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Old 11-13-2013, 08:59 PM   #29
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Sure they tell you you really don't need it. with enough cold starts they will be right there to sell you a new engine when you need one.
Ever wonder why those 18 wheeler OTR truck drivers Do NOT shut off their engines in the Rest areas/Truck stops? keep 'em warm and they last much longer.
First, many truckers no longer run their engines all night, or when they stop at truck stops, because fuel costs so much, compared to the past. They also have generators on board to provide a minimal amount of power when they park overnight.

It seems rather cynical to think that Cummins would tell you to do something so damaging to an engine as to require replacement of the engine. Sounds like a recipe for going out of business. So I've been told by the chassis builder and the engine builder that the block heater need not be used except in very cold temps. i will follow their advice since they warrantee for five years in my coach. JMHO
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:10 PM   #30
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I would think that while Cummins may say down to 10* is OK...running the block heater makes the warm up go faster and won't hurt except for paying the electric bill if that is the case.

Then again...if we just stay where it is warm...it is a non-issue. LOL
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by vtwinwilly View Post
One more thing.

Be sure to turn the block heater off before attempting to start your engine. This instruction should be in your owners manual.

Here's the theory...

Even though your block is heated, the radiator still contains very cold coolant. When this cold coolant hits the very hot heater element, the element can be damaged.

I've messed up a time or two and forgotten to turn mine off. Heater still works so apparently it's somewhat forgiving.
Or maybe it doesn't matter?
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #32
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Living in Southern California, we don't see the temps drop below freezing very often. That being said, I rarely use my block heater, but I don't hesitate to use it when if drops below 50F. Is it really needed? Probably not, but my C7 sure starts a heck of a lot easier so I don't mind the extra electricity the heater requires.

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Old 11-14-2013, 08:41 AM   #33
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Well said Craig, engines of all sorts start better when warm and it is a lot easier on any engine if it is warm.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:21 AM   #34
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.......
It seems rather cynical to think that Cummins would tell you to do something so damaging to an engine as to require replacement of the engine. Sounds like a recipe for going out of business. So I've been told by the chassis builder and the engine builder that the block heater need not be used except in very cold temps. i will follow their advice since they warrantee for five years in my coach. JMHO
It totally depends on the number of cold starts. And even then Not all cold starts are equal. on at 10'F will be probably 10 times worse than say 30'F .
As long as they keep making engines out of metal cold starts will wear them more than warm starts.
I'm sure your not going to see it during the warrantee period.

The new aux heaters the OTR trucks use is a great device. It heats the cab and sleeper buy heating the engine coolant. The school bus I drive has one.
Its only about the size of a football. When I start it in the mornings I have a heater blowing warm air in 10 seconds. I have heard they use about a gallon of fuel overnight?? which would still be more money than plugging in a engine block/coolant heater. Too bad All OTR trucks did have these then the rest areas/truck stops would be much quieter.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:10 PM   #35
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Truth! However, they still smell like diesel exhaust, even if the engines aren't running.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:23 AM   #36
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I never use mine and I have started @ 13 degrees in the morning when leaving a campground!
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:35 AM   #37
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Hard on engine?

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Originally Posted by Snomas1 View Post
I never use mine and I have started @ 13 degrees in the morning when leaving a campground!
And I am sure your engine loves you to

At that temp. I am surprised it would even roll over without the block heater on What ever works and to each their own.......

http://www.rvtechlibrary.com/engine/preheat.htm

Quote: While your engine may even start at -10 F with just the intake manifold preheater, you aren't doing it any favors by doing this. Your stiff engine will be spinning over with thick oil and you won't have very much lubrication going on. This is the time when scoring and scuffing occurs and you'll take a bit of lifetime out of your engine every time you do that. Once it fires it'll shudder and shake and run unevenly until all of the cylinders come up to operating temperature, much like running a gasoline engine with the choke on. This can foul injectors and build up carbon on the piston heads and in the combustion chamber. The excessive unburnt fuel will run down the cylinder walls, wiping away the lubricating oil from the piston rings and thinning out your crankcase oil. You are always better off using your block heater to minimize this. If you are at a campground for a week or so that is supplying your shore power, just turn the block heater on and leave it on. It won't hurt anything and it's one less thing to remember to do the day before you plan on leaving
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:37 AM   #38
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Simple answer, you can't preheat the engine too much.

I come from a world of capital engine (engines that are considered corporate assets) these engines will get run 6~8K hours per year and not get overhauled for 10+ years.

These engines are kept warm. both the jacket water and lube oil.

So, when I can I do the same with my own engines. If it is colder than T-shirt weather, I heat the engine.

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Old 12-22-2013, 01:54 PM   #39
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Why would someone be proud of never having to run their block heater when it's cold.

The block heater was installed for a reason......duh! To heat the engine in cold weather. My idea of cold weather and someone else's idea of cold weather can certainly be different, but 30 degrees pretty much falls into every ones category of getting cold. I'm sure all of these engines will start at 10, 20 or 30 degrees, but I know that mine starts immediately, with warm coolant, warm oil and no smoke when I use my block heater for 8-10 hours before starting. Mine gets turned on the night before we leave if the weather is dipping below 35 degrees.

So.....why would I argue about using it!!!!
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #40
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Horse and the pond.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomat Don View Post
Why would someone be proud of never having to run their block heater when it's cold.

The block heater was installed for a reason......duh! To heat the engine in cold weather. My idea of cold weather and someone else's idea of cold weather can certainly be different, but 30 degrees pretty much falls into every ones category of getting cold. I'm sure all of these engines will start at 10, 20 or 30 degrees, but I know that mine starts immediately, with warm coolant, warm oil and no smoke when I use my block heater for 8-10 hours before starting. Mine gets turned on the night before we leave if the weather is dipping below 35 degrees.

So.....why would I argue about using it!!!!
The Horse was led to the water hole for a drink Don, and was not thirsty.....and then ventured out into the Desert.............
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:09 PM   #41
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Sent a note to Cummins Corporate yesterday...have seen so many answers, fought it might be interesting to see what they say. Assuming I get an answer, will advise.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #42
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Lots of opinions on this thread w.r.t cold starts and the use of the engine block heater.

Common sense suggests use the engine block heater whenever below 40F for an hour or two, to warm up the oil for an easy firing.

Below freezing I'd suggest running it a while longer, again, to have that oil warm and ready to flow when you start the engine. Minimizes wear issues, and your engine will thank you. It also fires right up under these conditions; less cranking to get 'er started.

I attended Camp Freightliner a few years ago, and that's pretty much what they recommended to the class.
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