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Old 12-18-2014, 06:06 AM   #1
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Diesel in cold weather

Headed to some weather where it is going to be just above zero. I have a couple diesel heater?? switches in the coach, 2007 Beaver Marquis with 600 cat. I assume?? that I just turn these on before I get ready to start the engine. Is that correct? I don't leave them on at night when it gets really cold do I?
Thanks in advance for any assistance.

safe travel all and Happy Holidays
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:51 AM   #2
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A couple of switches? Seems odd - typically there would be only one. Somewhere there should be a switch for an engine block heater and that must be turned on at least an hour or two ahead of time to have any meaningful effect. It heats the oil or coolant in the engine to help it crank easier and start quicker, but it takes hours for much heat to warm the massive iron engine block. The block heater requires 120v power, so shore power or generator power must be available. If you have additional switches, I'm not sure what they would be for.

Most modern diesels also have an air intake heater that automatically engages when the key is turned on. If you have a "Wait to Start" light on the dash, that is tied to the air intake heater and is advising you to wait while the heater does its thing to assist in starting. The colder it is, the longer the wait will be, but we are talking seconds rather than minutes.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:03 AM   #3
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Curious, what does the owners manual say about starting this diesel in cold temperatures? Does it describe the "couple diesel heater?? switches" and what they do? Maybe one is for the block heater and one is for the oil sump heater? I don't know.

Like Gary said, it takes time to heat a big diesel engine using a block heater. On mine, I leave the block heater on all night the night before I have to start it and it makes the engine easier to start.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:13 AM   #4
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Diesel in cold weather

I concur with the above RE the block/oil heater. My practice has been to turn on that heater before going to bed the night before a morning departure if temps dip below about 40. Then I turn it off before cranking the engine over--so that I don't forget about it! My switch is in my bedroom do this works for me, but I do wish the switch were on my dash board instead. Makes more sense to me to locate it there.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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I do wish the switch were on my dash board instead. Makes more sense to me to locate it there.
I agree! Ours is located on the side of the bed frame and when my "better half" of 42 years makes the bed, she sometimes hits the switch and turns it on accidentally. I've been trying to think of a way to relocate this function to the dash board area.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYING BUTCH View Post
Headed to some weather where it is going to be just above zero. I have a couple diesel heater?? switches in the coach, 2007 Beaver Marquis with 600 cat. I assume?? that I just turn these on before I get ready to start the engine. Is that correct? I don't leave them on at night when it gets really cold do I?
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
safe travel all and Happy Holidays
FLYING BUTCH
You may have a "diesel powered engine heater", (part of the coach's furnace/water heater system?...or an "electric block heater".

There's an electric "block heater" in my 3126 Cat.
I run it for 3-4 hours before staring in temps below 20 degrees F.
To conserve electricity I use a timer, Lamp and Appliance Timer, but it is OK to run it all night long.
BTW,the block heater instructions say: "Turn it OFF before starting the engine because the electric element is fragile when energized".

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Old 12-18-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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I am assuming you have the Aqua-Hot feature on your Marquis. Most Monaco products I have seen with the Aqua-Hot feature have two switches on the dash for engine heating. One is for circulating the engine coolant through/around the Aqua-Hot boiler to heat up the engine. The other is an electrical heating element that you can use if connected to shore power.

In extreme cold, ie single digits, I will kick both on a couple of hours before departure. If mid-upper 20's my ISL fires up fine so I usually don't worry about it.

The Aqua-Hot circuit will warm it up faster as it circulated the coolant and transfers the heat directly from the boiler, the electrical heating element alone will take longer.

Also I generally have both the electric AND the diesel contributing to the Aqua-Hot when in these temps otherwise the electric alone will not keep up and you will merely keep dropping the temperature of the glycol in the boiler.

Mike.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:13 PM   #8
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On many coaches the block heater plugs into an outlet somewhere in the rear of the coach. And of course it must be plugged in to work. On the two coaches I have had the block heater was unplugged.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larry and Suzette View Post
On many coaches the block heater plugs into an outlet somewhere in the rear of the coach. And of course it must be plugged in to work. On the two coaches I have had the block heater was unplugged.
This is correct. The switch on the dash for the electrical element will control a relay which controls the outlet in the engine bay. You can verify this by opening up the engine bay, attaching a VOM to the electrical outlet that the electrical block heater plugs in to and then switch the power on the dash and watch the VOM.

Our current 03 Dynasty and our previous 1991 Beaver were exactly that same way. The difference is that our 03 Dynasty also has Aqua-Hot whereas our Beaver did not.

Mike.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:08 PM   #10
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I used a anti-freeze for Diesel Fuel when I drove over the road. I even had heater lines in the tanks. Just a precaution. @ A 60 below wind chill, will zap any fuel line. I use heat or Iso-propoline (sp) in my gasser. Better safe than sitting on the side of the HWY for a .99 cent-$1.19 fix
& of course JMO,
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #11
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I know this is off topic but Spritz be careful putting Isopropyl in 10% ethanol gas, it already has alcohol in the gas, go to this site it can explane it better.Test fuel for ethanol to protect engines from contaminated E10 gasoline.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #12
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We're full-timers. I leave the Aqua-Hot engine heater, (one of the switches on your dash), on all the time in cold weather. This keeps the coolant temperature at 100-110F even at -10F.

Keep your diesel tank as full as possible and use winter blend or treated fuel. I've used Howes anti-gel for years in all my diesel powered equipment and it has worked great for me.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:25 PM   #13
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Depending on what your rig is equipped with, it may have a diesel "furnace" like pre-heater such as the Webasto heater. Webasto:*Heating Systems

My VW Touareg has one, which is the greatest thing EVER!

It is a small, diesel powered furnace that heats and circulates the coolant (not like the block heater). In the Touareg, it turns on the HVAC and blows warm air into the cabin without starting the engine. I have a seperate keyfob for mine, if yours works off a dashboard switch, just as good.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post
Depending on what your rig is equipped with, it may have a diesel "furnace" like pre-heater such as the Webasto heater. Webasto:*Heating Systems

My VW Touareg has one, which is the greatest thing EVER!

It is a small, diesel powered furnace that heats and circulates the coolant (not like the block heater). In the Touareg, it turns on the HVAC and blows warm air into the cabin without starting the engine. I have a seperate keyfob for mine, if yours works off a dashboard switch, just as good.
That is the Aqua-Hot system. A diesel fired boiler unit that circulates a glycol solution for heating the coach and the domestic water system.

Mike.
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