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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys this is my first time owning a diesel and I still have questions about cold starting. Im a senior in High school and at our school parking lot i have no where to plug the truck in. Im worried that it will not fire up at the end of the day when its time to go home. I live in West Virginia and its gets pretty darn cold here and I know its not quite winter time yet, but it will be here before we know it. And I was just wondering and wanting to know if you guys had any tips or advice for me. I've heard several things like switch to 5w 40 oil which i have 15w40 in right now Rotella. And ive also heard cycling the glow plugs which sounds just unnessary to me, but who knows. I've also heard of people using Rev-x or something like that if anyone of you know anything about it please let me know. I'm just scared I will be stuck in the parking lot with a stubborn diesel that wont get me home lol any info would help! Thanks guys Appreciate it!
 

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Start with quality fuel from a gas station or truck stop that sells a lot of it. You don’t want the stale stuff in the tank at the coop. Then treat it with the Power Service anti-gel; I think it’s the stuff in the white bottle. The 5w40 oil is a great idea. This is also a great time to have both batteries load tested and check the freeze protection on your coolant. Just in case keep some spare fuel filters and a wrench in the truck with some Diesel ( 9-1-1 ). Make sure you have a winter survival kit in the truck that includes a tow strap,6mm Allen wrench and jumper cables ( these are for helping others ). I keep an old blanket in the truck cause it’s no fun laying on snow to change fuel filters etc.. Make sure you know how to drain the HFCM under the drivers side along the frame. There is an updated plug to make this a little easier, but I still used a 6mm Allen Wrench. Now you are set for winter fun.



WELCOME TO THE .ORG !!!
 

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i personally like howes lube, I think you'll be fine. In the winter I leave my truck parked for 3-4 days while snowmobiling in northern MI. my secret is when it gets really cold I try to start it once a day. One little trick my dad told me, your truck will always start as long as you fire it up every 4 hours. So drive to school park and on your lunch break go outside and fire it up.
 

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Living in Canada, I've personally started my truck at -40. That was without being plugged in. It took like 3 minutes of cranking, (not continuously, lol) but it started. I'm not sure how cold it gets over where you live, but at the coldest we get in Canada, my truck will start. 32-0 degrees should be no sweat. Also, all service stations put anti-gel in diesel during winter.
 

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Living in Canada, I've personally started my truck at -40. That was without being plugged in. It took like 3 minutes of cranking, (not continuously, lol) but it started. I'm not sure how cold it gets over where you live, but at the coldest we get in Canada, my truck will start. 32-0 degrees should be no sweat. Also, all service stations put anti-gel in diesel during winter.

Winterized fuel is a legal requirement by the government in Canada ,but not in the USA.:dunno:
 

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if everything is up to power you might be ok. Couple things maybe to test is the batteries and check the ficm and make sure its atleast 48volts. You can change your oil to 5w40 it will not only help with cold starts but will make your injectors happy
 

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well i just graduated last year and had the same deal as you. my ficm was slowly going out and causin hard starts especially after school. then finally it totally went and my truck wouldnt start at all. but i got the ficm replaced and new batteries and i ran ford motorcraft diesel centane booster stuff and never had any more problems.

so check ficm voltage(use the search feature at the top to find out how to check or if you have an insight), test the batteries, definitely a quality 5w40, and atleast some kind of centane booster.
if it was real cold i would cycle the glow plugs 3 maybe 4 time to make sure they were good and warmed up. its alot easier on the batteries to cycle the glow plugs a few times versus, cranking then find out that they werent warm yet.
 

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Here's what I would do (and actually have done)

1. Make sure that your truck is operating properly such as FICM health, injectors etc.
2. Get the latest Ford flash which helps with coldstarts.
3. Use Synthetic 5w40 oil (Mobil 1 or T6 have worked well for me)
4. IF you STILL have issues with cold starts / stiction, then give Rev-X a shot. I use Rev-X because I have had stiction and it works.
5. Good quality fuel and clean fuel filters.

With all the above, I can leave my 2003 unplugged and go out and start it up first time here in NY.

edit: and when the weather gets colder there will be a lot of questions on the forums. Read up on them for what works and doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys thanks for all the replys in just a short time appreciate it! And I will definately check the FICM and everything before winters comes. My truck just had filters and new oil about 1,000 miles ago so i'm pretty good on that too. And its get COLD here in West Virginia! And that just had me worried. But from what all you guys and experience you've had I feel better. And one more thing I know your supposed to let it warm up in the cold just let it idle for couple minutes. I was wondering how long do you guys let it idle or how long should i let mine.
 

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This is the time to do the high idle mod if you haven't already. It takes some time to make heat on a super cold day at idle. Idleing a 6.0 at low speed for more than about 10 min is not such a good plan. This will cause issues with wet stacking on the exhaust valves as well as goo up the EGR. The topic of idling a 6.0 opens up a huge can of worms as everyone has a diffrent take on the subject. Some guys way up north idle for days as do some utility trucks and ambulances. My feelings only would be that ideling gets you ZERO miles to a gallon. I idle my ride untill the song on the radio is done before I shut her down and when cold I turn on the high idle ( 1200 rpm ) for about 15 mins to warm the cab and engine. I think a 6.0 burns 1.5 to 2 gallons per hour at fast idle. If you are having a lot of problems keeping the heater going you may need a winter front to keep more heat in the engine. Diesels make more HP and torque than gassers and much less heat.
 
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