View Full Version : Diesel Trucks in Cold Weather!

08-19-2006, 10:46 AM
Odd question from a guy who is lookin to buy a diesel truck. I go away alot on snowmobiling and hunting trips in the mountains and it gets damn cold 0 or below. If I cannot plug the truck in and I leave it for 5 days how can I know its gonna start??? Is there anything I can do to know it will??? Thanks:usflag:

08-19-2006, 12:22 PM
I found it depends on the age of the truck. Most newer diesels will start without a problem in very cold weather. The same applies to heavy equipment.

Just make sure you have GOOD batteries and add some antigel to the fuel. I use "DIESEL 911" and it seems to work good. I find that as long as the batteries can get the enigine spinning the newer trucks will start.

Older trucks I have are cranky in the cold if theyre not plugged in. Most will still start up, sometimes need a SMALL shot of ether, which you dont want to use on a newer diesel truck. I find on the older trucks its not so much a fuel problem as electrical. They will crank over a couple of times and the batteries will be low.

So as long as the truck is newer, with fresh batteries for the winter you should be fine from my experience.

Dirty Water
08-19-2006, 01:54 PM
Don't use Ether on new diesels if you can possibly avoid it.

Most modern Diesels have either a Intake Air Heater or Glow Plugs. Be sure to let it warm them (regardless of what they are) for at least 45 seconds when its that cold. You shouldn't have any trouble after that.

Randy J
08-19-2006, 02:07 PM
All the Dodge/Cummins use an intake heater - don't use ether as you won't like the results. The biggest problem would be the fuel gelling. Use an additive, let the pre-heat work as DW said and you'll have no problem.

08-19-2006, 02:35 PM
My cummins has started in zero degree conditions. I know others have started colder. The trick is to use good batteries (as has been said) and cycle the grid heater twice before starting. Glow plugs on chevy/gmc/ford I think stay on until you engage the starter so no need to cycle twice just wait a minute or two.

Also don't let the tank get too low on fuel---it will gel more easily.

08-19-2006, 02:57 PM
Thanks for all the replys. What kind of additives are best to prevent gelling??:usflag:

08-19-2006, 09:41 PM
Thanks for all the replys. What kind of additives are best to prevent gelling??:usflag:

PowerServices Diesel 911 is very good as well as their diesel fuel supplement.

Diesel 911 is in a red bottle and the fuel supplement is in white. Dont buy the grey one if you need anti gel because the grey is injector cleaner/cetane boost only with no anti get.

I have heard people say their dodge/cummins have started no problem in -15* weather. That is saying something...

08-20-2006, 01:20 PM
I have heard people say their dodge/cummins have started no problem in -15* weather. That is saying something...
That is my experience with mine. I'm also a firm believer in yellow top Optima batteries.

08-20-2006, 09:05 PM
If you are really worried, there are engine heating units that use propane to heat the engine coolant, much like a block heater. No power needed, just light it and it will cycle on and off, keeping yur engine toasty warm. Or a rent a small generator, a 5K will easily run a block heater, battery blanket and battery charger.

mike lane lawn care
08-21-2006, 12:22 AM
they make solar panels just for diesels that plug into the engine and power the heater, you should do a google search for one.

08-21-2006, 04:10 PM
a friend of mine goes snowmobiling alot and his truck started right up in -25 ambient temps. It's an 05 dmax.

My 96 powerstroke used to have tons of problems, if it was under 20 out I'd have to plug it in or it wouldnt start (first winter I had it). Changed out the batteries, got a new alternator because mine wasnt charging much, I use fuel additives every fill up now. Last winter I never had a problem, it was -10 here one time and it started fine. Kind of sucks though because all my friends that get stuck or need a tow in the winter call me, it used to be nice to say "yea the truck wont start" and stay warm in the house.

08-21-2006, 09:55 PM
Power service in the white jug is good for seperating the water You can buy it at wal-mart also. The 911 and meltdown is a good emergency item too I had a frozen fuel line on bobcat and with in a couple minutes it was running.. I used to have trouble with bobcat freezing up in winter. Good batteries are the key also.

08-21-2006, 10:04 PM
I'd like to check into it, but I can't seem to find one on the internet. Does anyone know of a brand and if they work or not? Sounds like a good idea if they can collect solar during the day and still provide juice at night for early morning start ups.