At what temp do I plug in? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.0L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2003-Up Super Duties and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 12-11-2009, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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At what temp do I plug in?

I am a new diesel owner and have not plugged my truck in. Today it was 27 degrees. Should I start plugging it in? Does the heater use alot of electricity?
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I plug mine in when it gets to be around the freezing level. The block heater uses a 1000 watts. Get yourself a heavy duty timer and a heavy duty outdoor extension cord and have the timer set to go on 2-3 hours (any more than that, you're wasting hard earned bucks) before you plan on taking off. I always back into my driveway, so when I plug the cord onto truck, I run the extension cord over the drivers side mirror. That way I don't forget to unplug it when I leave.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can see myself leaving the cord plugged in. Good idea. Great advise. Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't plug mine in until, i'm using someone else's electricity, or it's -20 even then I probably won't plug it in.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I plug my truck in when its near freezing or freezing. It makes a huge difference with a lot less idling time to warm up. Living in Northern BC its plug in often,lol
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Was just about to search for the answer to this question. That is good advice about the cord over the mirror! I haven't really looked at the plug on my truck very closely but it doesn't appear to be a standard plug. Am I missing something or did I just not look at it close enough? It looked like 2 round prongs instead of a standard 110v cord end.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellyo77 View Post
Was just about to search for the answer to this question. That is good advice about the cord over the mirror! I haven't really looked at the plug on my truck very closely but it doesn't appear to be a standard plug. Am I missing something or did I just not look at it close enough? It looked like 2 round prongs instead of a standard 110v cord end.
It's a standard 3 prong.
For this item all are same,you might put your truck in your siginature to make it easier where there is difference year to year.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da-bees View Post
It's a standard 3 prong.
For this item all are same,you might put your truck in your siginature to make it easier where there is difference year to year.

Sig fixed.

Will look at the plug closer next time I'm outside.
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Last edited by Kellyo77; 12-14-2009 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I leave mine plugged in all the time when tempos are consistently cold...at or below 30 degrees
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The plug on the block heater itself is two round prongs but the plug that is at the front of the truck is a standard 3 prong plug (2 blades and a round). If you do find that you do not have the normal 3 prong plug you will need to either change the end or change the whole cord. It is possible the previous owner used a non-standard cord as the cord for the block heater fits everything from John Deer tractors to Detroit Diesel mule engines...
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A block heater uses approx. 1000 watts of electricity. Yes though i would definitely start plugging it in overnight if it gets that cold. I live in Texas where it usually gets around 40 (just had a cold front last night) and still plug mine in just for an easier start, even though its not recommended unless temps are 20-30 degrees. Im a new diesel owner myself but ironically have been very knowledgable about them for years. 2004 ford f-250 6.0 had it since august
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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30 or less is when I plug mine up and it makes all the difference in the world in starting. I don't have a timer, but use 12/14 guage 25' cord, and after learning of the power draw I usually wake up and run out and plug it in 2-3 hours before needed.

Oneday I'll put me a handy dandy timer device in the loop.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh, come on guys! Plugging in at 30F?

My truck has cold-soaked at -25F for 8-10 hours and starting was no problem. I'm using Mobil 1 for Turbo Diesel Trucks or Mobil Delvac 1 (both 5w-40) synthetic oil. One night,a 2006 F250 was parked next to mine for the same 8 hours at -25F. Both trucks were started within 30 seconds of each other. The other driver got out of his truck and asked me why my truck was running MUCH smoother than his (I couldn't believe how his bucked, rocked and sounded like it was in its death throws). He was running coventional 10w-30. Believe it or not, some guys up here in Cody run conventional 15w-40 all year.

Do yourselves a favor and use a 5w-40 synthetic. it's easier and cheaper than a 1000W heater. (By the way, 5w-40 has been back spec'd by Ford for all Powerstrokes and you can now buy Motorcraft 5w-40 diesel synthetic oil.)

Also, I've found idling to warm up is not practical. The 6.0 won't warm up or stay warm at idle unless you use the SEIC or BCP up idle circuits. Idling in your drivway is a waste of fuel and time.

With 5w-40 oil, I've started my truck at -30F, let it run for 30 seconds and driven off slowly. It warms up quicker and the transmission and rest of the drivetrain all warm up together.

Maybe your batteries are shot and you need the heater to get that dino molasses churning. Check your batteries and use a Deltran Battery Tender. My truck is always plugged in to my Battery Tender every minute it's at home. My batteries are original - 4 1/2 years old at test as new.
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Last edited by STG; 12-16-2009 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree. I run synthetic 5W-40, either Rotella or Mobil 1, and the difference is huge. Also agree that the engine needs to idle as long as it takes to get oil pumped to the top of the engine, I usually wait till the glow plugs cycle off(may be 45 sec?). Then easy on the throttle until the temperature meter comes off the peg.

If it gets in the single digits or lower and I want the engine to warm up faster I may plug it in but there is no need. The engine does not require the heater until -20F.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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What temp for block heat

Unless one is considering the 6.0 to not be comperable to the norms,diesels as well as Lp,nat gas and plain gassers will benefit from block heat at much warmer temps than sub zero according to fleet managers and fleet mechanics whom I've heard comment. The logic is #1 warm parts fit with one another better which is one reason longer trip engines are less trouble and last longer #2 As has been pointed out already by others,warmer oil lubs better #3 The sooner an engine runs smooth,it is better for longivity. #4 Ideling uses fuel,dilutes oil and makes EPA unhappy. #5 Driver is comfortable sooner so there by more atentive and safer. #6 Many drivers need to tow with thier truck so babying it for 15 minutes is not an option and employeers find it cheaper to buy electric power than to pay a driver to sit in an ideling truck. The list is endless if you consider how applied to each indivudals need,such as the rver who is getting free power and doesn't want to subject other campers to his ratteling truck any longer than nessary when pulling out. So one application probably does not fit all.
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