Can You Start A Diesel Truck While Its Plugged In?

It won’t hurt to turn it on while it’s connected in.

Do you unplug a diesel before starting?

For a few of reasons, you’ll want to unplug the block heater before starting the engine. Mostly so you don’t drive away with it plugged in, but also to prevent the extension line from becoming tangled in moving parts or hot components. You’ll feel warm if you’re near the block when it’s on.

Can I start my truck with the block heater plugged in?

It will not harm your automobile to have your block heater plugged in and start it at the same time. So you can either get in your car and start it, or you can start it remotely while leaving the block heater plugged in. Just remember to unplug before leaving the house.

At what temperature do I need to plug in my diesel truck?

Many of us in the Edmonton area rely on driving to get to work, bring our kids to school, and get food for our families during the winter months. While driving in light winter weather isn’t too bad, harsh winter weather puts a strain on engines. Our engines, like the majority of us, dislike the extreme cold. They work best in warmer weather, and while we can’t control the winter temperatures, we can use engine block heaters to keep our engines warm. Many of our Ford automobiles come equipped with engine block heaters to keep your engine warm throughout the chilly winter months. The cord to plug in your engine block heater is normally situated under the hood, as seen in the photographs below, and we’ve even drawn a box around it for your convenience.

What is an Engine Block Heater?

Let’s take a look at what an engine block heater is and what it does before we get into when you should plug it in. When you start your car, oil circulates through the engine block, lubricating all of the working parts. When we have harsh winter temperatures, such as -20° C or below, the oil thickens and becomes sticky. This makes it more difficult for the oil to travel through your engine, causing it to work more, consume more petrol, and emit more pollution. The engine block heater maintains a temperature that allows the oil to remain thin and flow freely through the engine block.

When to Plug in an Engine Block Heater

While the precise temperature at which you should consider plugging in your engine block heater varies, the main thing to know is that if it’s going to be severely cold overnight or early in the morning, you should probably plug in your vehicle. Newer vehicles can usually start at temperatures as low as -30° C, but if the block heater isn’t connected, the engine will be put under more strain. To be safe, plug in your engine block heater when the temperature drops to -15° C or lower. If you drive a diesel car, you may need to use the engine block heater to keep the temperature from falling too low.

When you plug in a diesel truck does it charge the battery?

You may either charge your batteries using a battery charger or jump-start them with another vehicle if your batteries fail. You would simply drive for about 30 minutes after starting the truck until the alternator recharged the batteries. Let’s start with how to use a charger to charge your batteries.

First and foremost, you will require two battery chargers. One for each of the batteries.

Step 1: Disconnect one battery’s negative terminal, then the positive terminal. Replace the second battery and repeat the procedure.

Step 2 – Connect one of the chargers’ positive clamps to one of the batteries’ positive terminals. Connect the negative terminal to the negative clamp. Repeat the procedure with the second battery and charger.

Step 3 – Set the chargers to a low-amperage charging mode. This will take longer, but the charge will be more complete.

Step 4 – After two hours, turn off the battery chargers and try to start your truck. If it still won’t start, use the steps above to reconnect the chargers and charge for another hour.

Step 5 – Starting with the negative connections, reinstall the battery terminals.

How long should diesel block heater be plugged in?

There are a number of elements to consider when deciding when to use your engine block warmer. A good rule of thumb is to leave it plugged in for at least 2-3 hours, and potentially even longer if it’s particularly chilly outside. Many individuals believe that simply starting the vehicle and allowing it to idle is sufficient to warm the oil and the engine. While this is effective, idling reduces your fuel efficiency and even causes your engine to emit more dangerous emissions. Cold engines use more gas to idle, which means you’ll have to make more journeys to Petro-Canada to keep your tank topped off.

You’ll never need to leave your engine block warmer plugged in for more than four hours. Leaving it plugged in for any longer than that is a waste of money because it will raise your electricity bill. On cooler mornings, keep an eye on the temperature outside and plug your engine in for a bit longer before leaving for work. You can also acquire a block heater timer, which will automatically turn off your engine block heater after a set period of time, so you don’t have to remember to unplug it.

