The new Nissan Pathfinder is a fantastic vehicle for negotiating the urban jungle and tackling the open highway, but what if you want to take your Pathfinder to the slopes? Heading off to the slopes provides some exciting, snowing activities, but do you need alpine diesel for your Nissan Pathfinder? Here we’ll explore the characteristics of alpine diesel and when it should be used.
The Cloud Point of Diesel
In colder climates, where it is typical for temperatures to fall below zero in winter, diesel can develop a gel like or waxy consistency. This can prevent proper flow through the engine, and it will struggle to start.
The freezing point of diesel is much warmer than the -30ºc that is needed to freeze petrol. At 0ºc, diesel starts to reach its cloud point, which is where it begins to thicken up and form a waxy texture. This creates a massive problem as it can clog filters and injectors to cause engine damage. The AS 3570-1998 Australian Standards specify that the maximum cloud point limit for diesel, depending on the local weather conditions.
Alpine diesel is a type of winter fuel that is resistant to freezing temperatures. It is more common overseas compared to Australia since we have so few areas where the temperatures are low enough to warrant it. Alpine diesel is a special blend of diesel. It is produced with a cloud point four degrees Celsius lower than standard diesel. This allows it to be used in areas where regular diesel would start to form wax.
If you’re taking your Nissan Pathfinder into an area where the temperature is likely to drop below zero, you’re likely to find service stations offering Alpine Diesel. If Alpine Diesel is not available, service stations may offer diesel additives to adjust the cloud point appropriate to the average temperatures and season.
Using Alpine Diesel
If you’re planning on taking your new Nissan Pathfinder to an area where the temperature is likely to be approaching 0ºc, you’ll need to consider Alpine Diesel. You should plan to arrive at a mountain service station with an empty tank or with a ¼ full tank. You’ll need to check service station websites for availability before you start your journey. This will allow you to fill up and protect your Pathfinder while you’re on the mountain.
As an added precaution, it is also a good idea to use an additive. This will further lower the fuel cloud point. If you’re using an additive, it should be added to warm diesel in your partly filled tank. You can then fill up and start driving to ensure the best mix. The optimum ratio is one litre of additive per 500 litres of fuel, so you should familiarise yourself with the tank size of your Pathfinder for a more accurate measurement.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Nissan Pathfinder, you should speak to us. Our sales team is available to answer any questions you may have about the Nissan Pathfinder 2018 range.