View Full Version : Extreme Cold Weather Start...
02-05-2007, 09:20 PM
It is minus 3 degrees below zero F. this morning in my area of Ohio. My Sprinter had been sitting a few days, and I didn't want to try to start it today except I needed to catch the mailman to pay a bill on time. So...
I went out, stuck the key in and turned it...and the engine didn't turn over two times before it started right up and ran smooooth! :thumbup: I was actually surprised, to tell the truth. I have no special cold-weather equipment, etc., but I do use Motor Kote in my oil and I had added a small bottle of Motor Kote Fuel Treatment the last time I filled up...which was last November, by the way. LOL...when I'm not traveling I don't drive much. By the time I had caught the mailman and drove home, my heater was putting out warm air.
This is NOT a commercial for Motor Kote...everyone to his or her own thing, (I just knew somebody would ask.) But as I said, I was surprised it started after sitting about three days in minus zero temps. I don't think my Dodge Ram 3500 would have started if I still had it. I LOVE MY SPRINTER!!! :D
02-05-2007, 11:14 PM
Well we're starting to get those temps now. My Sprinter fires right up in the morning. I've been using Power Services' Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost and haven't had any problems. I let it run for a bit to warm up, so slightly :wtf:. It took a little while to use to that coming from a Gas Van.
I just got my Sprinter a few weeks ago but I think I'm going to have to add on to my garage :thumbup: It sucks not to be able to pull it inside to work on it. My "shop" bay worked with my old van with the ladder rack but it's not even close with the high top Sprinter.
02-06-2007, 01:48 PM
Howdy Folks -
I have a 2005 Airstream Sprinter Westfalia with roughly 24K miles on it and the original battery.
I use the camper year round - both as a camper and also as an occasional daily driver - and live in the Boston, MA Metro area. We regularly see temperatures below freezing in winter and are currently experiencing temperatures in the 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit range. I have also camped in the vehicle at temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
I have never used any fuel or oil additives.
I generally try to remember to use the Aux Heater to pre-heat my coolant and engine before starting it in cold conditions but I sometimes forget.
I have never had a problem with the battery and starter being able to both turn the engine over and get it to fire up (I always wait for the glow plug light to turn off before I start cranking).
I have on at least one occasion found that I ended up in limp home mode when I tried to accelerate hard after a 10 degree F cold start (no pre-heat with Aux Heater) but this problem went away after a stop and re-start.
My take is that a good / well-charged battery and good diesel should allow easy starting of a Sprinter without the need for fuel or oil additives.
Use the Aux Heater if you have it (start the heater up maybe as long as 30 minutes before you want to start the vehicle engine) and make certain your fuel filter is not old and therefore plugged up with dirt and/or water.
Just my 2 cents,
07-28-2007, 03:27 PM
Hi Zack and others -
I came across this post this morning, and since I'm in Wisconsin, it seems that may have some cold weather starting on occasions, as the Sprinter will be parked outside as well.
I know ... here comes a dumb question.:crazy: Is the aux. heater the same thing as the espar heater? I have the aux. heating/cooling unit on the roof, and I have the little display panel that can automatically set the heater to turn on/off.
In addition to that, I also have the button by the air conditioner toggle switch (to the left of it). I think it's called the booster heater switch? The manual says to turn it on once the engine is running, and it will cause the engine to warm up more quickly.
My question is: Do I have what's needed to start easily in really cold weather, or is it best to get some kind of a block heater? If I have what I need, could someone tell me what procedure I would follow to adequately heat the coolant/engine block before attempting to start?
Also - since I'm on the topic of this aux heating/cooling unit, is there a switch I can use to put fresh air into the rear cabin area via the aux heating/cooling vents ? I can't seem to figure out how to do that, and am not sure that I can. I know that the 2 fresh air vents on top of the dash blow pretty well, but sometimes it gets a bit stuffy in the mid-section of the cabin area. I have a switch right next to the rear window defogger that has a blower control picture on it, but it looks like that switch is only to be used in heating mode according to the manual. Is that right?
Thanks for the help,
07-28-2007, 03:38 PM
do your vans not have block heaters in them? Mine didnt come standard in it :crazy:
Got my sales dude to throw one in free of charge (installation inc.) But when this van used to be my dads, last winter, he forgot to plug it in when it was around -15C, and it took a few sec for the coils to warm (the coil symbol, the engine doesnt use coils does it?) and started nicely, where as my F-350 on the other hand, even plugged in (it had a hard time starting when it was -5C) took a long time, and the engine sounded like it didnt wanna go.
A block heater is the way to go though in my opinion. dont take bets like its a horse race to see if it will start up this morn or not :laughing:
07-29-2007, 12:34 AM
[QUOTE=AzteK;9511] the coil symbol, the engine doesnt use coils does it?) QUOTE]
Diesel engines use glow plugs. When the light is on they are heating up. If you crank before the light goes out you might have to crank a second time.
First winter I did not have the block heater. But it fired right up every time. Just have to wait longer for the glow plugs to do there thing.
But the heater is better in many ways. The Sprinter warms up faster, engines has less fatique and better milage since it is already warmed up some. Starts faster........
Even better with the aux. heater. No plug in required but higher fuel consumption because the heater feeds out of the fuel tank!!! Plug in is better for the environment.
07-29-2007, 08:01 AM
i know they use glow plugs (thats what i meant when i said coils) but some diesel engines got rid of the plugs, and started using a different system. unless i dreamt that in some weird dream...
07-30-2007, 03:05 AM
So, would this be what I would need:
07-30-2007, 10:30 AM
So, would this be what I would need:
yes, had the same installed on mine.
Motor Kote.....and the rest From what I understand these types of products contain chlorinated paraffins which are highly corrosive in your engine. Do a search on BITOG and you will have lots of reading. Even if the manufacturer states no CP's, they most likely are using a slightly different chlorinated product.....still bad. Look at the specific gravity. Chlorinated products have a high SG.....they are heavy. My advise is to stay away from these products. There is no need for them, and they have a high potential IMO to damage your engine in the long run.
07-30-2007, 02:07 PM
Motor Kote.....and the rest
Do a search on BITOG and you will have lots of reading.
For those that don't know.
The BITOG Forum (http://theoildrop.server101.com/forums/ubbthreads.php)
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