What to Know About Starting a Cold Diesel Engine

December 30, 2020 12:28 am Published by Leave your thoughts

As the weather continues to get colder during the winter months, it’s important you know how to adjust your diesel engine for the season. Cold diesel machinery needs to be properly maintained, and part of that is ensuring proper startup when the weather gets chilly.

Here’s a quick overview of what you should know about starting a cold diesel engine during the winter in Memphis, TN.

Give yourself enough time to get it warmed up

Allowing your engine enough time to warm itself up is crucial to safe and efficient operation. Before you operate the engine, make sure you let the equipment warm up at least five minutes to ensure the hydraulic oil inside of it warms up. If you do not follow this simple yet crucial step, the engine will lose a significant amount of efficiency, having to work much harder than necessary to accomplish what you need it to do.

Keep the fluid well maintained

Any diesel exhaust fluid you have on hand should be kept at temperatures over 12 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it does not freeze. While the freezing will not affect your equipment and its uptime, it is still beneficial for you to keep your diesel exhaust fluid thawed so it’s ready to go as soon as you need to dispense it.

Keep the engine warm

During the winter, make sure to store your diesel engine in a warm area to prevent it from being exposed to elements like sleet, snow and extreme cold. Even if the temperature is only a few degrees warmer, it can still be a big help to get the engine warmed up and ready for operation.

Look into various heating options

There are several heating options available to get your machinery warmed up for efficient operation. For example, an electric block heater will be able to heat up the coolant in stream, which will allow for faster warming of the engine block and oil in the crankcase to facilitate turnover. Glow plugs are another common solution, used to ignite fuel even when it’s cold, and heat the fuel-air mixture inside a large engine. Diesel-fired coolant heaters allow users to heat up engines in locations where electricity may or may not be available.

Know what to do about frozen fuel

During the winter, it is possible that diesel fuel will begin to form wax crystals if there is prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures. This will result in the engine not running, and your fuel filters getting clogged.

You can prevent crystals from forming by using a winter-blended diesel to reduce the temperature at which the crystals start to proliferate. But if you already have this freezing issue, you should change the fuel filter and warm the fuel back up before you start the engine to prevent frozen fuel from blocking the fuel flow from the tank to the injector pump.

For more information about performing a diesel truck cold start in winter in Memphis, TN, we encourage you to contact the team at United Diesel Repair with your questions.

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