• About ten years ago, temperatures where I lived were hitting record lows. One morning, it was so cold, I thought my entire body was just going to stick to the air, if you know what I mean. We're talking below -40 degrees (C or F, doesn't matter, since they are the same). My truck started with a heavy grunt and I was off to work. The old folks always say to fill the tank when it's cold, since a) you don't ever want to run out of gas when it's deadly cold, and b) gas is sold by volume, not by weight, so, when it's cold, gas contracts and you get more gas for less money. Anyway... I pull up to the pump, swipe my card three or four times (electronics don't like to work at -40) and then placed the nozzle in my truck and pulled the handle and "POP!" the hose connecting the nozzle to the pump exploded. I ran inside and the attendant didn't believe me until she came outside. You see, I had to yell at her to turn off the pump, since the handle was on the end of the nozzle, which was broken off, and the gas was still flowing through the broken hose. I guess there is a safety mechanism to prevent this, but it must have also been frozen. So, as I understand it- gasoline is not a uniform substance. In colder climates, it's usually mixed with ethanol, pentane, and even butane, in order to prevent gelling, which is probably why my engine started just fine, but, sometimes instead it doesn't contain these substances, so, the gas at the station must have been cold enough and contained little enough antifreeze to gel in the hose. Even octane, though, which has a higher melting point than other chemical constituents, should not freeze until below -56 degrees. I don't think it was quite that cold, but whatever. That was a weird day for me.
  • In truth, gasoline is a mixture of many different elements, and has no clearly defined freezing point like water does. For gasoline to freeze solid, it has to get pretty cold – between about -40 and -200 degrees for most types.
    • bostjan64
      Good answer.

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