Diesel Engines In Cold Weather

When it comes to some of the best heavy-duty trucks in the Colorado Springs area, a diesel engine is often a popular choice as a powerplant for several reasons.

  • Gasoline engines are often lower in power and torque than a diesel engine.
  • The diesel engines’s durability is legendary, often outlasting their gasoline-powered counterparts by a substantial margin
  • Diesel engines are very efficient, usually returning more miles per gallon of fuel than their gasoline cousins.

Diesel Engine Issues

The modern diesel engine is very efficient and can deliver better results when it comes to generating enough power for all sorts of hard work, especially towing heavy loads. These engines can take on more and will work hard at all the tasks thrown their way.

While a diesel engine in your truck is one of the more powerful solutions available to those that drive heavy-duty trucks, certain issues do arise from time to time.

When the temperature begins to drop, diesel engines and diesel fuel can have some issues.

Diesel Fuel In Cold Weather

Places where the temperature is known to drop during the winter such as Colorado Springs can have a serious impact on diesel fuel. Due to fact that diesel fuel is thicker that gasoline, cold temperatures can have a bad affect on the ability to flow and to atomize properly for combustion.

The waxes found in diesel fuel can end up becoming cloudy due to the cold weather and this leads to thickening and reduced fuel flow. This can become a profound problem, resulting in poor starting in cold weather.

Early on, wax build-up in the fuel filter won’t make too much of a difference but over time the wax begins to get into the fuel filter and does quite a bit of damage as it blocks fuel flow. This cuts off the fuel flow and renders the vehicle useless until the filter is replaced.

Diesel operators will often look to use what is called a cold flow improver to make sure the fuel continues to flow and to combust the way it is supposed to in frigid conditions. The additive ensures the waxes don’t stick together and clog the fuel filter. Since the cold flow improver continues to flow throughout the entire fuel system, it allows the fuel to work the way it should as it gets into the combustion chamber. This is essential when it comes to colder conditions in the winter.

Glow Plug Failure

Another issue that is commonly seen when the temperature drops to extreme lows involve the engine not starting at all on a very cold day.

Remember that a diesel engine is a compression-ignition engine, meaning the heat created when compressing the air charge in the cylinder is normally hot enough to explode the diesel fuel to create power. The diesel has no spark plugs.

If it is too cold outside, the compression may not be able to create enough heat to fire the fuel mixture. Reasons for not starting can be a weakened battery that’s not able to turn the engine over fast enough to faulty glow plugs that can’t heat the combustion chamber enough to sustain engine operation.

As mentioned above, the diesel fule may have jelled and/or clogged up the fuel filter, preventing fuel from reaching the engine.

This is where regular maintenance is essential. And Ledom’s diesel repair and maintenance can make sure your tough diesel truck can start in any temperature.

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