cold weather very hard starts 7.3 - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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cold weather very hard starts 7.3

I have a 96 7.3 that barely starts in cold weather. I do a lot of winter camping and skiing; this is becomming a problem. Last time out another powerstroke in the lot started much easier than mine. The owner of the truck came over and recommended PowerService fuel treatment and cetone booster. I ran one bottle; seemed to work fine. I then read the owners manual and it says not to run it.

Any Suggestions?????????
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You may need to test and replace a couple of your glow plugs. How does your truck start after being plugged in for a couple of hours? Adding an additive won't help in cold starts.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As bugman said.
Ignore the manual- it was written before lsd & ulsd. Use a lubricating additive EVERY fill up. Lubricant along with cetane booster will make your truck run smoother and more important- last longer.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use Power Service religiously , as stated above , disregard what the manual says.As far as the Starting issues you need to plug it in if you can and replace the glow plug relay and perhaps some glow plugs.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes indeed, PowerService Diesel Kleen is what I am currently running in my truck and it starts up in the cold like nothing (4 oz. per 10 gal approx.) Also, I would suggest using a lower viscosity type oil like 10W30 if not using it already. I am using that as well, until it warms up a bit even though 15W40 is most often used in diesels but will thicken to some extent in colder weather.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i run powerservice all winter long with #2 fuel and dont have any problems and it gets COLD up here in ND. sometimes when its really cold out ill cycle the key twice before i go to start seems to help sometimes
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GentlemanJack View Post
I have a 96 7.3 that barely starts in cold weather. I do a lot of winter camping and skiing; this is becomming a problem. Last time out another powerstroke in the lot started much easier than mine. The owner of the truck came over and recommended PowerService fuel treatment and cetone booster. I ran one bottle; seemed to work fine. I then read the owners manual and it says not to run it.

Any Suggestions?????????
PowerService is okay to use but I doubt it would improve your cold start problem.

Cold start problems are usually caused by one of four things:
1.Bad Glow Plug Relay
2.Bad Glow Plugs
3.Weak Batteries
4.Weak Starter
There are a few other things, but these are the most likely causes. First I would test your glow plug relay (GPR). When the relay is energized (WTS light is on and for approximately 2 minutes after that when the engine is cold) measure the voltage on the two big posts on the glow plug relay. They should have the battery voltage across them and very little difference between them. If they have more than .3 volt difference between the big posts, your relay is bad. You can test your glow plugs by measuring the resistance from a good ground (I use the negative battery terminal) to each glow plug. The two outer pins on your four valve cover connectors go to your glow plugs. They all should read less than 2 ohms. If they read more than 2 ohms your plugs are bad and need replacement. If your relay and plugs tested good, have your batteries and starter tested at AutoZone or some other parts store. You need two good batteries and a good starter to start a PSD when it cold out.
There are other causes of a ‘Cold’ start problem, but these are the most likely and I would check them first. If everything above checks out okay…then inspect all your battery and starter motor connections. Make sure they are tight and not corroded. Check your fuel inside the fuel filter canister and see if it looks normal and not dark colored. If it is dark, your injector ‘O’ rings might be bad and this can cause issues with starting also.

Good Luck!

Griz
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your wait to start lite doesn't really stay on long enough. If you try to start right after the light goes out especially if you have weak batt, or a bad glow plug or two it won't start well. Your glow plugs will stay on for up to 90sec or so. When cold out I wait an additional 8-10seconds and she always fires right up.
Good luck
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwoodchopper View Post
Your wait to start lite doesn't really stay on long enough. If you try to start right after the light goes out especially if you have weak batt, or a bad glow plug or two it won't start well. Your glow plugs will stay on for up to 90sec or so. When cold out I wait an additional 8-10seconds and she always fires right up.
Good luck
That's a really good tip! -- I have been doing it quickly after the light goes out thinking it was at it greatest advantage at that point. Thanks for straightening that out!
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On my third night I was able to get it plugged in. It sat 28hrs plugged in and still barely started.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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you need batteries. then no more probs
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for taking the time for these posts. I really appreciate the help. I'll follow the advice and let you know.

Thanks again,

GentlemanJack
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The glow plug and battery posts are correct but if that doesn't do it you may be looking at injector "O" rings. I've been down that road and "O" rings were the final answer. Mine would start down to about 10 degrees but below that nothing. It took many many hours of plug in to get it started. As far as oil goes, use 5W-40 synthetic. It makes a big difference.
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