First time with diesel of my own. I run a 365 mile one way run in Alaska. This time of year it is -20 F or less. Am worried about stopping and leaving truck out here due to hard starts in winter. Say if I wanted to go skiing or snowmachining. (I know diesels are the fav or the snowmachiners in the area) Does anyone have experience doing this AND tricks to start the truck in ultra cold temperatures??? Some sorta heater maybe?
NOTE: For you lower 48rs that means there commonly aren't people/power/buildings or anything else for 100 miles in any direction.
I wanna make sure when I get back to truck I can start it.
I'm in Indiana and yesterday I had my first experience with my 6.5 refusing to start. Temp was about 20 degrees F, but the truck had also been sitting for several days. Thing cranked and cranked until the batteries were almost dead, but wouldn't start. So I plugged in the factory block heater and my battery charger and let it sit for about 50 minutes. When I went back, the thing cranked and started better than it ever had before, no problems. Not as cold as the weather that you all have, but I think if you leave the heater plugged in you should have no problems, maybe put a battery charger on for the batteries if you want some overkill just to make sure you'll have the necessary juice, but it sounds like you drive your truck every day as opposed to me, who drives it only a few times a week.
There is some extreme cold weather equipment out there:
Espar makes a self-contained fuel-powered coolant heater that draws fuel from the truck's tank, and runs a circulating pump from battery power. http://www.espar.com/ I've seen a couple of postings on GM installations, here or on other sites.
There are also some big-truck style fuel tank heaters that use a coolant loop. I'm looking into a smaller size of one of these for my 6.5. Manufacturers I've found so far:
I live in texas, so cold is subjectively relative, but I've had my share of hard starts in the last 2 years(since a 6.5 came in my life). usually it's the batteries and their weakness for corrosion on the lead battery terminal(where the cable goes to the starter). I've seen this so much that when I start the truckand it doesn't jump to life I check the contact at the terminals of passenger side first(most crucial). Without this terminal making adaquite contact, the motor will turn over without starting till the cell is drained. I think It has to do with the amps needed to properly heat your glowplugs. If you turn your key, and it seems to take longer than usual to get through the glowplug cycle, It seems logical that you may have a bad terminal, wire, or failing cell, and time equates to resistance in the curcuit. If you have this problem you will find it hard to even jumpstart your engine, yet if you clean your terminals with an alkaline solution it roars to life.
block heaters need 3 hours to heat, but are not rated for continuous use
also couldn't you lock your truck and leave it running(I do)Edited by: quantum mechanic
I've never had a problem starting the burb in the cold like -30's F and it's never been pluged in. We do use Howes Diesel treat so I think that takes care of the gelling problem. But it's never let us down once.
I saw posts years ago about a guy in Northern Canada who installed a set up that would start the truck when the coolant temp fell below a certain temp and it would run till it got warmed up to a certain warm temp. I would think that would be ideal as you could be gone for a days and not have to worry about power drain on batteries or any thing. As long as there is fuel and it worked your truck would always start. He said at like -40 it would start every 2-3 hours and run for about 15-20 minutes.
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