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Discussion Starter #1
While reading my downloaded manuals (and waiting for the pickup to arrive) started wondering about eventual cold weather here in Nebraska. What preparations/precautions do you experienced diesel drivers take? There will be many times this winter where I'll be unable to plug in the block heater while the truck sitting in a parking lot for 24+ hours. The manual seems to say that under -20 deg F we could have problems then. I couldn't find info on the 115V outlet in the cab - whether it's hot when the engine is off. If so, couldn't you use this as a power source long enough to get the block warmed up? I believe the heater draws only 6.5W and the outlet handles 150W. The book also says that you need to only plug in the heater 2 hours to warm up the block.

If the 115V outlet is not hot while the engine is off, then you could use a powered 12V outlet with a external inverter (for 2 hours). Does this sound like the best way to go? Am I missing something?

Don't really want to huddle in the frigid cold for 2 hours with the block gets toasty but would like to drive it home.
 

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Running a block heater off that 115 doesn't seem feasible. Anything creating heat pulls serious amps. Maybe with a deep cycle battery (Marine battery) would help?? Not really sure but it's an interesting topic.
 

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Thanks Rog, just looked again and the block heater draws 6.5 amps, not 6.5 watts. Big difference. Like a toaster compared to a nightlight bulb. I do have an extra marine battery. Maybe just wire 12V direct to the heater, if it's just a simple element, shouldn't matter whether it's AC or DC?
 

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When the element is designed for 110 volts... 12 won't cut it. Also... going though an inverter (from 12v) will be inefficient, and would quickly kill the battery.


If this is a situation where you are traveling, and the truck will be at an airport parking lot... then just make sure your battery is good... and it will start. But more importantly... make 100% sure you have winterized fuel. The fastest way for you to be stranded, is having diesel fuel that gets gel'ed up.
 

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6.5 Amps is a lot. You could use an outside inverter.if the one in your truck is not up to that. Not sure what something like that would cost to handle that amperage. A good deep cycle battery would easily give you the two hours of usage you might require.

I think it's a good idea.
 

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The problem would occur when driving to work - where I would park it, work on a train - return to the truck in around 24 hours. If the winter type fuel would normally not gel then maybe there's nothing to worry about. Maybe during a cold spell haul the portable generator around in the bed.

Of course, this is all probably a non-issue anyway. My wife reminded me that the truck will be in the warm garage in case she needs it while I'm gone - I'll be driving the minivan to work!
 
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I work with diesel trucks that sit outside sometimes for days at a time during the winter, and I am amazed at how new diesel engines will fire right up even when it's 20-25 below zero. Like it was said above the only thing to really be concerned about is the fuel gelling up. Winter blend is great, and you might want to look at buying an additive to add to the fuel tank as well. The engine's glow plugs will get the cylinders warm enough to fire after 10-15 seconds.
 

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I had a 06 F350 diesel, and i never had any issues with it starting in cold weather. Now, the jurry is still out with the little ED, but as everyone mentioned the cab inverter is not going to cut it. Plus I don't want to be using my one and only battery as the current source for a block heater. Might end up with a warm engine and cold dead battery ; )
 

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The problem would occur when driving to work - where I would park it, work on a train - return to the truck in around 24 hours. If the winter type fuel would normally not gel then maybe there's nothing to worry about. Maybe during a cold spell haul the portable generator around in the bed.

Of course, this is all probably a non-issue anyway. My wife reminded me that the truck will be in the warm garage in case she needs it while I'm gone - I'll be driving the minivan to work!
Dude, you can't be the only one with a diesel at work. Train guys and diesels go hand in hand. What do the other guys do?

As for me, I let the Jeep go. It will start, even on 3 glow plugs in the coldest New England weather. She isn't happy, but she starts.

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Discussion Starter #10
There are other diesels out there and at the other end the yard office has plug ins, but not here. My son-in-law's Ford wouldn't start last year and needed a ride. Sounds like it may not be an issue too often, from the replies.
 

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6.5 Amps is a lot. You could use an outside inverter.if the one in your truck is not up to that. Not sure what something like that would cost to handle that amperage. A good deep cycle battery would easily give you the two hours of usage you might require.

