Diagnosing a Cold-Weather Propane Issue

Dear Partners of ROUSH CleanTech,
Todd Mouw, VP of sales and marketing, ROUSH CleanTech

With the colder winter months upon us, we frequently get asked how to prepare for propane fueling. For the most part, you won’t experience any differences than in the warmer months, and you don’t need to do anything special.

In this article, we address water contamination.

What should I be looking for?

Propane is a great fuel for low temperatures and will not gel or freeze. However, it is possible for your propane fuel to have water contamination. Contamination is typically introduced during transportation and transfer. Water in the fuel can freeze at low temperature, causing fuel system issues.

How do I know if I have water in my fuel?

You may have water in the fuel if your vehicle suddenly has drivability issues when temperatures drop below 35 degrees F, or if this has been an issue in past winters. Your fuel provider or an outside company can test for water. The Propane Education & Research Council’s Using Methanol in Propane document explains the different testing methods.

What can I do about it?

The best way to avoid water contamination is to make sure your fuel provider is preventing it from happening. Another way to fix water contamination is to add methanol to your propane fueling station. Methanol mixes with the water and acts like an antifreeze. It’s very important not to add too much methanol. The PERC document mentioned above outlines the proper mix. More is not better. NOTE: Don’t add methanol if your propane provider has already added it, as too much methanol can cause drivability problems.

If you have another concern about maintaining your propane vehicles or the fuel during the winter months, feel free to call us today at 800.59.ROUSH.

Happy winter and thanks for partnering with ROUSH CleanTech.

Sincerely,

Tom Hopkins

Director of Field Operations

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