Powerstroke Cold Weather Start…
I want to talk about cold starts in Powerstroke trucks. Diesel fuel has no combustibility at low temperatures. That is why there are glow plugs, glow plug relays and two batteries to feed the juice necessary to turn this great big motor over and to heat the combustion chamber enough so that the fuel will light.
Some things we can check to help with cold starts:
BATTERIES: If you have batteries that are more than 3 years old and they are not Interstate batteries, then you need to get rid of them. Many people don’t know that alternators and starters will live forever if you keep good batteries in a vehicle. If a battery won’t stay charged, it won’t stay up to voltage because it is tired, the alternator will work all the time and burn up. If the batteries go low voltage and they are not holding a charge like they should, then it takes a tremendous amount of amps to crank the starter. As a result, it will burn the starter up. Therefore, keeping fresh batteries in your truck is one of the most crucial things you can do.
COOLANT: You also want to check your coolant. You want to make sure that your coolant is a good 50/50 mix. You guys up north might need to run it a little bit stronger to deal with the sub-zero temperatures.
OIL: Oil quality is crucial. Make sure your oil is changed and you use high quality oil (Rotella T6, Schaeffer’s, Mobile One). Up north, you might want to use thinner oil. I have been recommending Rotella T6 because it is readily available at Walmart and auto part stores.
FUEL AND OIL ADDITIVES: AR9100 in your oil ensures that your HEUI injectors on your 7.3s and 6.0L are lubricated correctly and that there are no stiction issues. AR6200 is highly concentrated and one 8 oz bottle will treat 640 gallons of fuel. It will help ignite the fuel at as low a temperature as it can and clean and maintain the fuel system. However, additives do not do any good unless the other systems on the truck are working correctly.
FUEL FILTERS: Make sure your fuel filters are up to speed and the fuel system is clean.
If you are like me, you want your truck to start and run correctly on a cold day. Spot hasn’t been run in over 20 days. You’ll want to key it twice on a cold day. This gets the glow plugs hot hot on a 7.3. Spot starts and goes because we are doing the things that are necessary to take care of it. If you take care of your equipment and treat it right, your equipment will take care of you.