How long should I leave my diesel truck plugged in?

Trying to cold start a 7.3 diesel in sub-zero temperatures is a nightmare, especially if the injectors are worn. It’s a good thing we have block heaters to keep us warm on chilly mornings.

However, how long can you leave the truck plugged in? Will the truck be harmed? Simply said, you can leave your 7.3 diesel plugged in for as long as you want. Days, weeks, or even months could pass. Although there is no reason to do so because you will be wasting power, which means more money out of your wallet, and the heating element’s life will be shortened. I know people who have had to replace their block heater about once a year simply because they leave it plugged in for far longer than is required for the truck to start easily.

So, how long should the block heater be left plugged in? Continue reading to learn more about 7.3 block heaters and other useful information.

To get a clean and easy start, a block heater simply needs to be plugged in for roughly 2-3 hours. This is ample time to warm up the coolant as well as remove the ice frost from the oil and thin it out to a degree, making it easier for the injectors to fire. If it’s really chilly outside, it could require up to 4 hours of plug time, but any longer than that and you’re wasting money. The typical 7.3 block heater consumes 1000 watts of power, which can quickly add up. Getting a plug timer switch and setting it to start pumping electricity around 3 or 4 hours before you want to leave is a cheap but efficient technique to ensure the heater only runs for the required period of time. When compared to having it plugged in all night or for several days at a time, this will save you a significant amount of money on your power bill over time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the truck should never be started with the block heater hooked in. It has the potential to damage the heating element, and it frequently does. The reason for this is that before you start the truck, the element has heated the coolant surrounding it and stabilized the temperature around it, causing damage or even failure. When you start the engine, the coolant flushes directly onto the element, which is substantially cooler. The quick shift in temperature is what damages the element, and while replacing a block heater isn’t difficult, it isn’t fun because coolant is frequently sprayed all over you and your workspace. So make sure to avoid this by unplugging right before starting the truck. Starting with the block heater plugged in will always result in heating element failure if done repeatedly, I can tell you from personal experience with my 7.3.

If you’re using the block heater and it’s been plugged in for the specified period of time and your truck is still having trouble starting, it’s necessary to double-check that the block heater is truly working. How do you double-check, you inquire? Start with a basic listening test; simply plug it in and place your head beneath the wheel well beside the element. You’re looking for a sizzling type of sound that can usually be heard on the 7.3. If you do not hear this, it is likely that your block heater is broken. The next step would be to buy a multimeter and check the cord and element for continuity. To begin, set the meter to the ohms icon, which looks something like this. After that, place one probe tip on each side of the plug and see if there is resistance; if there is, your block heater is good and your starting problem is unlikely to be caused by the block heater.

If the block heater is working but the vehicle still won’t start, it’s definitely time to look into the glow plug system or injectors. The glow plug relay is the first thing I would look into. Using a screwdriver, jump the two major terminals on the relay for around thirty seconds with the key on is an easy way to achieve this. If the vehicle starts right up after that, you’ve identified the problem. Glow plugs, wiring, harnesses, injectors, and the injector control module are all items to think about. We won’t go into great depth about all of that in this piece because it would lead us down a completely different path.

If your block heater fails the test and is found to be dead, here is a helpful video on how to replace the block heater on a 7.3 Powerstroke. Because of its low cost and high quality, I recommend the ZeroStart Block Heater.

So now you know pretty much everything there is to know about your 7.3 Powerstroke block heater, including how to test it, repair it, and care for it properly. Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope this was a useful resource for you in your goals, whatever they may be. Best of luck in your endeavors!

How cold is too cold for diesel engines?

