March 9, 2021 at 7:39 am #34241Matt In OklahomaModerator
I’m reading and listening to a lot of the Texas survival stories from wintermagedon. A common theme is the inability to start the vehicles.
Y’all up north I kinda need you to share your wisdom here on this subject. Also anyone with modern Diesel engine vehicles which I’ve very limited experience with.
I had the luxury of being stationed in Germany twice and in a fast react unit once. We did “cold starts” twice a day EVERY day.
A cold start is little more than starting ANY vehicle that isn’t being driven regularly and letting it run for a period of time normally around 15 minutes. You run the heaters, clear the snow/ice from windows, lights and tailpipes and even move it a little if ice is forming around the tires.
During this last weather snap I preformed this task without fail. It is not one that is a ton of fun however when in Germany I did take my son to assist and he thought starting military trucks and tracks and dragging slave cables was pretty cool.
I’ve heard derogatory comments such as “I’m not going anywhere so that’s stupid”. The weather will end and you’ll want to go somewhere then and I guess you’ll want a jump start huh? Half of y’all got remote start so that’s just laziness. Also I’ve seen folks standing in the cold when the house burned when they coulda been in their car. Thing is I’ll not argue with you. I’ll show you the way then your on your own.
So when do you start doing cold starts? For me I start when it hits teens. I do it once a day. When it hits single digits or below it’s twice a day. We’ve the luxury of weather forecast so I fill the tanks beforehand.
So what did I forget or what other pieces of wisdom are out there?
March 9, 2021 at 9:11 am #34245Crow BarKeymaster
I went about a week without starting the truck. Temps in the teens and lows in the single digits.
The truck started a bit rough but it turned over. I let it run, heaters on, while scraping snow and ice off the hood, windshield, and the roof.
Why the roof? If you dont, and the cab warms up, warms up the roof and you are out driving and come to a stop (does not even have to be sudden), all the snow slides off the roof and onto the windshield. If it is a lot, the windshield wipers might not be enough to clear the snow. And there you are, at an intersection and have to clear it.
Batter jumper. Keep it charged.
March 9, 2021 at 1:55 pm #34250namelusParticipant
Cold starts work until about -15c then glow plugs get difficult. Using a block heater 600 watt min will take about 30 min at -15 to warm block at -25 to 30 it takes 3 to 4 hours if wind ins blowing. F350 6l diesel
So when super cold we have a large insulated canvas tarp, you place over fron engine till main window and hold in place with weight. The bottom. Part of engine back from fron tires including the oil pan gets stiff fibre glass pieces to enclose it.
Under front tarp we use a space heater 150,000 btu propane burner (note propane needs to be kept inside till used or it too can freeze) light and leave for 2 hours while maintaining eye unit so nothing catches on fire.
Other trick we use is super light 0/50 full synth oil easier on start.
On the some of the equipment we buy second hand from wreckers of semi trucks something called a pro heat unit. They run off diesel and have timers you can set to on and off. These heat engine and the coolant, larger equipment ones heat the hydraulic as well. Can get one at wreckers for under $200
Also good batteries high cold crank lamps and adding battery equalizer to them when new.
The toughest starts are when it goes from wet to freezing as the moisture ices parts together for harder starts. On those starts we bring out a battery charger that has boost settings and connect. Stops from draining batters when trying to start.
Also in shoulder weather -10 c let the glow plug light go on and off a few times before you try and start heats the cylinder head. When starting use a little pressure on gas pedal as soon as it starts let off to reduce engine wear.
Also use winter fuel with added lubricant to help mitigate wear from cold starts.
We have a small portable 10 amp generator for a magnetic block heater unit from princess auto. 600 watt for under $70
Also with diesel you want to look at getting a bypass oil and coolant setup it dramatically increases your engines run time and performance as well as oil life.
You can get 7000 plus miles between changes depending on how much idle time you have. With oil being tested we are still into the good range from samples for chemical and metal composition.
Main filters are baldwing oil bypass is amsoil coolant bypass is six and we use Chevron Dello 0/40 winter and 5 /40 in summer.
The other thing you want to do in fall is fill two old socks with 95% kitty litter and 5%downy refresher and put in truck on dash or back seat. These help absorb water from being inside can so it does not freeze inside on the vehicle and makes it smell nice in spring/summer dump the socks into garbage.
Using rainx anti fog on inside of your window and rains on out side helps keeping window clear of fog and helps it thaw faster. Always pull wipers off windshield when being left for a time as iced on windshield wipers damages the wipers and you need them off to remove the ice and snow build up.
303 protectant use it on wipers when new , soak over night after heating wipers with heat gun.. makes wipers blade last for years.
March 9, 2021 at 2:04 pm #34251Matt In OklahomaModerator
Appreciate it guys
March 9, 2021 at 5:14 pm #34254namelusParticipant
Another thing is gas engines start easier in cold, so we have a tail pipe snorkel like in garage to get the fukes outside but we use it to direct fumes to heat another enclosed engine by the tarp by passing propane heater.
Also when starting in cold TURN OFF all the stuff In your car fans music draw alot of Amps when cold.
There are also battery blankets to help preserve the heat. They work better when you are doing cold starts every few hours BUT you need to take them off in summer or risk cooking a battery.
We also do not lock vehicle doors or put on parking brakes when cold. Parking brakes can freeze shut and then require you to either heat each wheel nor drive with brake on bit of which suck. Power lock doors can freeze I closed position. You should leave at least one door unlocked incase of this happening.
Have a lighter inside car… warm it up close to body and you can use to heat key if ignition freezes, this can be avoided with a shot of lubricant each year in fall
Your tires can freeze flat too dont worry they will round up again after they warm up. Nitrogen filled tires do not change this.
March 10, 2021 at 8:30 am #34265Crow BarKeymaster
On tires getting flat spots, even before COVID, I can have gone weeks without leaving the house.
The tires got flat spots. You can feel them, going down the road for about the first 10-20 minutes.
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