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Old 10-13-2009, 03:08 PM
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Winter questions:

This will be my first winter with a diesel truck. It is a 97 F250. Got a few noob questions.

1. My truck has a block heater. Should I just leave it plugged in all night or just get up and plug it in when I get up in the morning?

2. How cold can it get before I need to use the block heater? The truck is not my daily driver but if I drove it to work I would not be able to plug the heater up.

3. Being as it is not my daily driver and I may drive it a little less in the winter should I leave the fuel tanks full or empty? Should I use any fuel stabilizer?

I may think of more but this should do it for now...

Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:27 PM
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I plug mine in all nite and day ,I am oncall so having ready all times is a must. It wouldn't hurt it stay plugged in all day, just your electric bill will go thru the roof,I also stanadyne every fillup and keep my tanks full hope that helps.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:26 AM
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If you're going to have your truck sit, but not be in a long term storage condition, it would probably be best to keep the tanks full, to help prevent condensation buildup. I would use a high quality fuel additive like Stanadyne, or Diesel Kleen, or the like, that will keep the fuel from geling up.

As for plugging in. Many plug their trucks in all night. The manual says for 3 hours. When it was cold out (but not super cold), I would just plug my truck in for an hour or so. It worked just fine. But when it gets really cold out, the extra time spent plugged in, really helps warm everything up, making it easier to start, and you'll have in cab heat sooner.

In regards to not being able to plug in at work. Well, it's a common issue. If everything is working properly, these trucks "should" start without issue in temps that are below freezing. Now, that's not to say that your truck will "want" to start without being plugged in, but it will be able to start.

mike
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:13 AM
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where do you live? 'cold' is relative.

assuming your glows and such ar ein good working order: glows, relay, batteries. you are in good shap, i can get mine to start with glow sdown to about 10 or 15 F. after that i need to plug in. but if i want instant warm air, i pul it in. 3 minimum to get a good starting condition when its under 20*F. all night at that temp or lower if you want instant warm air.

but agian, that varies per truck and per region.

full tanks and DK should be good enough. in fact, full tanks will probably be fine for just one winter season sitting. diesel doesnt go bad as fast as gas.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:16 AM
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You can also put the block heater on a timer to come on before you leave in the morining. I just leave mine plugged in all night because I don't pay the electric bill . I think someone figure out once how much it cost to leave it plugged in all night and it was aroud 14 cents.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:57 AM
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yeha i dont think its much. ill have to do the math for my location, but ive thought about a timer as well. thats also a great option.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:14 AM
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i leave mine plugged in all the time im home. idc if i dont drive it for a week it stays plugged in because my glows arent the strongest anymore and i dont have the cash to get new ones. but it usually results in no problems starting. this winter im getting garage priveledges though so i may just plug it in like 6 or 7 hours before i drive it. but i drive the truck to school in the winter and it sits outside for 7 or 8 hours and it starts back up just fine. its just the initial start for the day that seems to be hard on these trucks. oh and make usre your batterys are good because i had 2 bad batteries going into last winter and jumping it with a jumper to another truck on each battery still wouldnt get it to fire over. new batteries put in it and it was fine started right up. these trucks hate bad batteries. oh and fuel additive is a must. ive had mine gel up after 30 mins of driving it just depends on how it gels up. and when they gel mine doesnt like to ungel for a while lol. but good luck im sure the truck wont let you down.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:00 AM
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Mine will light at near 0*F without being plugged in, but it isn't very happy about it. Smokes and runs a bit rough for a short time..... but it lights up. Since moving to TN ( from WI ) it's much less of an issue and I never plug it in.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2009, 10:33 AM
wriott
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i leave mine pluged in all the time, the diesel up here gets treated so there is no need to treat it even more in the winter.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:46 AM
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I own a 96 Powerstroke and I lived in AK for ten years (4 years w/the truck). Even in those extreme temps (as cold as -50), I would usually only set my timer to go on about 4-5 hrs. before start-up. Worked fine. When I was at work at the gold mine, I would just plug in steady, because I wasn't paying the bill! One thing to mention is that, even in those extreme temps, the businesses that provide "bull rails" (rails containing AC outlets) usually cycle the power to those rails on and off. Generally, it was something like 2 hours on, 1 off.

In "lower 48" temps, I still usually add Stanadyne anti-gel, just for safety. Theoretically, a mix of #1 and #2 should do the trick, but better safe than sorry. If you've ever dealt with one gelling up, then you know the routine...

After saying all of that, if I didn't have to pay for AC, I would keep it plugged in every moment it wasn't running.
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