Gelled gasoline and electrical failure are the two most common reasons why people have problems with cold diesel engines. Cold diesel engine-powered apparatus must therefore be adequately maintained before being exposed to freezing temperatures. With that in mind, here are six recommendations for starting a diesel in cold weather and keeping your equipment in good working order over time.
Do Not Underestimate Warm-Up Time
It’s critical to allow your cold diesel engine to warm up. Allow your equipment to warm up for at least five minutes before using it; this will allow the hydraulic oil to warm up. If you don’t, the engine will have to work more than it needs to.
Consider Heating Options
When it comes to heating your gear and keeping it working properly, you have various alternatives.
- An electric block heater heats the coolant in the system, which warms the engine block and oil in the crankcase. This makes it easier for the engine to flip over.
- A diesel-fueled coolant heater can be used to warm up your engine in areas where power is not commonly available.
- Glow Plugs: These can aid in the ignition of cold gasoline and also heat the fuel-air combination inside a large engine.
- A Battery Tender: As the temperature drops, the cranking amperage of equipment batteries decreases. While machinery is susceptible to this type of failure, a battery tender will continue to function as long as it is fully charged. Battery cables should be checked before winter for owners of cold-diesel equipment. A battery’s ability to start machinery is harmed by bad connections.
Keep Your Diesel Exhaust Fluid Thawed
If you plan to add DEF to your apparatus later, keep it above 12 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent it from freezing. Although freezing does not reduce the uptime of your equipment, keeping DEF on hand ensures that it is ready to use when needed.
Address Frozen Fuel
During the winter, diesel fuel creating wax crystals is a more usual impediment to machinery starting smoothly. Fuel filters will become clogged as a result of the contaminated fuel, and the engine will not start. Using winter-blended diesel fuel, which lowers the temperature at which these crystals form, is one technique to prevent crystals from forming in the gasoline.
According to the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, if your fuel has frozen or gelled together, you should change the fuel filter and reheat the fuel before starting the engine. This prevents the frozen fuel from obstructing the flow of fuel from the tank to the injector pump.
Keep Your Engine in a Warm Area
If at all possible, keep your diesel engine in a warm place away from the elements like sleet and snow. Keeping the engine in a warmer environment, even if it’s only a few degrees warmer, can help it warm up faster.
Make Sure Your Fuel Tank is Full
Condensation in a fuel tank can eventually freeze, causing difficulties similar to gelled fuel. In the winter, keep your fuel tank as full as possible to prevent condensation from forming. A winter diesel fuel additive may also help to prevent your gasoline from freezing up.
You can contact your local John Deere dealer if you have any queries concerning John Deere equipment.
Connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter if you enjoyed this post or want to read more!
How do you warm up a diesel engine?
If the temperature is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, you should allow your engine to warm up for up to seven minutes. Warm-up time should be three to five minutes if the temperature is between zero and fifty degrees. Warming up to above fifty degrees takes only one or two minutes.
What happens if you don’t preheat a diesel?
This can clog injectors and cause carbon to accumulate on piston heads and in the combustion chamber. Excess unburned gasoline will trickle down the cylinder walls, removing lubricating oil from the piston rings and diluting your crankcase oil. To keep this to a minimum, you should always use your block heater.
Do diesel cars need to be warmed up?
Mr4X4: Is a longer (than suggested) warm-up time beneficial or detrimental to the engine’s longevity? Or are they simply spending unnecessary hours on the engine and burning fuel?
Tony: Because older diesel vehicles lack the pollution controls seen in newer diesels, longer warm-up times do not harm the engine. All this accomplishes is add hours to the engine’s life and waste fuel. Excessive idle times can cause DPFs and EGR valves in modern diesels to function in ways that the manufacturer does not advocate. This practice may cause the intake manifolds to soot up more than usual, and the DPFs to choke up more quickly, resulting in more burns and excessive fuel use. Modern diesels are entirely computer-controlled; some lower performance by limiting fuel flow until the vehicle is warm enough. The engine will not be harmed by going off at a steady pace and taking it easy for the first few minutes of the journey. Taking off and excessively increasing the RPMs and load on a cold engine will result in undue wear and damage. Modern diesel automobiles have more advanced cooling systems than older models, and they are engineered to warm up rapidly. Allowing the vehicle to start and idle for a minute or two would not harm it and will only benefit it, but anything more is, in my opinion, needless. It simply creates extra noise in the caravan park, needless odors, and so on for no benefit.
Mr4X4: Is there any benefit to letting your four-wheel drive idle for five minutes after pulling up for cool-down? It made sense when turbos were exclusively oil-cooled, but with newer turbos that have both water and oil cooling, is there really any point?
Tony: Idle-down depends a lot on the conditions you’ve been driving in. Five minutes is well worth it if you’ve been working hard right up until you pull up to turn it off. It would be good to just shut down if you idle around town, then get to the caravan park and reverse your van into its position. You’ve basically done the job of the turbo timer anyhow. When compared to older wastegated turbos, VNT (Variable Nozzle Turbine) turbos spin at idle and at a pretty high speed. Idle time is more about regulating temperature and allowing it to drop before cooling down.
How do you start a diesel cold car?
The combustion chamber should be warmed up. Only diesel automobiles are eligible for this strategy. Turn the ignition on and wait for the glow plugs warning light to go out before turning it off. Rep these steps numerous times to get a good result. The functioning of glow plugs will quickly heat the combustion chamber to the desired temperature.
How do you warm up a cold diesel engine?
“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.
Do diesels need to be driven hard?
The energy required to push you ahead is generated by burning this fuel in a car’s engine. Because diesel is less flammable than gasoline, it must be burned using a technique known as “compression ignition.” To burn diesel, it must be subjected to extreme pressure.
This pressure, which isn’t required in gasoline cars, puts extra strain on the engine and many of its components. What’s the end result? Parts deteriorate more quickly and fail more frequently.
Is it bad to drive a diesel cold?
This is especially critical on bitterly chilly mornings. Because hot and cold engine parts expand at different rates, gaps can emerge, potentially leading to leaks or gasket failure. Wait until the temperature sensors on your engine oil and coolant reflect that you’re in the proper operating range. Are you sure you have these readings? Also, if it’s extremely cold outside, avoid turning the steering wheel too quickly or you risk blowing a hydraulic hose. Preheated coolant is another item that will keep your engine operating longer. Your diesel’s lifespan will be shortened the more cold starts it receives. Moving parts are not protected by inconsistency in metal expansion and poor-flowing (thick) lubricants.
Is it hard on a diesel to start in cold?
Diesel drivers all across the world are grateful that their vehicles have grown easier to start in the cold. The majority of them turn over within 1.5 seconds of the ignition being turned on.
Because metal cylinder walls become extremely cold when the temperature decreases, most vehicles are more difficult to start in the winter. Diesel engines have traditionally been more difficult to start in cold weather than gasoline-powered vehicles because they require significantly greater temperatures to ignite the fuel. A variety of heaters have been designed to keep various components of the vehicle warm and cuddly even when it isn’t being driven in order to warm things up before the engine can start. Some of these accessories may be included when you purchase the car; others can be purchased and installed later if the need arises.