How Long Can You Leave Your 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 long can you leave a diesel block heater plugged in?

The engine block heater should be left on for no more than four hours, according to most specialists. You’re wasting electricity if you use any more. You should leave your vehicle plugged in for at least two hours if you want it to start.

How long should a diesel be plugged in?

There are many various answers to how long you should leave the engine block heater plugged in, just as there are many different answers to when you should use the engine block heater. You don’t want to waste money, but you also want to ensure that your vehicle starts the next morning. The maximum amount of time you should leave the engine block heater plugged in is four hours, according to most experts. You’re just squandering electricity if you go any further. To ensure that your vehicle starts, you should plan on plugging it in for at least two hours. To summarize, leaving your engine block heater plugged in for anywhere between two and four hours, depending on how cold it is, will suffice.

Do diesel trucks need to be plugged in?

Why are diesel trucks equipped with a plug that may be plugged into an outlet? Its purpose is to keep the Engine Block warm so that when you need to start the engine, it will not be too cold to start. Because diesel engines do not have spark plugs, the gasoline is only ignited by the engine’s high compression.

How long should I let my Duramax warm up?

Unless it’s exceedingly cold and you didn’t plug in the block heater, 2-3 minutes should suffice. On a very cold day, you just need a few minutes to get the oil circulated and the pistons to warm up a little (-10 and colder).

Can you start a diesel with the block heater plugged in?

Having a block heater during the harsh winter months offers numerous advantages. In extreme cold temperatures, your engine will start significantly easier. So you’re set to go in the morning. It will not harm your automobile to have your block heater plugged in and start it at the same time.

Can a block heater catch fire?

Poor electrical connections around block heaters are a common cause of farm fires. Even if block heaters are working properly, plugging them into a broken cord with a bad connection can cause them to catch fire.