Winterize Your Vehicle

Since 1951, Penray has been helping vehicle owners and operators run in all weather and climates. We offer recommendations and information for vehicle operators, both diesel and gasoline-powered, who want to run trouble-free in cold temperatures.

Winterizing Your Gasoline Engine

Gasoline needs to be kept dry to avoid expensive engine shut-downs in the Winter! Proper Fuel injection maintenance helps assure quick starts and easy operation.

An annual pre-winter check will help prevent unnecessary cold weather problems.

Winterizing Steps:

1. Dry out the system:
Before the hard Winter sets in, dry your fuel system with a water-removing fuel additive such as Penray Nox-Ice 5113. These are very inexpensive, Isopropanol additives that remove any existing water from your fuel system. Make sure that your gas tank is at least one-half full and pour in a 12 oz bottle of Nox-Ice.

2. Change the fuel filter:
Install a fresh, clean fuel filter. An old fuel filter will plug much faster than a new one.

Use a fuel injector or system cleaner:
Treat your fuel with cleaning fuel treatment, such as Penray Fuel Injection Cleaner 2112, Total Fuel System Cleaner 2216, or Direct Injection Fuel System Cleaner 2113. These products address injector gumming and lubrication. They are inexpensive and effective cold weather aids that clean injectors to provide easier starting, resulting in less battery and starter wear.

Winterizing Your Diesel Fuel System

Diesel fuel can gel or even solidify in Winter weather. You may experience inconvenient, expensive down time or incur towing charges due to no-starts or even engine shut-down unless you take preventative steps!

Diesel fuel contains paraffin wax and sometimes waxy residues from biodiesel addition. These problems have increased in recent years with the required introduction of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel and biodiesel blends. When these waxes cool they can solidify into a hazy web of fine crystals that “gel” the fuel, or into light yellow or white “cotton balls” that settle to the bottom of the tank. These will be drawn into the fuel pump, plugging fuel filters and choking your fuel system. Sometimes the fuel in the tank will not appear to be gelled at all, but the accumulation of wax deposits in the filter will build-up to the point where fuel flow stops completely.

Water in fuel can be a problem at any temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Certainly, ice causes problems in filters but it is more likely to completely block the fuel pump inlet or fuel lines as it freezes solid at low points in the system. Your best bet is to make sure your system is completely dry before winter weather sets in.

Penray’s complete line of winter fuel treatment products addresses these problems in many ways. Our NoxIce disperses water so it can be carried out of the system, leaving the tank and lines completely dry when used before cold weather hits. Once the system is dry, using Penray diesel anti-gel additives will keep your fuel flowing when the temperature drops. Winter POW-R and Winter Blend formulas use our trademarked HAFI (Hybrid Antisettling Flow Improving) technology, combining powerful anti-gel that prevents wax crystal growth, dispersants to prevent microscopic crystals from settling and glycol ethers (like used in jet fuel) to prevent icing. If you are caught off-guard by a sudden cold snap, Penray’s Winter Thaw emergency diesel treatment will cut through wax and gel to get you on the road again.

All of the Penray winter treatments are formulated and packaged for maximum effectiveness. Our slogan “One bottle, one truck” means just what it says. We advise you to read the back labels of our competitor’s products and then read Penray’s. You won’t need to use double dose, triple dose or even higher treat rates with Penray products. Penray winter products are recognized across the country by fleets, owner-operators and tow truck drivers as the way to keep vehicles moving when cold weather sets in.

Winterizing Steps:

1. Dry out the system:
Before the hard Winter sets in, dry your fuel system with a water-removing fuel additive such as Penray Nox-Ice 5113. These are very inexpensive, Isopropanol additives that remove any existing water from your fuel system. Make sure that your tank is at least one-half full and pour in a quart12oz bottle of Nox-Ice.

