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Old 01-07-2015, 01:07 AM   #1
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Starting in Very cold weather

Per the manual I do not start/run my engine until ready to travel. Our plans have us leaving this Thursday morning and the forecast is for -15 temps with the wind chill. I have the block heater plugged in. My question is wether I should start it for awhile the day before just to lube things up or just let it go until travel time? I have no idea as to which way to go and need some big Berky advice!


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Old 01-07-2015, 06:37 AM   #2
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start it the day you leave and let it idle for about ten min. to get the turbo warm. then go slow till everything gets warm, ( engine and tran.)
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:46 AM   #3
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The biggest question is do you have blended fuel in the tank. At -15 if you do not your fuel will gell.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:56 AM   #4
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Should the engine block heater be used prior to starting. I haven't used it, but believe that it needs to be plugged in (at the rear compartment), probably turn the circuit breaker and have either shore power or generator on. Is that correct; I am heading south in two days?
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:47 AM   #5
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Yes, plug in your block heater the day before and leave it plugged in until you are ready to start the engine.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:56 AM   #6
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Starting in Very cold weather

On my Berkshire you can turn breaker on under the bed & plug heater in at the rear compartment. Assuming you are on shore power this will work

You can also just run an extension cord and just plug in the block from shore power. Overnight be more than adequate but will work fine. Three or four hours be ok.

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Old 01-07-2015, 09:19 AM   #7
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If I were getting ready for a big trip in weather that cold I would definitely start it the day before and let it run long enough to get warmed up.
If it's not gonna start you want to know that a day early!!
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:35 AM   #8
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I have not driven an air brake vehicle in weather that cold, so I wonder if frozen air lines are a concern and how to determine if it is safe to travel.


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Old 01-07-2015, 12:53 PM   #9
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If you aren't running #1 diesel you best get some fuel conditioner put in the tank as -15 will surely gel. As for air lines you should have an air dryer in the line to take care of that and drain you tank regularly or have a bleeder on the tank.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:34 PM   #10
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Should you plug in hoe engine heater if the temp gets into the teens ?? Not going anywhere but have wondered if it's a good practice to just plug in the heater when it gets that cold....


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Old 01-07-2015, 06:35 PM   #11
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The - not "hoe". Don't know where the heck that came from....


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Old 01-07-2015, 06:47 PM   #12
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if the antifreeze in the engine is good for 50 below( or even 20 or so ) you don't have to plug in
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:10 PM   #13
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No need to plug in a heater when the temp is in the teens if you don't plan to go anywhere. A warm engine will be use fewer amps to start as the oil will be less vicious. Some diesels may have an ether sniffer (usually an option) for cold weather starts but probably not used on MH's. Cold weather will cause lots of problems with diesel power if you don't maintain them properly. It is important you keep water out of your air reservoir and there is a caution not to idle the engine for long periods of time in cold weather as it can cause icing in air lines. I doubt that MH's will have an methanol/alcohol injector installed in the air line as that is usually an optional accessory. In warm humid climates like Florida you should drain your air system daily when you have been running the engine, actually it is best to drain your air tank in any climate on a daily basis. Kind of like flying (take offs are optional, landings are mandatory) with air brakes starting to move is optional but stopping is mandatory.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:40 PM   #14
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1) Wind chill does nothing for machinery. It is a guestimate of what our skin feels like. Plan on what the ambient temperature is.
2) Being a diesel owner, if you can plug in, plug it in. She will be grateful for it. There is a world of difference when I plug mine in.
3) In cold weather like that, I would give it 5 to 10 minutes before driving off. Let the gauges start to creep up off the C
4) Make sure you have fuel conditioner. I have been using and happy with Optilube XDP.

Just my 2 cents, do what you want with it.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:46 PM   #15
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Most engine wear occurs at start up, why would you go through that to see if it will run, starting and letting idle will do nothing to recharge the batteries to the level they were before you started it. Plug it in for a few hours before you leave, fire it up, wait 5 minutes and roll on out, if you don't have good fuel in it an additive would be my biggest concern at this point.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:06 PM   #16
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In very cold weather it helps to warm up the battery also. I used to put a 100w bulb next to the battery and it really helps, you'd be surprised how much heat they give off. There are heating pads for batteries if you are in continuous cold climates. You need 110v to plug into for them also.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:42 PM   #17
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Many thanks to all for your replies. As an after action review I am letting everyone know how it went:
I did have proper fuel for the weather, plugged in the block heater the day before. Day of trip it started right up and ran fine. I set the idle at 1000 rpm to warm engine/turbo- all was well until I pulled onto the road. The coach had no power and was belching dark smoke. Because of traffic I had to keep going a ways before I was able to pull over but did that at 5 miles an hour. Turns out the DEF lines were frozen and the tank very firm slush. At idle it was fine so I let warm some more. After another 20 minutes the DEF warmed up and we were ready to roll. I did the idle again at 1000 rpm. I never considered the DEF tank/lines, but won't make that mistake again.


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Old 01-12-2015, 07:52 PM   #18
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EF is little more than water and urea so ya.
Warming up an oil burner takes longer because of the extra metal and now the DEF needs time to circulate and warm up unless your DEF tank has a heater in it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:44 PM   #19
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Thank the government for one more crappy EPA system to make a simple diesel system complicated and expensive.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by po 185 View Post
if the antifreeze in the engine is good for 50 below( or even 20 or so ) you don't have to plug in
Not sure where you're coming from here dude, but I respectfully disagree. The AF in the engine will have no effect on gelled diesel fuel before starting. You want the engine to be warm so the fuel will flow, plus then you get warmed fuel going back to the tank via the return, helping keep everything flowing. If you can plug it in, plug it in. Antifreeze is irrelevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattleNsmoke View Post
Thank the government for one more crappy EPA system to make a simple diesel system complicated and expensive.
Amen, brother. The DEF is yet another way to gunk up the machine, but at least the diesels with DPF get better mileage since they added the DEF. Hotter tune, supposedly. Personally, I'd like to get rid of all that EPA crap on my truck, but that's another thread...
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