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Maintenance on Diesel in the Winter

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by jitaly, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. jitaly

    jitaly Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey guys i just bought a 06 f250 turbo diesel and had some concern and questions about how to maintain it during the winter months. I've been told i have to plug it in to keep the oil and gas at a certain temp to prevent it from forming a "gel". Also was told i have to ad an additive to the gas during the winter. Truth is i've never owned a diesel and very new to it. and advice would be appreciated.
  2. ChevKid03

    ChevKid03 Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Welcome to the wonderful world of diesels.... I can tell you this.... I have NEVER once plugged my truck in at night... (depends on how cold it gets, doesn't usually get too much lower than 0* here...) The block heater only keeps the coolant "warm" and it uses ALOT of electricity to do it.. You can add a fuel additive to your tank every fill up although it isnt ENTIRELY necessary... winter fuel already has anti-gel additives in it. I just usually let my truck run for a few minutes before taking off and i take it easy...(under 2K) before I start driving like a maniac. Oh... and make sure you wait till the "wait to start" little squiggly light goes out before you start it or else it takes longer to start... good luck!
  3. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    If your truck is going to sit outside at night I would plug it in. I plug my trucks in regardless of whether they are gas or diesel. It just makes starting them that much easier.

    As far as gelling is concerned, I add anti-gel to every tank of fuel in the winter. There are several different brands to choose from. I like to use Power Service or Howes.

    Trust me when I say this...if your truck ever gels up you will never want to experience it again so do all you can to prevent it.

    Lastly, I carry a spare fuel filter in my diesels because that's another thing that will leave you dead in your tracks if it plugs up. You should learn where yours is located and how to change it out.
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Whatever you do, don't put gas in it!
  5. vinny69

    vinny69 Junior Member
    from canada
    Messages: 25

    Always plug in,use antigel and make sure you change the fuel filter EVERYTIME you change the oil because you do not want to replace the fuel pump at Large dollars.Another thing is have the injectors flushed about every 25000 miles because injectors can cost about $4-5000 to replace,but its all worth it for the smell off diesel
  6. farmer101

    farmer101 Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 112


    i was thinking that the whole time i was reading the op
  7. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Make sure you keep anti gel in it. Those 6.0's are good for clogging/sticking injectors from gelled fuel (thus needing to be replaced). I don't know if it's b/c of where the filter is located or what, but when it's below 0 they plug up for some reason.
  8. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,063

    also see if your truck has the high idle, on my dodge (Not sure on a ford) i can maually bring the rpms up to 1500 so it warms up quicker, i usually let it idle for 5 min before i raise the idle up though. ill 2nd the power service in a grey bottle, ive had my truck sit at -20 for 2 days and never had 1 problem.
  9. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    It's not a bad idea to plug it in. If you do, get a timer for your block heater. You need one capable of handling at least 1500 watts. Since the block heater reaches maximum temperature after about two hours, you can set the timer to switch on about two hours before you start the truck. Your wallet will thank you for buying the timer.

    I like to plug my truck in if its going to get below freezing. It's not that necessary but the truck starts easier and also warms up quicker.

    As far as fuel gelling, I have never had a problem with it. My truck has sat in temps well below zero and started just fine.

    Your truck should have the high idle feature. Make sure your parking brake is on and it will self activate after a few minutes. It will come down to a regular idle as soon as you touch the brake pedal.

    Check out thedieselstop.com for great advise.
  10. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Since when does the park brake need to be on?

    Or do you have a 6 speed?
  11. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    Well my driveway is steep so I always have the parking brake on when I am parked to keep the weight off of the parking sprag.

    Alright, so you dont need to have it on except if you have a manual.

    Six of one, half dozen of the other dont ya think?
  12. Lil STX Ford

    Lil STX Ford Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    I got the F250 2006 6.0 and has the idle feature to 1500rpm, also had it flashed to new flash last month.. then reflashed with a bully dog to tow for a little extra bite :)
  13. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Everytime you park? Especially when heavy and/or on a hill.....
  14. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    What would you know Chevy boy? Err ........make that gas Chevy boy.

    Why don't you go nap some dogs or something. :laughing:
  15. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    They must know my scent or something......
  16. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I alway's use Amsoil anti-gel and have never had a problem. Mine will site sometimes for weeks without being started or driven. I just started plugging it in at the end of last year. The other thing that i've always been told is, if it's going to sit for a few day's at a time to make sure it's not on empty.
  17. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    In our diesel equipment that wasn't always going to have hydro available to plug in a block heater we would drop the 15/40 for 10/30. Every revolution with little to no oil pressure has got to add up.
  18. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    !. First things first---NEVER,NEVER call your fuel ''gas'',because----if you say it,you just might by accident pump it in and draining your tank,lines,pump,and filter in the Winter is no fun.
    2.You should always year round run a diesel lubricant in every fill-up because of the extremely low lubricating properties of 15PPM diesel.Yes,the fuel companies say they put in some lube in their mix,but myself and many others don't buy it.It's just very cheap insurance to add longevity to your pumps and engine.
    3.Yes,by all means run an anti-gel when the temp. starts getting around 35* or so---choose a reputable brand--I use either Howes or Schaeffer
    4. Get in the habit of topping off at night--the more air space in the tank is more condensation space---diesel attracts moisture---water in diesel is very harmful so do everything to prevent this.
    5.Run the correct weight engine oil in the Winter--watch your drain interval.
    6.Change out your fuel filter before Ford recommends.Us Dmax guys change at 10-12K miles.Carry a spare with you.
    7.Carry a bottle of 9-11 Emergency in case you don't abide by #3 and/or it get's extremely cold.
    8.Plug in at night if the temp.reaches 0 or colder just for insurance and you will be toastier quicker and your truck will like you for it.
    9.Carry a propane torch,jumpers,and you should be all set.
  19. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    You guys make owning a diesel sound like so mulch fun....
  20. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Anyways, back to my original post and others comparing their diesel trucks. I never had a problem with my Dmaxes, 6.5's, 7.3's etc. I have however had it with 2 different 6.0's and actually both had diesel 911 in them at the time. And I mean driving and whallah, not even a no start condition, although another one is a nightmare to start cold. I was really only stating specifically 6.0's are where the issue would lie, not really any other modern diesels. Its almost as if they should have a tank or filter heater or something.

    I'm not badmouthing 6.0's either, I actually like them. It's just what I've seen first hand.