2. Change the fuel filter:
Install a fresh, clean fuel filter. An old fuel filter will plug much faster than a new one.

3. Use a Winter additive:
Treat your fuel with Winter fuel treatment, such as Penray Winter Pow-R(registration mark) Plus 202012 and 202032. These products address both water and wax in the fuel. They are inexpensive and effective cold weather aids available for both ULSD and Biodiesel fuels.

4. Carry an emergency treatment.
If you follow the above steps you won’t likely need it, but you’ll come across someone on the side of the road that does! Penray Winter Thaw™ Emergency Diesel Fuel Treatment 202132 thaws gelled fuel and prevent fuel re-gelling/waxing with a pour point depressant/wax crystal modifier. It restores fuel flow and stops fuel icing via isopropanol and a water dispersant.

5. Inspect fuel lines and heaters.
Check your fuel lines and heaters for proper operation and blockages. If you have separate fuel lines to your heater, consider that it has been off all Summer. It is wise to check it out.

Winterizing Your Cooling System

Making sure that your truck’s cooling system is ready for cold weather is a quick but very important check! There are two things you need to know:

The Two Things To Check Are

  1. freeze point, or antifreeze concentration
  2. additive (Pencool 3000 SCA) concentration

When your truck is filled at the factory it typically receives a 50% mix of antifreeze and water with a chemical inhibitor package designed for heavy-duty operation. Over time, the engine coolant may be diluted with water during maintenance, and the additive package wears out slowly. You can check the condition of your coolant very easily by using a Penray Universal 3-way test strip TS200. These test strips will tell you right away how your coolant is doing.

If you check and find that your coolant is weak in antifreeze or additive, Penray has a step-by-step guide available that includes easy to use charts to help you get the coolant right back where you need it! Just click here (hyperlink to coolant guide online) to go to the Penray coolant guide. Now that you’ve been through the coolant check, your truck’s coolant is ready for Winter! Do you want to check out your fuel system? Choose diesel or gasoline systems to get some tips on winterizing your fuel system.

Other Cold Weather Tips

An annual pre-winter check will help prevent unnecessary cold weather problems.

Check your coolant / cooling system.

  • Coolant condition
  • Hoses (cracks, loose fittings, leaks)
  • Belts (wear and cuts, cracks)
  • Extra coolant for fill-ups if needed

Check the electrical system.

  • Have the battery(ies) checked for general condition by a qualified technician.
  • Make sure the batteries have adequate fluid.
  • Clean and coat the battery posts with protective, anti-corrosion spray (Penray 7011 and 7012).
  • Consider having an emergency product for quick starts such as Penray Starting Fluid 5301 and 5315

Tire check.

  • Check the recommended pressure for your tires and check them one morning before your drive. The recommended pressure is a “cold” temperature pressure, so that’s the best way to get an accurate reading. Some tires require special procedures to safely adjust pressure; consult a qualified tire and wheel technician if you feel your tires are low.
  • There should be good tread to permit safe Wintertime operation. At least 4/32 of an inch tread depth is recommended, and preferably more for snowy conditions. If you are likely to need chains in your driving, get them out and inspect them for readiness. A light spray of penetrating oil will keep metal chains relatively rust-free and easy to install when the time comes.
  • Carry an emergency non-flammable Tire Inflator like Penray’s Tire Fix Plus (80859, 80860, 80865, 80862) for emergencies.

Glass

  • Check the glass all around. Temperature changes can cause small nicks and divots to spread across your windshield. Get them serviced to save money and aggravation.
  • Consider having handy a spray de-icer like Penray’s Windshield Spray-Deicer  5216 which even helps thaw frozen locks!
  • Carry extra windshield washer antifreeze (Penray 5032)

Emergency Equipment.

  • Inspect and replenish your emergency kit:
    • Triangles and flares
    • Flashlight and new batteries
    • Duct tape, electrical tape
    • Basic tools
    • High energy food for a day
    • Sleeping bag/blankets
    • Heat packets
    • Waterproof boots, hat, slicker.
    • First Aid Kit
    • Emergency Water for drinking before any road trip