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Old 03-13-2017, 03:10 AM   #1
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Diesel engine block heater

At what temperature should the diesel engine block heater be turned on? Obviously, if the temperature is below freezing and you plan on spending several hours/days in those conditions, it would be a good idea to activate the block heater. To keep this heater plugged in and on constantly doesn't make much sense to me if you never experience below freezing outside temperatures.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tizzyfit View Post
At what temperature should the diesel engine block heater be turned on? Obviously, if the temperature is below freezing and you plan on spending several hours/days in those conditions, it would be a good idea to activate the block heater. To keep this heater plugged in and on constantly doesn't make much sense to me if you never experience below freezing outside temperatures.
This is up to the owner of the engine, for me, and my experience with diesel engine's(Truck driver years back) it is easier on them to be warm when starting, When the temps. get below 40, I turn mine on.
When on shore power and cooler temps, why not warm her up? and if not on shore power, and the genset is running,warm her up.
In the Northeast, from fall to spring, when I parked my truck, I plugged it in, till I started it the next day...........plugged in all weekend also, staying nice and warm, and started up on Monday morning with ease at below zero.
At cold temps, you decide what temp. your engine will love you for keeping it warm before you need her and start her up
There have been a lot of different opinion's on this subject on here over the years, and some will be posted here..........but like I have always said, why not keep it warm............diesel engine's love the warmth, just as we do........
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:14 AM   #3
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While I don't live where it gets extremely cold (typical winter low in the 20's a few times per year, maybe the high teens once every 5-10 years), my typical block heater use on trucks an equipment it to put them on a timer to start them warming about 3 hours before expected use.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:31 AM   #4
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It kinds of depends on your rig too. Ours has the Cat 3126B engine, and start right up, even below freezing if I have forgotten to turn on the block heater. That said, I generally turn it on the night before I leave if I am plugged in.

Friends of ours with a Cummings engine pretty consistently can't start their rig below about 50 degrees outside unless they've had the block heater on at least a couple of hours. Not sure why, but that's been our and their experience.

I don't mean this as a dig on Cummings, or a plug for Cat, just what we've experienced.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hit_the_Rhod View Post
It kinds of depends on your rig too. Ours has the Cat 3126B engine, and start right up, even below freezing if I have forgotten to turn on the block heater. That said, I generally turn it on the night before I leave if I am plugged in.

Friends of ours with a Cummings engine pretty consistently can't start their rig below about 50 degrees outside unless they've had the block heater on at least a couple of hours. Not sure why, but that's been our and their experience.

I don't mean this as a dig on Cummings, or a plug for Cat, just what we've experienced.
Just fixed the outlet in electrical bay last week. First I have been able to use the engine block heater.
Prior to being fixed I did not experience problems starting the ISC 8.3 in 20* conditions with temps in the teens the previous evening. Can't say I have tried to start in any colder weather. I'm really happy I have the capability to use the block heater now. Had it going for about 5 hours prior to cold start up Saturday and noticed a much shorter time for temps to come up to normal operating range. It's got to be much better for the engine.

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Old 03-13-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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For the most part there's no need to turn on the block heat UNTIL about 4 hours before you're going to start you motor in below freezing temps. If your not getting ready to take off within 4 hours there's no need to turn it on even in -20/-40 temps.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:17 PM   #7
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Most new diesels will start in any weather. If you watch your 12 volt gauge on your dash when you start in cold weather, you may see it dip a couple of times. This is caused by the fuel rail heater. The fuel rail heater helps the coach start in cold weather.

For me personally, I use the block heater to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the engine. When you start your engine in cold weather, your oil thickens and takes longer to circulate. May not be a big deal, but why take the chance. When ever the weather drops below 35-40 overnight, I turn on the block heater for about four hours.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:26 AM   #8
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...block heaters are nice but doesn't help when the fuel gels up. I learned it the hard way. I had to wait at least six hours for the diesel to thaw before the engine caught on.
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