Gasoline freezing in a vehicle is one of the worst scenarios that can happen to a driver. And yet, some may wonder if frozen gasoline can be an asset. Since gasoline doesn’t last for long in liquid form, freezing it, like you would with food, can make it last longer…right?
Well, not exactly. The answer isn’t that simple, and just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean gasoline has the same properties as water.
In today’s article, we’ll see if you can freeze gasoline and what happens to it if you do.
Can You Freeze Gasoline?
Yes, you can freeze gasoline. However, doing so is much more difficult than people think. Unlike water, which freezes at 32°F, gasoline starts to freeze at -40°F. Depending on the exact mix, it may take an incredible temperature of about -200°F to freeze gasoline.
Not all gasoline is the same. Different refineries use different ratios of ingredients, and all these ingredients have different freezing points. This noticeably affects the freezing point of the final product.
Unless you have industrial cooling equipment at home, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to achieve and maintain temperatures that low.
Additionally, if you considered freezing gasoline as a safety measure, know that frozen gasoline will still burn and it’s no less of a hazard than liquid gasoline.
Once temperatures drop low enough, the paraffin wax within the gasoline will start to gel. Gelled gasoline won’t flow the same way normal gasoline does, so it can’t be pumped through the fuel lines, which causes your engine to clog.
Gelled gasoline is more viscous and more dense than normal gasoline. If you tried stirring normal gasoline and gelled gasoline, you’d notice that gelled gasoline is much more difficult to stir.
This can happen not only in containers (such as barrels or jerry cans), but in your vehicle, as well, which is why experts recommend you don’t leave your vehicle outside when temperatures are extremely low.
Can You Use Frozen Gasoline?
You can use frozen gasoline once you thaw it. The question is, should you? Once temperatures get low enough, gasoline starts to gel (just like diesel and every other type of fuel), and gelled fuels are terrible for engines. Gelled fuel will clog your engine and completely stop it from working.
Because of this, I honestly wouldn’t recommend freezing gasoline on purpose. Some people have success with reliquefying solutions, which break down the gel, but they’re not always successful.
With all of that in mind, you really have to ask yourself one question: Why would you even want to freeze gasoline?
It’s terribly difficult to freeze gasoline on purpose, it’s no less of a fire hazard when it’s frozen, and you won’t be able to use it for its intended purpose once you thaw it. On top of all of that, there’s no study confirming that frozen gasoline lasts longer than liquid gasoline.
How to Prevent Gasoline From Freezing
You have to keep gasoline above the freezing point if you don’t want it to freeze. Keep your gasoline containers and your vehicle in an insulated area where temperatures won’t drop below 32°F.
You can also treat your vehicle with antifreeze, which will keep the water from condensing in your vehicle and prevent gasoline from gelling. Make sure to get the right antifreeze for your vehicle, as antifreeze isn’t universal.