I think it's a good idea.
Just a little electrical basics. If the block heater takes 6.5 amps at 110-120 volts that is about 660 watts. I think that is about right for the block heater. Watts =volts x amps so if you want to get that from a 12 volt battery you will be drawing about 660 watts divided by 12.5 volts(about the voltage of a 12 volt battery) = 52.8 amps. 52.8 amps times two hours = 105.6 amp hours. No normal 12 volt battery will provide that power and be able to heat the glow plugs and start the engine. A fully charged 4D sized deep cycle battery would likely handle the full two hours including inefficiencies from the inverter etc. A group 27 battery would handle it for about an hour and would probably do enough to get you going if it was extremely cold. I sure wouldn't monkey with this setup for the convenience a quicker warm truck. However if one is truly in a remote location and expecting minus 30 or minus 40 degrees I guess I would give it a try with the 4D or even an 8D battery.
 

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I had a 06 F350 diesel, and i never had any issues with it starting in cold weather. Now, the jurry is still out with the little ED, but as everyone mentioned the cab inverter is not going to cut it. Plus I don't want to be using my one and only battery as the current source for a block heater. Might end up with a warm engine and cold dead battery ; )
My father has an 08 f350 6.4 and has never plugged it in. We're in upstate NY. I remember one time my parents, my sister, and my girlfriend and I went on a vacation to Jamaica during the winter and it was very cold. Below 0 the whole time. When they got home it cranked right up. Needless to say it's a different make, different engine, with two batteries but I think these new diesels will handle it no problem. Just let the sumbeach warm up properly.
 

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I never had to plug in my 08 Grand Cherokee 3.0L Diesel. It always started up, even at -45'c, but when we did plug it in, it liked us a lot better, and obviously it warmed up faster. I'm confident our 3Ds will be fine this winter. No worries here.


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Assuming the 120 volt / 6.5 amp model for the stock ED block heater (~750 watts), my heater costs me about $64.13 per month to run 15 hours a day. My last electric bill was for $121.75 for 638 kWh of usage - so, about $0.19 per kWh in Anchorage, AK. Have been plugging in when the truck is not in use as its been a very cold winter. I'll be putting the ED on a timer going forward. Let me know if my math is off. Otherwise, appreciate the post. 2014 ED Longhorn.
 

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Assuming the 120 volt / 6.5 amp model for the stock ED block heater (~750 watts), my heater costs me about $64.13 per month to run 15 hours a day. My last electric bill was for $121.75 for 638 kWh of usage - so, about $0.19 per kWh in Anchorage, AK. Have been plugging in when the truck is not in use as its been a very cold winter. I'll be putting the ED on a timer going forward. Let me know if my math is off. Otherwise, appreciate the post. 2014 ED Longhorn.
I believe the stock heater is 250W. I think the info is in the manual, at least in the lower 50s, we have a 250W block heater.
 
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If you are that worried about it... pick up a small gas genset. put it in the bed. I doubt you will ever need it.

If you do, fire the generator up, plug in, leave it for an hour and voila... warm block. Much more efficient and cost effective than carrying a massive battery and inverter.
 

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Assuming the 120 volt / 6.5 amp model for the stock ED block heater (~750 watts), my heater costs me about $64.13 per month to run 15 hours a day. My last electric bill was for $121.75 for 638 kWh of usage - so, about $0.19 per kWh in Anchorage, AK. Have been plugging in when the truck is not in use as its been a very cold winter. I'll be putting the ED on a timer going forward. Let me know if my math is off. Otherwise, appreciate the post. 2014 ED Longhorn.
actual usage will be a bit less since the heater has a thermostat so once the water jacket comes up to temp it cycles on and off, but a timer is still a good investment and prolongs the life of the block heater since they do burn out.
 

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My truck sits outside last year we were -20 with a wind chill of -38 truck started every time without fail. At work I try and face the front opposite the wind when I can. If I can't I try to park behind another truck. I work for FCA and they do not have any provisions for plugging my truck in while at work. So if they try and claim that not plugging it in is a issue they would be in for a big fight.
 

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I had mine parked outside at -32 C. I'm the morning, it wouldn't start, showed "service electronic throttle" message and had a CEL. I didn't have a code reader at the time, but it eventually did start and ran fine. I was on vacation so took a few days to get to dealer. At that time, they changed the SCR and cleaned the DEF injector.

long story short, the truck didn't like that extreme cold, but did eventually run. I try to plug it in whenever I can because I'm a little nervous.

There are times when I go ice fishing at fairly remote locations. The truck could be sitting for hours at a time in very cold temps. This is when I'm most nervous about it starting... Also why I have a diagnostic tool now to reset codes.
 

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Thanks Rog, just looked again and the block heater draws 6.5 amps, not 6.5 watts. Big difference. Like a toaster compared to a nightlight bulb. I do have an extra marine battery. Maybe just wire 12V direct to the heater, if it's just a simple element, shouldn't matter whether it's AC or DC?

6.5 AMP is 780 Watt. Not going to happen.
 
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