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Monday, December 19, 2016

Flexible And Stay Calm

We had 20" of fresh snow and went out and plugged in the block heater and started the tractor to clear the snow. Went about 20' and stopped. This is the second winter we have had this tractor and we had the same problem last year when it got colder. The diesel gelled and apparently it won't run again this year with our cold temps. I have fresh fuel and have treated it with the anti gel that the dealer recommends.

Even with all that it still gels and won't run. Tomorrow I will have to drain the fuel tank, replace both fuel filters and refill the tank. That will be labor intensive and may take most of the day because the sub frame and snow thrower will have to be taken off first. We cleared the driveway with our small walk behind Sears snow thrower. We are wondering if it would just be better to get a second walk behind snow thrower.

We bought the tractor with the snow thrower on the front to not have to walk behind the snow thrower we started with. Our old tractor was the same model and brand and we never had a problem with it not running the 12 years we had it. The new one runs fine except in cold temperatures. We are a little sad over having a pretty expensive tractor to move the snow with and have to consider buying another larger walk behind snow thrower.

We bought the new tractor because the old one was getting up in age and we 'thought' having a new one it would be more reliable. We are trying to stay flexible and calm and make the right decision. There has to be a solution to this fuel not flowing properly and maybe we will have to keep both vehicles outside and put the tractor in the garage and keep it heated with portable propane heat.

A tractor that will not run in cold weather is not much use to us so we have some hard decision to make in the next few days.


Paul Ethier said...

hey Bruce, have you tried heating the fuel filter to stop the fuel from "gelling" there are several manufacturers of wrap around heaters that run on 12 volts (assuming you have a 12 volt system). Usually it is the filter that plugs up due to the wax (paraffin)crystals as this article explains...
If you have 110 volts available there are tank heaters available (some are magnetic or stick on that will keep all the fuel warm enough to prevent this problem.
Hate to see a nice tractor sit idle :-) !

Might be worth a try... Cheers, Paul

Bruce said...

Thank you Paul: I have looked into those blanket heaters before and I feel certain they would work. I have two fuel filters at different places on the tractor so I would need something to heat all three areas.
I think I have solved my problem. I called my dealer and ask him what I wasn't being told or what I need to know to keep this from happening again. I just finished changing out the filters and draining the tank. He said that was all I could do.
I wasn't satisfied so I called a diesel mechanic and posed the problem. He told me I needed blended (#1 and #2 diesel blend) diesel and I shouldn't have the problem again. Next trip into town and I'll be buying some proper diesel fuel. I would have thought when I asked the dealer that he would have told me I was using the wrong fuel. I'm losing confidence in my dealer.
I feel certain that this will resolve the problem. I sure thank you for you advise and it is good sound advice. Thank you....

Skip said...

Bruce: I really hate to hear that the new one doesn't perform like you wanted it too. Is this the same one you thought someone sabotaged? It sounds like the same problem as before. Skip

Anonymous said...

thanks Skip: No vandalism this time. The fuel filters were thick with gelled diesel but when it was vandalized the stuff clogging the filters was the consistency of butter. It was a thick paste and not gelled.
I wasn't satisified with what my dealer was telling me feeling a key component was left out so I called Paul's diesel and Paul told me to use a blended fuel. It is available in Alamosa so next trip in I'll get that. He said that should resolve the problem. I was using the wrong diesel fuel and the dealer did not tell me.