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Starting Deisel Ford Truck

Very cold days my F250 Pickup Is Nearly impossible to start without plugging in engine heater. On construction sites I’ve no where to plug in and the battery nearly runs down before it starts and then it takes the most part of a half hour to warm up. Is there a solution to remedy this problem?

Thank you for your help


Model year? Mileage??

Just how cold is it where you work? In very cold climates truckers let their rigs idle rather than shut them down.

When cold your oil thickens, so what weight oil are you running? You might consider running a lighter weight full synthetic oil in the winter. It stays more liquid and is easier for the starting motor to crank your engine.

Also your fuel can thicken in very, very cold weather. I think there are products sold at auto part stores that can treat your fuel in the winter that can help.

Can you let the glow plugs heat up longer before you crank the motor?

You might consider carrying another fully charged battery just to give the truck battery a boost if it should run down on you.

Year 2004 and mileage 195000 for my F250

2004 Power Stroke doesn’t use glow plugs, and it already has two batteries.

The pre-warming of the chambers is very important to starting a diesel,and on the power stroke one of the most problematic. Confirm that the system is operating correctly.

After pre-warm the next biggest culprits are:
Valve Adjustment- A hanging valve will create very hard cold starts. When were they last adjusted in the last 195,000 miles?

Injectors: A leaky injector or one with a poor spray pattern.

Weak Battery: As the temperature goes down so does the cranking power of the batteries, while the thicker oil requires more power to spin the engine. Fresh batteries, clean post connections and grounds straps and a freely spinning starter are a must.

Oil weight: Mobile-1 15-50 will greatly help in cold weather.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors in starting a diesel in cold weather, and all systems have to be functioning properly. Any one of the above by itself can cause hard starting. Two or more and you may be dead in the water.

At 195K miles, the bloom is off the rose…Compression just isn’t quite what it once was…A portable generator to power the block heater comes to mind…If they didn’t need block heaters, Ford would not have installed one…