Preventing Cold Weather From Stalling Your Fleet

Posted on: 10 May 2017

If your diesel engine fleet is based in an area that experiences extreme cold temperatures, you know how frustrating it can be when engines don't start right away. Getting a late start means loss of time and money. By properly preparing your engines for those frigid temperatures, you can have your fleet started up, on the road, and at the job site more quickly.

Warm The Batteries

As temperatures drop, the battery's power capacity in your engines does too. To make sure your battery starts in the first few tries, you can either buy a battery with greater power capacity, or invest in a battery warmer.

Most warmers plug right into a 110-volt socket, so make sure your extension cords can reach. Some warmers slide right under the battery and warm it from below. Others are similar to an electric blanket and wrap around the entire battery. Also, consider an engine stop-start solution. This device monitors the voltage in your battery and automatically ignites your engine to keep the charge up.

Heat The Engine Block

Cold weather affects the metal cylinder walls of a diesel engine as well, and need to be relatively warm to fire your engine's fuel. This is usually not the case in gasoline powered vehicles. Diesel fuel starts gelling or waxing, becoming thicker as the temperature drops, rendering it difficult or impossible to pump. If thickened fuel is sprayed into the combustion chamber, it can stick to the glow plugs. Inefficient combustion means damaged cylinder heads and plugs.

Engine block heaters are designed to keep the entire block warm enough to start easily. They require an extension cord as well to reach far away sockets. Make sure the wattage of the heater matches your engine size, or you'll end up with higher electric bills. If you suspect the fuel has gelled in the cold, first change the fuel filter and then turn on the block heater. If any gelled fuel is in the filter, it can block the flow of heated fuel.

Warm The Oil

Similar to diesel fuel, engine oil becomes thicker with the cold. Your oil will flow more easily and keep engine parts properly lubricated if it is already warm when starting the engine. Many drivers use a heated dipstick for heating the engine crankcase's oil. Just plug it into an outlet and use it like a normal dipstick. For more tips, talk to engine oil companies like Small & Sons Oil Dist Co.

Using these techniques will help your diesel fleet get started more quickly on glacial mornings.


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As someone who loves the science behind great business and protecting the environment, I was naturally drawn to industrial equipment and supplies. I started thinking about what companies were using when they made their products, why they were using them, and what could be done to improve safety. It was incredible to see how some of the more responsible companies were making a difference in the world, so I set out to spread the word about better industrial equipment and supplies. Check out this blog to learn all about new industrial products, better ways of doing things, and industrial equipment that can make a difference.

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