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Cold weather start, with and without block heater

10429 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  zoomie
The weatherman predicted -18c / 0f for this morning so I plugged in the engine heater for the first time. I used a timer that came on at 4:00am and was on for 3 hours before I came out.

With the heater the truck started like it was summer time. No delay at all. The water temp was 40c / 104f, The tranny was -9c / 15f. The engine was real smooth but the tranny shifted a little late however it warmed up very fast. It was 0c / 32f in just a couple of minutes of easy driving.

I have started it at close to this temp before without plugging it in and after I turned the key, it did it's warm up thing then started up. About 3 second delay. Then you have a very cold engine running. Is smoothed out right away but you could tell it was cold.

So I've started very cold with and without the engine heater. I have to say that I'm fine with the inconvenience of plugging it in at night if it's going to be that smooth right from the start in the morning. Saves warm up fuel too.

There are a lot colder places out there, but this is my experience.
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-21C this morning, not plugged in. Remote started went out 10min later and snow was melting off the front window. This is good as I'm concerned when I go north or just fishing around here where there is no pluggs available. This is starting to ease my fears.
When I remote start, I especially like the "higher idel" that kicks in if you have the dials turned to defrost and highest heat. My rear defroster comes on too.
Update : -18C again this morning but I reduced the block heater time to two hours. Water temp was still at 40C at start-up.
years down the road do some of you think you'll consider going for a higher output alternator?
My diesel experience with long lived cars is that you have to pay attention to the starting system. Alternator, battery, starter motor need to be in great shape to maintain dependable cold weather starting. I don't believe we need to upgrade those things, just keep them in good working order and replace them with OEM parts when needed.

My son is driving my old 2000 diesel jetta with 186,000 miles on it. It was giving us trouble starting so in went a new battery and starter motor. It starts like a champ now in the coldest weather without a block heater.
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