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Posted: 10/26/2010 6:38:56 PM EDT
I just bought my first diesel truck a few months ago. The manual of course recommends plugging in the block heater for winter conditions. Do you do this? I do not drive my truck very often, once every couple weeks. I went ahead and installed a battery maintainer because my truck also has an automatic 12v fuel cell heater.

I ran the wire for the battery maintainer down by the plug in for the block heater. I just use a single multihead extension cord and plug in the heater and battery maintainer at once. Just curious if you guys plug your truck in?
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:51:26 PM EDT
Only if I am going to drive it and it's below 20^.  It'll start, it just takes forever to warm up if I don't plug it in.  We plug in the snowplow truck so we'll have heat when we get in it.

Diesels start well in the cold if properly maintained.

Ops
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:07:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 7:48:03 PM EDT by kkunz]
Nope because I have Webasto heater. It’s a small diesel fired boiler that heats the engine and warms the inside has a timer to set  the night before  also has a keyless remote that will kick it on from in the house, it only runs for an hour max but will take the temperature of the cab from below zero to toasty warm. Usually if its going to be less than 15 out I will us the webasto or plug in just because it is easer on the engine but have started my truck in -20 before with out being plugged. What kind of truck did you get? We have several different Dodge, Chevy, and John deer, Cat equipped vehicles and equipment and they all have different conditions that on might start better than the other even though many of them are identical.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:11:55 PM EDT
If its really just a spare truck, don't leave your block heater plugged in, its a waste of money. Get a timer, and set it to turn the heater on a couple hours before you need the truck. If your actually trying to keep it in a state of readyness for an actual emergency, then, ya, leave it plugged in when the temps are below +20*F.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:12:40 PM EDT
I did whenever it was below 30 deg. It was an older 1982 Jimmy with a 6.2L. It just made starting it a whole lot easier and it didn't wake the entire neighborhood up at 5:30 in the morning. I used one of those timers you plug into an outlet, and ran an extension cord out to my truck. I set it to come one and hour before I needed to leave.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:12:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 7:16:39 PM EDT by 43_North]
Originally Posted By kkunz:
What kind of truck did you get?


I had a 2003 1/2 ton Ram with a Hemi. Traded it in on a 2003 3/4 ton Ram Cummins. Love it!

If its really just a spare truck, don't leave your block heater plugged in, its a waste of money. Get a timer, and set it to turn the heater on a couple hours before you need the truck. If your actually trying to keep it in a state of readyness for an actual emergency, then, ya, leave it plugged in when the temps are below +20*F.


The hard thing is there is really no set time that I use the truck. Usually only to haul and or toy things. We have my wifes car as well but she is a stay at home mom. I have a take home car for work so we are pretty lucky that way. I honestly don't mind paying the dime to have it ready to go when I want to use it. I am more concerned about it being better for my motor than I am paying for the electricity to have it plugged in.....
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:34:46 PM EDT
You bought the right truck for Idaho winters. I have 2004 Cummins and have had several other dodge Cummins trucks from 89-2004. For cold weather the grid heaters on the Cummins are by far better than a glow plug system and as long as your grid heaters are working correctly, you have good batteries and your fuel does not gel you should not have to plug it in very often. I think you will be very surprised how well your 2003 will start this winter.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:43:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 7:44:10 PM EDT by kaos]





Originally Posted By 43_North:





Originally Posted By kkunz:


What kind of truck did you get?






I had a 2003 1/2 ton Ram with a Hemi. Traded it in on a 2003 3/4 ton Ram Cummins. Love it!
If its really just a spare truck, don't leave your block heater plugged in, its a waste of money. Get a timer, and set it to turn the heater on a couple hours before you need the truck. If your actually trying to keep it in a state of readyness for an actual emergency, then, ya, leave it plugged in when the temps are below +20*F.






The hard thing is there is really no set time that I use the truck. Usually only to haul and or toy things. We have my wifes car as well but she is a stay at home mom. I have a take home car for work so we are pretty lucky that way. I honestly don't mind paying the dime to have it ready to go when I want to use it. I am more concerned about it being better for my motor than I am paying for the electricity to have it plugged in.....
http://turbodieselregister.com/





Dedicated to Dodge diesel P/Ups.





 
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:44:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kkunz:
You bought the right truck for Idaho winters. I have 2004 Cummins and have had several other dodge Cummins trucks from 89-2004. For cold weather the grid heaters on the Cummins are by far better than a glow plug system and as long as your grid heaters are working correctly, you have good batteries and your fuel does not gel you should not have to plug it in very often. I think you will be very surprised how well your 2003 will start this winter.


We shall see, I absolutely love this truck! I don't know how I lived without a diesel all these years. I was pulling our toy hauler with two four wheelers with the half ton. It did the job but wow what a difference when I switched out trucks.

