesel, have you ever thought of the effects of the cold weather to your fuel? A group that recently tested the Sprinter cargo van by Mercedes-Benz in the Alaskan Arctic Circle, encountered some difficulties due to the very cold weather. Modern vehicles are sent to these places so they can be tested in all conditions.

Diesel, just like other fluids, may behave differently when temperature plummets. The viscosity of diesel increases in colder weather so there is a tendency for waxing or gelling until it reaches a point that the the fuel cannot be pumped anymore and the engine stalls.

This happened to the group of testers of the Sprinter vans that did not start during the second morning of its test run in the Arctic Circle. The engine did not fire up despite extra heaters in place for the vans fuel filter, emission system, and the engine.

Most of the Mercedes-Benz vans were eventually started but drivers still reported some problems along the way varying from running issues or unusual noises. Mercedes will be fielding these vans in warmer weathers so it will be hardly an issue. Vehicles that are marketed in cold climate places like Alaska, Scandinavian countries, or Canada often come with extra heaters. But again, extreme cold can still be an issue despite such provisions.

Truckers that are used to driving in such extreme weather actually leave their vehicles idling to prevent such issues. It may not be the greenest method but it will be safer to have an operational vehicle than get stuck in the Arctic Circle right?

In the colder regions, there are also special blends of diesel that are less prone to gelling. So if you are driving into a colder region, do not go on a full tank and have some space for such kind of fuel.

However high tech you vehicle can be, there will really be problems when the mercury starts to drop.

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