How to Use Kerosene in a Diesel Truck

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Kerosene can be added to diesel truck fuel tanks in cold winter months.

Kerosene is blended with diesel fuel to improve winter fuel operation. Kerosene blended diesel fuel is mixed with ratios from 80 parts diesel, 20 parts kerosene to a maximum 50 part to 50 part mixture depending on the severity of cold weather. While kerosene has an ignition quality similar to #2 diesel fuel, it is too thin to work well as an engine fuel alone and has poor lubricating capabilities inherent in heavier #2 diesel. Kerosene can be mixed with diesel fuel by the truck owner or operator.

Step 1

Check the vehicle's instrument panel fuel gauge to determine the amount of fuel present. If the truck is outfitted with a reserve or auxiliary tank, add that amount of fuel into the total.

Step 2

Determine the kerosene to diesel ratio desired according to the temperature in which the vehicle operates. Lower amounts of kerosene such as 20 parts to 80 parts diesel fuel are added at temperatures of 14-degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius) and below. Gradually increase the amount of kerosene for lower temperatures.

Step 3

Check the pump label before fueling. Do not presume the type of fuel dispensed based on pump handle colors.

Step 4

Add the determined amount of kerosene to the truck diesel fuel tank with the appropriate pump.


The thickness of diesel fuel acts as a lubricant to prevent wear of the engine's fuel injectors. The cetane number located on the diesel fuel pump at a service station indicates the ignition quality of diesel fuel. Diesel engines are designed to use fuels with cetane numbers of 40 to 55. A cetane number below 38 causes a more rapid increase in ignition delay.

There is no standard in place for the colors used on pump handles at fuel stations. However, kerosene storage containers must be blue.


Do not exceed a 50 part to 50 part mix of kerosene and diesel fuel. Check the vehicle manufacturer’s service manual for fuel additive recommendations before using kerosene.