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Old 12-07-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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How Cold?

We've got a 2006 F-350 diesel. I've never owned a diesel before, although I've driven them in the Army.

How cold does it have to be until you need to use the fuel/block heater? It's sitting for now; we're only driving it about once a week until we actually hit the road. It's been hovering in the low-to-mid 20s this week, with single-digit wind chills.

Just wondering....
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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Hello Bob
a good write up is available at
CanadianDriver Maintenance Auto Tech: Cold diesel starting

My own experience is that it is easier on the engine overall to plug in at around -5 C (~23F) I plug in using a timer 1 hour on 30 min off etc.

Make sure your fuel is fresh or that you add an appropriate amount of additive such as Power Service (White bottle) Power Service Products, diesel fuel additives, prevent gelling, clean injectors, disperse water, boost cetane, reduce emissions, improve fuel economyPower Service Products, diesel fuel additives, prevent gelling, clean injectors, disperse water, boos or Ford equivalent
- where you are located will generally set the delivery date of winter diesel - and you may have a mix of summer and winter diesel in the tank if you have not been using the truck a lot, which could cause issues if the temp really drops.

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Old 12-08-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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When it starts to dip to -10C overnight, I will typically plug it into a timer that powers on for a couple hours first thing in the morning before I leave. Seems to do the trick. Also, I use the Power Service white bottle as Sreddy mentions above. And PS silver bottle the rest of the year
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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I guess I do over kill on mine. I plug mine in all the time, its been around 10 here in iowa. I also am a big fan of the power service products. The winter blend to keep the fuel from gelling and like was said switch to the summer blend in spring.

Could I get one of the people to answer why use a timer other than to save on elect. cost.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:30 PM   #5
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Timer use in my case is in part due to the type of engine heater (and a desire to save on elect)
I have an oil pan heater - Titan Engine oil pan heaters, filter heaters and battery warmers. Designed for cars, diesel engines, more effective than block heaters, magnetic heaters. Suitable for Volkswagen vw beetle, Audi, Land Rover, Ford, Chrysler, GM, - rather than a coolant heater and as such, continuous heating just speeds up the degradation of the oil.
This type IMHO works best and could be used continuously
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:14 AM   #6
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Thanks SR

I have the standard block heater plus battery blankets.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:35 PM   #7
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I'm not sure exactly which type of unit we have. Bought the truck used, and all the salesman said as we were picking it up is "There's the heater." Time to RTFM.
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