Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Cold Start Problems - at 55 Degrees
I understand that 55 isn't COLD, but here in lies a lot of the issues. I have searched the web a bit and cannot seem to find my particular issues.
2000 Ford F-250 7.3L, 2WD
This problem has been a constant problem for several YEARS now and I've yet to figure out the issue. I'm from Texas but have lived in Virginia for about a year and when the temp gets into the 50s in either location, the truck begins to have issues starting, or more accurately, staying running. When the temp gets colder, the problem gets worse.
Description of what happens - I turn the key, let the glow plugs warm, when the light goes off - I crank the engine. It will most often start right away. It will run for as long as it takes to drive a mile or so, then it will start to have a knocking sound and I can put my foot to the floor and it will not do anything. If I'm stopped at a stop sign at this point, it will not move, but engine will remain running. If I'm in a parking lot and have let the engine run a few minutes and just try to rev it, then it will start to rhythmically rev (like a slow pulse). It will need to do this for a few minutes. If I'm driving down the road when all this happens I will lose all power and truck will stall. After a few minutes of letting it sit and run and possibly rev it some - it will run great... until it sits for a few hours and I'm right back where I started, perhaps not quite as bad.
If truck does stall, I have to turn and hold the key over for a while as it tries to crank faster and faster until it does and I give it fuel.
Engine light is on but when I've taken it to be scanned it shows an error and tells us nothing.
Sometimes engine check light does not come on immediately and rather I ride down the road until the issues start, I can feel the engine cut somewhat as usual, but then it will suddenly have about 1 second feeling like it has nitrous in it - then cuts - then engine light comes on and it runs like a champ.
Batteries have been replaced once a year or two due to necessity. Alternator replaced <1 yr ago. Fuel Filter replaced often. Water seperator emptied often. Fuel additives change nothing.
Took it into a diesel mechanic back last fall/winter. They replaced the engine oil cooler and I'm not sure, but it seemed to help - maybe just psychological.
Also - that new alternator seemed to help it run much better in general too, but just in general - not related to this issue.
I know VERY little about engines, so keep the suggestions simple, but I'm sick of dealing with this every year.