Why Won’t My Diesel Car Start In Cold Weather?

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.

How do I get my diesel to start in the cold?

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.

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What makes a diesel hard to start in cold weather?

In cold weather, diesel engines are more difficult to start because they rely on high temperatures caused by compression to ignite the injected fuel. Gelled fuel, chilly cylinder walls, and electrical failure are the most common causes.

At what temperature do diesel engines not start?

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 long does a diesel Need to warm up?

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.

Why is my diesel having a hard time starting?

It’s the middle of the summer, and your diesel engine refuses to start. Cold-weather issues are well-known and quite common, such as utilizing summer-grade fuel in the winter, a poor glow plug system, difficulty cranking, or thick, cold oil.

Summer, on the other hand, brings with it a whole new set of issues. If your diesel refuses to start, there are a few things to examine.

If you suspect a problem with gasoline distribution, there are a number of things to look for.

  • Make sure the gasoline isn’t contaminated with air. If the engine dies soon after starting and is difficult to restart, this is the most likely cause. Air might enter the system through leaks in the fuel lines or pump.
  • Fuel filters that are clogged. Fuel filters should be changed every 20,000-40,000 miles, so if you haven’t done it recently, this is a good place to start.
  • If a new fuel filter doesn’t fix the problem, and the problem is getting worse on a vehicle with a higher mileage, it’s time to replace the pump. When you turn the ignition switch on, listen for a clicking sounds if the vehicle won’t start at all. If the click is missing, the solenoid is most likely to blame. If you hear a click but no fuel is being pushed through the injector lines and nothing is obstructing the lines, the pump needs to be replaced.

In comparison to gasoline engines, the pressure in a diesel injector is normally relatively high, however it can decrease over time. You can check the injectors’ opening pressure to see whether it’s too low or too high, as either could be troublesome.

Your injectors may be dirty if you notice a rough idle, a decrease of power, or white smoke in the exhaust on occasion. If you observe black smoke coming from the exhaust, it’s most likely due to a leaking injector. To see if your injectors are bad, check the temperatures of the cylinders or the resistance of the glow plugs (which increases as the temperature rises).

Diesel fuel, unlike gasoline, can provide an excellent home for certain microorganisms. The bacteria grows better and faster as the temperature outdoors rises. This is the most likely cause of a clogged fuel system if you notice a sulfuric odor or a black or green coating in the fuel tank. You’ll need to drain and clean the fuel tank with a biocide to get rid of it. If other elements of the system are dirty, such as the fuel lines or injection pump, you’ll have to clean those as well. To prevent the germs from returning, add a little extra biocide to the gasoline tank when you refill it.

The replacement of filters, for example, is an inexpensive and simple repair for some causes of hard starts. Others can take a long time and cost a lot of money. Ask the specialists at All in the Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair if you’re sure you’ve located the problem and that it’s rectified properly. All of your diesel maintenance and repair needs can be handled by their trained diesel specialists.

How do you warm up a diesel engine?

You aren’t allowing your engine to warm up.

Don’t be the guy who starts his hot engine and cranks it up right away. The only thing you’re bragging about is your ignorance of the fact that cold, thick oil will not adequately lube your turbo and engine bearings. Allow your engine to warm up in the same way as you would in the morning. Allow the intake heater and glow plugs to do their jobs. Start the engine and give it some time to warm up evenly from the combustion heat.

How do you treat diesel in cold weather?

The first step in fully safeguarding your diesel against cold-weather gelling and filter blocking is to install a CFI. As the weather gets colder, swap out your No. 2 diesel for a No. 1, which is devoid of paraffin wax and thus provides the optimum operability during the coldest months of the year.

Are diesels bad in cold weather?

Diesel trucks frequently experience starter issues in the cold. While newer trucks include systems that help to mitigate this issue, it will continue to be a concern to some extent. This issue can arise due to the nature of diesel fuel and its composition.

Diesel is composed up of hydrocarbons, which solidify at 40 degrees below zero degrees Fahrenheit. The fuel gets gelatinous and the truck will not start correctly if this happens in the winter. The gel-like fuel is unable to pass through filters and start the engine effectively. Both petro diesel and biodiesel suffer from this issue.

During the winter months, gasoline suppliers offer a winter mix to help alleviate this problem. Winter diesel is made up of a mixture of hydrocarbons with a lower freezing point. It is more expensive, but it allows trucks to operate in most winter conditions. However, if the weather is very cold and the fuel suppliers have not yet switched to winter diesel, this will not assist.

If you’re stuck in unusually cold weather, consider leaving the engine idle as much as possible. While idling does use fuel, it keeps the fuel warm and prevents it from gelling, which reduces your fuel efficiency.

Additives and fuel treatments can be applied to the fuel to prevent gelling and prevent disasters when diesel problems arise in the winter. When possible, this is a better option than idling because these additives were created expressly for this reason. Keep in mind that most fuels’ cloud points are between 20 and -18 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to choose an all-season additive or one created exclusively for cold areas.” (Diesel Technology)

Finally, keeping an anti-gel in your truck during the winter months is a good idea. Even if your vehicle’s fuel has entirely gelled, most anti-gels will still work. All you have to do now is pour the gel into your petrol tank and wait a few hours for it to work.

Should you warm up a diesel car before driving?

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.