View Full Version : Bad not to plug my truck in at night when its cold out?

02-05-2007, 09:47 AM
I have a 05 cummins. I never plug it in during the winter. It always starts up no proablem. I normally let it idle for atleast 15 minutes in the winter before i drive off.

Am i hurting anything by not pluging it in?


02-05-2007, 10:07 AM
I know a guy that does the same thing. Just waits for the glow plug light to cut off (if you have that on yours) and then fires right up. Never had a problem. As far as any damage I would say its more user friendly to plug it in but damage to the engine I don't think is an issue.

They have oil like gas engines.........its cold, it runs, its warm. Some diesels have issue cranking in the cold but its more a glow plug issue but if yours fires right up I don't see how there could be any problem associated with that.

I'm mostly just thinking out loud but would like to hear others comments since I just got a diesel. Even with the Internationals (mid 90's) at my last company they were not plugged in and fired right up.

02-05-2007, 10:54 AM
Yea i just wait for the glow plugs to turn off and it cranks right up. Seems like once it gets under 45 degrees it takes the glow plug light the same amount of time to run off whether it is 45 or 0 degrees.

02-05-2007, 01:42 PM
There is no way I would not plug my truck in. I have the Duramax and for the price of a new one I would always spend a few cents on the hydro to help the engine. I have mine on a timer and at the most it comes on 2 hours before I jump in the truck.

02-05-2007, 01:57 PM
It won't harm the truck it will just take the life out of the glow plugs. If you keep the truck plugged in then you won't be using the glow plugs as much so you will be extending there life. Now since the truck is newer you won't have any problems with it starting, maybe when its 4 or 5 years old.

02-05-2007, 01:59 PM
Well to start with Cummins don't have glow plugs.:D Since it is the Cummins diesel engine, no it won't hurt a thing. :waving:

I've got a 1st generation Cummins a 1991 model and it will start fine at zero not plugged in. This is a Cummins you have to remember. dieseltruckresource.com is a good place to find out all you want to know about your truck.

Good Luck with the truck. Later, Tony

02-05-2007, 05:59 PM
CHRIS THOMAS..just wondering how old youre duramax is...buddy has one and would like to relay the info to him about plugging in, casue he doesnt..wat year?? thanks man

02-05-2007, 06:06 PM
Drove a Sprinter diesel for over 10 years, never plugged it in (it had no block heater). No problem starting it even at 0 F. On the other hand, if you have a block heater, it sure got to be easier on the engine and starter, plus the heater will work faster. In any case, use the proper cold weather engine oil.


02-05-2007, 07:51 PM
I don't think it will really hurt anything not to.

But it does have it's benefits. It will cut down on the wear of the starter/charging system and you will get heat sooner. And i'm not sure if it matters or not, but the glow plugs only light for about a second whereas they normally would for probably 6 seconds.

On days with below zero temps like we're having in the midwest right now, we plug our duramax in for ~4-6 hours (usually set the timer) and let her high-idle for 10-15 minutes. It warms up a lot quicker, these diesels can take a long time to warm up! Oh, and we run a winter front when it's below ~20degrees...keeps the engine/cab warm on the highway.

02-06-2007, 09:39 AM
I never plug my cummins in, even down to -15 degrees. My ford's were another thing -they wouldn't start below 5 degrees if they weren't plugged in.

02-06-2007, 11:25 AM
I know a guy whos powerstroke took awhile to start in the summer let alone the winter. He told me he would have the block heater on all night! And he forgot to take it out the one day and kinda' ripped the service out of the wall... :laugh: But my uncles 02' Duramax if perfectly fine without the block heater in very cold conditions. Same as with the Cummins...


02-06-2007, 04:27 PM
I plug my ford in 30 and lower now we have 0 weather. The reason i would is, the old saying the worst thing you can do to a engine is starting it. Here you can go out turn the key watch the heat gauge actually go up a little while it is glowing. Besides saving your battery you dont have to idle as long and get heat a hell of a lot quicker. Things work better when it is warm rather than cold. My heat gauge actually moves as much while im glowing if it would of been summer and drove 4-5 miles. If you have a heater i would take advantage of it.

02-06-2007, 05:35 PM
Im going to be getting a duramax soon.. Can someone please explain what it means to plug it in?

John Gamba
02-06-2007, 05:53 PM
Im going to be getting a duramax soon.. Can someone please explain what it means to plug it in?

Its an air freshener. Plug it in plug it in:waving:

02-06-2007, 05:56 PM
Im going to be getting a duramax soon.. Can someone please explain what it means to plug it in?

Um if I was you I would do some reading before buying a diesel if you don't know what it means to plug it in. Its a heated coil inside the coolant line, I believe, That keeps the fluids warm for easier starts when its cold.

02-06-2007, 06:35 PM
I used to plug my 04 PSD in in winter. Yes it was warmer quicker, yes it started quicker. Also kept the winsheild less frosted. But I haven't plugged it in in last 2 winters. She still starts right up. Glow plug light just take longer to go out. But I have been noticing with this usld when a few degrees below 0 she does start a little harder.

02-06-2007, 11:21 PM
Why does it take so long.........not only here but I know of people plugginf anywhere from 1 hour to 6 hours. Is the coil heat so weak that it really takes that long? It just seems that one hour would work based on size of the engine. I don't know.