Ask the Expert: How can I best prepare my fleet vehicles for the winter?

Cold weather compromises oils, lubricants, and fuel systems, making them the single most critical issue in cold weather.

Mercedes 2165462 1920
Photo by Kristián Ivančo from Pixabay

Question: Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a “polar coaster” winter with colder than normal temps and copious amounts of snow, rain, sleet, and ice. How can I best prepare my fleet vehicles?

Answer: 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This adage holds particularly true when it comes to preparing vehicles for winter’s wrath – and it’s far more economical to prepare for the elements than fix them once weather hits.

Cold weather compromises oils, lubricants, and fuel systems, making them the single most critical issue in cold weather. Silicone pad heaters are electronic heating pads designed to provide warmth to areas with fluid that are susceptible to freezing or thickening. They utilize direct heat transfer to maintain viscosity in cold weather applications and are applicable to cars and SUVs, light and heavy duty trucks, tractors, mining, snowmobiles, and ATVs.

Diesel fuel contains paraffin wax, which improves fuel viscosity and lubrication. When temperatures drop, the wax crystallizes and the fuel becomes clouded. Additional decreases in temperature will gel the fuel causing clogged fuel lines and filters as well as engine stall outs. Diesel fuel warmers, in-tank fuel warming, in-line fuel warming, and electric in-line heaters can mitigate those issues.

Batteries are also susceptible to cold; they discharge faster when cold and can take up to twice as much current to start. Phillips & Temro recommends battery heaters to maintain operative vehicle engine temperatures. When temperatures fall below 5 degrees F, engine block heaters are ideal for maintaining operative temperatures in the vehicle’s engine, reducing the risk of engine damage and extending vehicle life. 

Information provided by Phillips & Temro Industries 

More in Ask the Expert & Tech Tips