I like to take care of my stuff and hope that the effort/cost of plugging it in will pay off in the longevity of the truck.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 11:52:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kkunz:
You bought the right truck for Idaho winters. I have 2004 Cummins and have had several other dodge Cummins trucks from 89-2004. For cold weather the grid heaters on the Cummins are by far better than a glow plug system and as long as your grid heaters are working correctly, you have good batteries and your fuel does not gel you should not have to plug it in very often. I think you will be very surprised how well your 2003 will start this winter.


This.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 4:55:24 AM EDT
I have an '05 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel. When temps start falling into the 20-30F range (or below) I plug it in. I have it hooked up to a timer switch on the outlet and I set it to come on 2 hours before I plan to depart for work. I also will start it and let it idle for 5 mins prior to actually driving. Also, I have one of those outdoor heavy duty extension cords with the lighted connector. This way I can tell in the morning by looking out my window if it has come on and is working properly.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 6:54:00 AM EDT
Had mine plugged in last night temp gauge was 165-170 when I jumped in this morning at 0230. It really starts good without but I plug in to avoid cold starts,  fan running, warm heat,  and good warm oil to my engine.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 9:50:13 AM EDT
East tn does not get all that cold.  The coldest I have dealt with since I got my 07 jeep diesel is 15 degrees farenheit a couple times.  I work 3rd shift and the vehicle sits outside all night long in a parking lot so it is dead cold when I get off work.



Both times it started about like normal, I always wait for the light to go back out and in the 15 degree weather it took maybe a tad longer than normal.



Now with bigger engines I might worry more, but I did not when I had an 03 dodge with the h.o. cummins in it.

It idled rougher when it was really cold but I just attributed it to being a bigger 6 cylinder.



My jeep is a 3.0 liter 6 cylinder.



I am probably going to put a new battery in my jeep, while the battery starts and works fine one of the posts has extra corrosion on it and I am worried about the post being loose.



My jeep only has one battery and on a diesel I consider batteries to be more important than plugging it in.



Link Posted: 10/27/2010 11:07:03 AM EDT
Now that you got the Cummins you will probably like to take a lookhear for the filters and other goodies.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 11:12:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2010 11:17:05 AM EDT by kaos]







Originally Posted By biere:




East tn does not get all that cold.  The coldest I have dealt with since I got my 07 jeep diesel is 15 degrees farenheit a couple times.  I work 3rd shift and the vehicle sits outside all night long in a parking lot so it is dead cold when I get off work.
Both times it started about like normal, I always wait for the light to go back out and in the 15 degree weather it took maybe a tad longer than normal.
Now with bigger engines I might worry more, but I did not when I had an 03 dodge with the h.o. cummins in it.



It idled rougher when it was really cold but I just attributed it to being a bigger 6 cylinder.
My jeep is a 3.0 liter 6 cylinder.
I am probably going to put a new battery in my jeep, while the battery starts and works fine one of the posts has extra corrosion on it and I am worried about the post being loose.
My jeep only has one battery and on a diesel I consider batteries to be more important than plugging it in.
Funny you mention that:



My '97 Dodge diesel - 320K miles.
If it doesn't fire before it gets 1/2 way through the first revolution, I know the terminals need to be cleaned.  That's true hot or cold.
Naturally, if I'm planning on sucking the amperage to run the prestart ignition heaters in cold weather (Dodge doesn't use glow plugs) I want the terminals clean so they allow the batteries to charge as easily as possible.  Spinning the diesel fast enough will start it every time before the first 1/2 rev.  Slow that spin down even though you can hardly notice the difference, and the engine will go 3 or 4 revolutions before it lights off.
If you do use a block heater, the timer for the block heater is important, or you'll burn all your ammo money on electricity bills.  Do not leave it plugged in over night.  
 
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 11:34:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2010 11:35:16 AM EDT by 43_North]
If you do use a block heater, the timer for the block heater is important, or you'll burn all your ammo money on electricity bills.  Do not leave it plugged in over night.  


Guess I didn't realize it pulls that much juice for that thing. I to figured the batteries are the key, that is why I installed the maintainer to always keep them topped off.
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 12:20:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2010 7:24:00 PM EDT by Gone_Shootin]
I plug mine in if it's in the 30s or colder. And even though that's above the temp that diesel gels, it just starts alot easier.





ETA: it's my main mode of transportation at the moment since I haven't gotten around to fixing the transmission in my Bronco yet & I refise to drive my Camaro in the winter (mainly to keep it rust free).





 
Link Posted: 10/27/2010 1:41:31 PM EDT
good batterys and glow plugs make a differance only had to plug in the work truck a few times . used a heat gun from harbor freight to heat the intake of a yanmar tractor that was too cold to start dont know if it work on a bigger motor
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