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diesel truck questions

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by RonWin, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    Just bought a diesel truck and had some qs about idling. I know the temperature affects the responses I will get to these qs but how long should I let the truck warm up before driving it ? How about how long to warm up before towing/plowing with it? How long after reaching a destination should I wait to turn the engine off? Since cutting lawns is a lot of starting and stopping should one leave the eengine on instead of turning it off every time you pull up to the next house? I'm guess that would depend on how long it would take to mow blow edge trim the property for that decision?
    Naive to diesels, is there anything else I should take into consideration pertaining to treating my truck right?
    Lastly, how many miles before an oil change? I'm assuming there's gonna be a range on this one.

    Any and all info. Is appreciated! Thanks
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    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    You should start by telling us the year make model and any mods.
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    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    I let my 97 7.3 turbo idle for 10-15 min (I do plug my truck in) if I'm driving less then 10 minutes away and expect to be back in my truck within 15 min I'll idle it.
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  4. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    F350 2013 6.7 power strokes super duty diesel, dually,landscape dump body. Pull an enclosed 8'x16' hallmark tandem. Plow with xv2 8.6'
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  5. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    You can turn your truck off while you're mowing. Especially in Albany! It might not be there when ya get back! lol

    Warming up a bit doesn't hurt, it will just hurt your fuel economy. Older trucks like it more but the newer ones start a lot easier and are ready to run faster. When I picked my 2013 Duramax up the sales guy told me "If it turns on, its ready to drive." I don't believe him. Usually I think you can hear when the truck is too cold to drive right away. You'll notice a rougher louder engine noise. After a little while it'll sound a bit smoother and drop down in pitch usually. I have heard though that while breaking a diesel engine in you don't want to idol it all the time as this can scortch the pistons. I'd consult your owners manual to see what Ford suggests. Also a Powerstroke forum or even facebook group might be an educational place to look to get particulars from guys with the same exact truck. Good luck with the new rig!
  6. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,593

    Ive got an 08 f250, 6.4, and I only let it warm up in the morning. In the summer, maybe only 5 minutes if that. Longer during the winter so it's not cold inside :laugh:

    Other than that, I only really let it cool down for a couple minutes if I just pulled something a long distance or drove a long distance. And that's just to give the turbos some time to cool down.

    These newer diesels don't really need the warm up time like the older ones.. I've had 5.9s and 7.3s that wouldn't hardly move unless they idled for 10minutes, in July! But I have noticed the motor sounds rough if I just hop in and drive first thing in the morning.
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  7. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 996

    The 6.7 doesn't like to idle like the old 7.3s. Anything with a particulate filter isn't recommended to just sit and idle. It leads to a dirty and plugged exhaust filter, which is incredibly expensive to replace. Personally I wouldn't use a new 6.7 to stop and go all summer long between yards. I bought a 6.2 gas for that. I have a 6.7 also for my personal truck and it's the best truck I've ever owned. I just think there are a few potentially large problems if you use it to stop and go it's whole life.
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  8. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    I was looking into a moded 7.3. His would never warm up. I was idling for about 40 min and it still was smoking haha. I do have 2 Chevy 6.5. The one I have gagues. While idling the exhaust gasses are only 150 degrees a d isn't enought for it to really clear up and run good. I have to take off down the road and get the exhaust gas above 400 for it run smooth with throttle. This is due to being indirect injection like your 7.3. Your 7.3 most likley will be the same way. Also your glow plus cycling helps the motor warm up. Oil change is extremely vital on a 7.3. The reason being is that it uses oil pressure to open and close your fuel injectors. Nasty oil will make your truck run like crap. Also make sure you run diesel rated oil for collecting the ash given off by the combustion. This is what makes your oil black as midnight after even a short amount of time. I would say you want to change your oil around 5k and use premium oil filters that's going to keep the crap out of your oil. Also with this cold oil will effect your injectors and make it run crappy so I would say a warm-up is vital. Once you get it hot for the morning your shouldnt have to worry for the day starting and stopping because it will take a couple hrs for everything to cool off.
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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  9. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    These guys are spot-on. A few minutes of idle time in the morning is good. You only need to idle before shutdown, if you've just worked the engine, like pulling a grade and such.

    The particulate filter will plug and the truck will go into regeneration mode. That just wastes fuel, so avoid it with minimal idling. When you see a modern diesel blowing blue smoke and the smell of raw fuel out the exhaust, it's going through a regeneration cycle.

    Don't be a "Bubba" and let your diesel sit around idling. :nono:

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