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I am not sure this is the right place for this question, but I'm hoping I'm in the right spot! I have a 1999 E350 retired ambulance with the 7.3 turbo, roughly 350,000 miles. bought it this past summer for a road vehicle for work, ... I live in Georgia, and had no problems starting it when I bought it or started driving it. Got to Montana, mornings were cold, and it would NOT start in the morning, would sound like it was going to start, would turn over, but never catch.. took it to an O'Rileys they said the battery was bad and sold me a new one... and the next morning it did the same thing, would NOT start. Friend told me to try spraying just a little bit of starter fluid in the air filter, and it cranked right up, and ran fine the rest of the day.. would restart just fine, no starter fluid needed.. but the next morning, it would need that shot of fluid again (and i noticed a LOT of white smoke from the tailpipe and even under the hood when i tried to start it without the starter fluid, but once i got it started with the starter fluid, it would not smoke any more). Still figured it was because it was cold, and maybe bad glow plugs? (ive never owned a diesel before, so im not really familiar with them). had this problem through Montana, Wyoming, and the Pacific Northwest, and sure enough, when i got into california and arizona, it stopped needing that shot of fluid in the morning and would start just fine. However, I got home a few weeks ago, and parked it, ... but ive tried to start it the last several mornings, and its back to needing the starting fluid (but its not very cold out at all!) and the white smoke is even worse.. any ideas what i could be looking at?
 

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Your Glow Plug system is bad. This could be a result of worn out GPs or a bad GPR (Relay) or both.

Cold temps and high elevation each make it harder to start a diesel.

Its a real bad idea to use ether to start your diesel since long term damage can result.
Better to plug it in over night. There should be a cord tucked near your front bumper that will plug into an ordinary wall outlet. This attaches to a block heater and circulates warmed up antifreeze around your engine.
 

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You only want to replace with Genuine Motorcraft GP’s.

Here is a great explanation of a Relay that many of us have switched to using because it is larger and lasts many years. You can purchase it on the same website:

http://www.guzzle7pt3.com/s_gpr.php
 

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Did you replace one battery or two batteries?

It is recommended to replace these batteries in pairs (at the same time).
 
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