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.
Do I need to plug 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.
What does plugging in a diesel engine do?
As the winter months approach, you may notice diesel pickup trucks and semi-trucks hooked into power outlets. Yep. There’s a term for that. That’s why I’m here to tell you why.
A diesel engine, unlike a gasoline engine, does not use a spark plug to ignite the fuel that is injected into the cylinder; instead, it relies on the heat and pressure created by the piston moving up and down inside the cylinder. To ignite the diesel fuel, that cylinder must be at a specified temperature.
As we all know, the colder it gets outdoors, the colder everything gets outside, including your diesel engine’s cylinder. The longer it takes for the cylinder to warm up, the longer it takes to start your truck. This is where your diesel engine should be plugged in.
The line you see is attached to a block heater located inside the truck. This block heater raises the temperature of the engine coolant to roughly 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In cold weather, this keeps the cylinders warm, enabling for faster and simpler starts. Not to mention the comfort of a heated heater when you first start your truck.
Do you have to plug in diesel trucks in the winter?
Cold has the same vengeance on mechanical objects as it has on organic ones. When winter arrives, efforts must be taken to safeguard diesel engines, new oil burners, and especially older oil burners with glow plugs, in order to maintain powerplants and ensure rigs remain reliable until climates warm up.
How long can you keep a diesel 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.
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.
Why do diesels have two batteries?
If you’re a new diesel truck owner, you could be surprised when you open the hood for the first time. Unlike most cars, which only have one battery, diesel trucks have two. To crank at a greater amp, diesel trucks require two batteries. This is required because a diesel engine must start with a high-resistance load. Simply said, a diesel engine requires significantly more power to turn over than a gas engine; in fact, it requires nearly double the amount of energy.
Can diesel fuel freeze?
When temperatures drop, the bonds between diesel fuel molecules become more rigid, causing them to connect more tightly. The procedure is repeated until thin sheets of diesel are linked together, resulting in a waxy material in the fuel. A little cloudy appearance within the fluid may be the first sign. **
Enough of these wax pieces accumulate in fuel filters over time, clogging them and preventing fuel flow. If the process continues, the fuel may entirely gel, forming a waxy goo that is semi-solid. The fuel supply to the engine has been cut off, and the vehicle is unable to run!
In frigid conditions, the term “gelled” is used to describe unusable equipment. The wax creation process is aided by frozen water molecules in diesel fuel, which provide a template for the wax to develop on. Biodiesel blends tend to hold more water in suspension than other fuels, exacerbating the problem.
How do you keep diesel fuel from freezing?
Using an anti-gel fuel supplement is one approach to keep diesel fuel from crystallizing (or gelling). Anti-gels for diesel fuel are simply added to the gasoline (just drop it in the fuel tank). Diesel fuel’s freezing point is lowered by anti-gels, making it less prone to freeze in cold temperatures. (**IMPORTANT: diesel fuel conditioner, diesel fuel supplement/additive, and anti-gel are not the same thing. A diesel fuel conditioner or a supplement such as CleanBoost Maxx WILL NOT keep diesel fuel from freezing).