A Guide to Using Gas-Line Antifreeze
For those of us that deal with harsh winters, like the kind we get in the Midwest, one of the worst feelings is not being able to start your car. Many people do the usual stuff to winterize their vehicles, like changing windshield wipers, changing their oil to lower viscosities, or getting a new battery. One thing you have heard of is putting a gas additive or gas-line antifreeze in your vehicle. What does it do? Is it worth the money?
Should I use gas-line antifreeze during the winter?
Water collects in gas tanks and lines. While gasoline doesn’t freeze until it reaches -100°F, the water still freezes at 32°F. If temperatures regularly go below 0°F where you live, then gas-line antifreeze is a smart decision. Gas-line antifreeze sinks to the bottom of the tank and absorbs the water. It does this via alcohols like isopropanol or methanol. For those of you who use gas with 10% ethanol (or more), gas-line antifreeze is unnecessary as long as you keep your tank above ¼ full, as there is a significant amount of ethanol in the tank already.
Why Ice in Your Gas-Lines is an Issue
Water can get into your fuel system in a few ways, but it mostly does so via moisture in the air or tags along from the storage tank when you pump gas at a gas station. If this water freezes, it can partially clog or completely block gas-lines and fuel injectors, causing your car to start hard or not at all. Repeatedly trying to start an engine without fuel can put stress on critical operating systems.