When it comes to diesel trucks, how cold is too cold? At 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.5 degrees Celsius), the diesel fuel in your fuel tank will gel and you will have problems starting your engine. Your diesel vehicle will have troubles if the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit / -9.5 degrees Celsius. The diesel won’t be frozen solid, but it won’t be liquid either. You must now rely on heating solutions such as block heaters and glow plugs, which are not available on all diesel engines.

There’s a lot of debate regarding what temperature is too cold for a diesel truck. On the internet, it is stated that the freezing point of diesel fuel is roughly -112 degrees Fahrenheit or -80 degrees Celsius. Now you believe you will never be in a region that gets that cold, so you should be fine. Wrong.

It is not necessary for the diesel in your fuel tank and fuel lines to be solidly frozen to cause you problems. When the temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit / – 9.5 degrees Celsius, the diesel fuel begins to change shape and becomes more like a gel. Consider a gel-like fuel that travels from the fuel tank to the engine. Traveling through the fuel lines would be difficult, and you would have difficulty starting your engine in the frigid winter.

How do you start a diesel truck in cold weather?

“Rise and shine, campers, and don’t forget your booties because it’s chilly out there today…. Every day is chilly out there. What the hell is going on at Miami Beach?” (From “Groundhog Day”)

That’s true, here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, winter has returned. With a so-called “polar vortex” expected tomorrow, we thought it would be appropriate to display a video of some of the best “cold diesel starts” from last month, as well as provide some recommendations on how to start a diesel engine on a chilly day. Take a look at some of the suggestions provided below.

A Few Tips On Starting a Diesel Engine On a Cold Morning:

1. Glow Plugs and Block Warmers: On a chilly day, the vast majority of diesel engines can be started with glow plugs or block heaters. Glow plugs work by heating the internal combustion chamber, allowing for proper compression and, eventually, ignition.

2. Wait for the Glow Plugs to Warm Up: If the combustion chamber isn’t sufficiently heated with glow plugs, cold fuel sprayed over the semi-heated plugs will cause the diesel fuel to gel and stick to the cylinder heads. The wall of the heads or the surface may be damaged as a result of this.

3. Install a Second Battery: Make sure you have a fully charged battery or a separate battery specifically for the glow plugs installed. Glow plugs require a significant amount of power from your vehicle’s battery to operate. The capacity of a battery to keep a charge decreases as the temperature drops. At 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery will have 100 percent power available, but at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it will only have 46 percent. Installing a second battery could mean the difference between the motor starting and not starting.

4. Change the Oil Frequently: At 0 degrees F, an engine is typically 2-3 times harder to start due to heavier oil lubricating the engine’s hard internal parts. The greater resistance on the bearings and moving parts, the thicker the oil. Most people are unaware that the crankshaft does not “sit” on the bearings; rather, oil pressure raises the crankshaft, which floats on top of the bearings in an oil cavern. Having enough new oil with a high chemical grade will assist in keeping the internal diesel engine parts lubricated and aligned.

For diesel engines, both synthetic and natural mineral oils are suitable. Oil “goes bad” mostly as a result of chemical bi-products from the combustion cycle, such as silicon oxide and different acids, being captured in the suspension. It also loses viscosity by transferring a lot of heat away from the combustion cycle and limiting oxidation exposure at higher temperatures. Diesel engine oil is destabilized by heat, pressure, and chemical reactions.

When oil fully oxidizes, the additives separate and begin to chemically break down, resulting in black engine sludge. If a diesel engine is not unclogged and cleaned, sludge will eventually ruin it. As a result, it is critical to change the oil on a frequent basis, especially in colder locations.

5. Turn Off All Non-Essential Accessories: On a chilly winter day, you only have so much battery life available. When starting the engine, turn off headlights, radios, iPods, phone chargers, heaters, and air conditioners. If at all possible, avoid using these gadgets while the engine is running. These devices divert vital amps away from glow plugs.

