duct tape & zip ties
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Willis, MI
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02 F350 Random Minor Problems
First off welcome, congradulations on owning one of the best trucks out there. Ok now to your questions.
1st heated seats, turn them on see if they warm up at all if any, if not most likely if they are getting power and all other components are working properly then the heating element in both seats is warn out. I don't know who the previous owners were or if they just liked hot seats but it is possible both elements are bad.
2nd Plugging in the truck, I recommend you do this especially if your from VT. Those freezing cold mornings can wreck havoc on your glow plugs and glow plug controller. As for how long to plug in before you start up I would say any where 3 to 4 hours prior to starting is good. I plug mine in all night long here in Mi but then again with my job I may have to leave in the middle of the night.
3rd Blue smoke at start up. This could be normal during the cold winter months. Or the cold spring/fall mornings. Mine does it when the temp is around 40 degrees or less.
4th Black Smoke, to me blacksmoke is good smoke, but to answer your question this is typical and normal for a diesel.
5th Engine noise, The noise you are hearing is from lifters, the engine is cold the oil is thick, if you are bothered by this alot, then you can change your oil to a lighter wieght, as in if you are running 15w40 you may want to drop down to a 10w30 in the winter. But I run 15w40 all year long. Usually this noise disappears in a couple of minutes after start up when the engine warms up a bit and the oil thins out a tad.
6th As for the noise you are hearing when you turn, it could be ball joints, could be wheelbearings, could be tires rubbing your inner fenderwells. Only one way to find out inspection time, you obviously know how to check for ball joints and wheelbearings, I am guessing you know how to check tire clearance then, incase you don't have some one get in the truck and turn the wheels while you check the clearance of the tires.
FYI I would check the center support bearing on the drive shaft. Mine went out at 120,000 miles.
Any other questions that maybe answered or that you may have please ask.
Again welcome to the site you may stay as long as you like. But you have to supply the night crew with coffee and doughnuts.