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Should I keep my gas tank filled up during freezing weather?

 
 
DrewDad
 
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 07:39 pm
I can kinda see where it could cause condensation if it's nearly empty... but on the other hand, isn't it full of gas fumes?
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 08:03 pm
@DrewDad,
How cold is freezing. I don't really worry about the gas tank till it's below -10C, but I also don't let it less the 1/4 tank. I don't normally plug it in till then either, normally -20C.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 08:57 pm
@Ceili,
Why is it that 15 degrees Fahrenheit sounds warmer than -10 degrees Celsius?
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 09:08 pm
@DrewDad,
Too true!!

I`ve only ever had problems once with freezing gas, but it was the fuel injection thingy... It was -44C, brutal. I had to put a blow dryer under a throw rug for a 45 minutes before it would thaw. Gas lines can freeze but it has to be pretty cold and it will only freeze if there is water vapor in the tank, which normally occurs when a tank is low.
A bigger worry of mine is freezing oil, thus the block heater.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 09:36 pm
@DrewDad,
I went into the grocery store with just under a half tank and came out a half hour later with borderline quarter tank. I doubt there were scalywags. Or do I? Seems unlikely. What's the deal?













what's
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 09:40 pm
@DrewDad,
because the -10 has a MINUS in front of it would be my best guess..

But I am a smart ass like that at times.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 12:59 am
@DrewDad,
I was wondering about that too. Been using up quite a bit of gas the last few days just trying to keep my car's battery charged enough to be able to start. It is struggling to turn over in this subzero weather. An considering investing in one of those $300 Chicago-style batteries with the uber starting strength if these unusually cold winters are going to be a trend.

Also wondered if and at what point gasoline, brake fluid, water/anti-freeze, and transmission fluid might freeze. The window washer fluid has been frozen solid for about 7 days now.

I did learn one thing today. I usually let the ignition crank until it starts; it struggles until it sounds like it is going to die before it finally kicks over. Today, I did a quick flick of the key to wake up the ignition system, then turned it off before turning the key again. It started up immediately without any struggle or straining noises. Is this something I should have been doing all along to help protect the battery?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 01:25 am
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

Today, I did a quick flick of the key to wake up the ignition system, then turned it off before turning the key again. It started up immediately without any struggle or straining noises. Is this something I should have been doing all along to help protect the battery?


Whatever works. If hanging a black feather from the antenna made it go better, that's what I would. One thing about lead - acid batteries; they tend to recuperate if they are allowed to stand for awhile. If it sounds like it is weakening, go inside and let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes.

Ceili cites one problem at -44C. Keep in mind that at minus 40, both thermometers are the same, so - 44C is really, really cold. I haven't had a problem with ice forming since 1970, and that was a cold winter in northern Illinois.

Diesel, and probably gasoline are blended differently for cold weather. If your last fill up was in warm weather, you might be running the wrong blend, so I would go ahead and fill it now.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 01:31 am
@roger,
An additional comment. When it's pouring down rain, or way below freezing, traffic sometimes moves at a snail's pace. This is not the time to run out of gas, especially since no one else is going to feel like getting out and helping.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 06:02 am
@Butrflynet,
A warm battery works better, they say you can turn on your parking lights for a bit to warm up the battery for a better start. Gotta have a good battery to begin with though.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 06:09 am
@ossobuco,
I always expect the gas gauge to show more gas in the tank after it has warmed up a bit. Expansion, I guess.

The weather here is pretty cold, [it's 8 F right now] I had maybe 1/10 of a tank left yesterday and went to fill it up specifically because I was worried about it freezing.

It's one of those things left over from my cold MN childhood though, I don't think I've ever had the gas freeze through plenty of cold WI IL and OH winters.

Probably a better safe than sorry thing.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:24 am
So, at what temperature will gas freeze?
Ceili
 
  3  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:44 am
@InfraBlue,
Gas freezes at about -72C, but when the engine's hot and then cools, moisture will condence in the tank and gas lines.
I'm pretty sure most of the problems people are having with cars having a hard time turning over, beside bad batteries, is the oil gets very thick.
I had friends who came from Ireland the year the temp dropped to -44C. They were astounded to see all these electric cars up here. I was a wee bit confused until I realized that it was the block heater cord they were refering to. If the oil is kept warm, the car will generally start like a breeze.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:55 am
@Ceili,
I arrived in Tundra Bay (thunder bay) January 2, 1977. Started my job with the Ministry of the Environment a day or two later.

I was amazed by all the hitching posts out in the parking lot. Didn't say anything, just marvelled that so many people must ride their horses to work in the summer.

<ahem>

yeah, that's for plugging the car in

I learned a lot in my days in northwestern Ontario. Nobody rides a horse to work, and it's not good to fall through the ice in February (my boss did, and I had an emergency run to get him to a place he could be warmed up slowly and safely).
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 02:47 pm
@ehBeth,
I never thought about the hitching posts, but I can certainly see why youse guys thought that. Smile
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 02:52 pm
@InfraBlue,
It doesn't take much moisture freezing in a fuel filter to block the fuel flow. The gas doesn't need to freeze, and it won't keep water from freezing.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 07:30 pm
@roger,
I'm learning all this a little late. So far so good, though.
Thanks all for the info.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 07:44 pm
@DrewDad,
Lord it shirt sleeve weather where I live now and the last time there was a few snow flakes was in the early 1980s and everyone ran out to look at them.

You guys are crazy to live in such climates........ Drunk
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 08:27 pm
@ossobuco,
there is a common product called h-e-e-t that has worked very well for me keeping gas lines )automotive( from freezing especially injectors.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 08:34 pm
@dyslexia,
Thanks, Dys. I'll look into that. The volvo sits in the driveway absorbing rays or ice as weather changes.
 

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