6. Use the Correct Diesel Fuel: There are two types of diesel fuel: Diesel #1D and Diesel #2D. The most extensively utilized diesel fuel on the market is Diesel #2. If you go to any gas station, you’ll almost certainly find Diesel #2D as the major fuel option. Diesel #2 is the standard fuel recommendation for regular driving conditions, according to all of the major auto manufacturers. Diesel #2 has a lower flammability than Diesel #1. A higher cetane number indicates that the fuel mixture is more volatile. For light-duty diesel engines, most manufacturers recommend a cetane rating of 40-45. Due to the higher fuel economy, heavy haul truck drivers prefer to utilize Diesel #2 over long trips. More combustion stability = greater, more consistent fuel mileage.

In cold weather climates, however, Diesel #1D is advised. The viscosity of diesel fuel is also measured. Because #1D diesel is thinner, it flows more freely within the engine. During cold temperatures, Diesel #1D is also less likely to thicken or turn sludge-like. In cold conditions, the higher chemical volatility, which is generally a hindrance, becomes an asset since it ignites much quicker during compression. During the winter months, many stations will provide a blended Diesel #1 and Diesel #2 choice, despite the fact that Diesel #2D is the most popular diesel fuel option.

7. Use Winter Fuel Additives: Winter blend diesel fuel additives may be purchased at most gas and service shops and added to your diesel fuel. The Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP) is a standard test that determines the rate at which diesel fuel will flow through a filtering device under cooler circumstances. A Low Temperature Flow Test (LTFT) is also available, which evaluates the operation of diesel engines with no or inappropriate additives in the fuel lines. It’s worth noting that the Pour Point is the third and final test for determining how effective diesel fuel is at working in freezing temperatures. The Pour Point refers to the temperature at which diesel fuel loses its liquid form and pumps cease to function.

When a diesel engine is started in a cold temperature environment, it may operate for a period of time below its Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP). When this temperature is reached, the fuel from the injector pump and injectors stops flowing, and the spill is returned to the fuel tank. Cold Filter Plugging Point Additives keep fuel from freezing in lines and gelling in the engine and gas tank. Fuel will be released to the injectors after the temperature has warmed up again.

8. Mix Additives During Fueling: These additives will only work if you add them above the Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFFP). At warmer temperatures, the additives need time to mix with the fuel. On a cold day, the additives should be added right after filling up with Diesel #1D at a service station. The heated diesel fuel straight from the pump should be warm enough to adequately combine the two solutions. Choose an additive that is rated at least 10 degrees cooler than the temperature you expect to encounter if you want to drive long distances in the winter.

9. Do Not Combine Additives With Winterized Diesel Fuel: Diesel additives are not a panacea for cold-weather problems. The additives will only prevent the formation of big gel particles in the engine, which could clog the fuel filter. Regardless of the temperature or additives employed, some gelling will occur. You should not add any additional additives to a gas station’s winterized diesel fuel (not to be confused with mixed diesel fuels). Incompatibilities with a variety of additives may cause the fluids in the fuel blend to degrade, obliterating any benefits.

If you suspect the fuel has gelled, replace the fuel filter. Wait for the temperature to raise or use a block heater to warm up the engine if you fear your diesel fuel has gelled before attempting to start it. On older vehicles, a gel in the fuel filter might obstruct the passage of fuel from the tank to the injector pump, requiring quick replacement. Because they are managed by the ECM, common rail injectors are less prone to gelling.

11. Keep Your Diesel Equipment or Vehicle in a Heated Location: It may seem obvious, but even a few degrees warmer might be the difference between a vehicle that starts and one that doesn’t.

On cold days, if at all feasible, keep trucks and tractors in garages, barns, or sheds. Consider utilizing a block heater on a timer a few hours before use to save time. It may not be a quick fix, but it will assist in getting the engine started.

12. Allow Engine to Warm Up Before Putting It Under Load: Allow the engine to warm up for 5-10 minutes before putting it under load. The harder internal parts of the engine are put under higher stress when the engine gets colder (camshaft, crankshaft, connecting rods etc…) The oil temperature will reach appropriate levels and effectively lubricate the engine after only a few minutes of warming.