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Bad not to plug my truck in at night when its cold out?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mrusk, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    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?

  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    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.
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    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.
  4. cet

    cet LawnSite Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 89

    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.
  5. BobcatBoy06

    BobcatBoy06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    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.
  6. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    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
  7. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 642

    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
  8. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 310

    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.

  9. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    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.
  10. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    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.

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