Diesel Trucks in Cold Weather!

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Newguy25, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Newguy25

    Newguy25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    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:
     
  2. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    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.
     
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    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.
     
  4. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    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.
     
  5. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    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.
     
  6. Newguy25

    Newguy25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    Thanks for all the replys. What kind of additives are best to prevent gelling??:usflag:
     
  7. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613


    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...
     
  8. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    That is my experience with mine. I'm also a firm believer in yellow top Optima batteries.
     
  9. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 752

    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.
     
  10. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    they make solar panels just for diesels that plug into the engine and power the heater, you should do a google search for one.
     

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