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Old 08-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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Diesel slow to start in cooler weather

We have a 330 diesel engine in our 2003 Jayco Avatar motorhome. It starts great in warm weather. When the temps drop into low 50's, it turns over but doesn't want to start. There are no glow plugs. We would be grateful for any suggestions to get it to start easier???

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Old 08-05-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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It has to have a pre-heat system of some kind to get the air in the cylinders warm enough to fire. The symptoms are indicating the pre-heater is not working. If you can plug the engine block heater in, that would be the final test. After warming overnight, it should start.

2004 Tiffin Allegro 27.5 ft. P32 18,000 lb GVW. 8.1 liter. Workhorse chassis built May 2002. 21,000 miles. 2012 Jeep Liberty Toad. RVi2 brake unit.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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The preheater is often an electric grid in the intake. Check that wires are connected. You might have a bad temp sensor or relay in this circuit.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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If there is not a block heater, then buying and installing would be an asset. My old girl does not like it anyway near say about 45, but engaging the block heater for only a few hours makes all the difference.

Another trick is in judicious use of the start procedure of turning over the engine for only about five seconds or so, then let it sit for about 30 seconds, and repeat. This procedure lets the cylinders warm from compression heat in between starting try.


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Old 08-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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There should be a "wait to start" light on the dash, advising you not to crank the engine yet because the intake heater isn't up to temperature yet. Are you seeing that light? And waiting?

It should start easily at 50. Or even 40.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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My pusher has an unusually placed AC Off/On switch on the rear bedroom bed frame. Often wondered what it controlled. Turned out it was the 120Vac block heater for the Cummins. Now I flip that on for an hour before starting rig in cold weather (-20F one time) and it starts right up.

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