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This is a great post and i thank canuck for starting it.
here my $.02. Even if u do everything right sometomes the it just refuses to start. A couple of winters ago i had my baby all ready 4 winter and on the first -20 night(at work i cant plug in) she refused to start,dont know why and only did it once never had trouble after that /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif. I finally managed to get a jump and it was smooth sailing after that,but now i keep 2 sets of jumper in my tool box during winter just incase. As an added bonus with the jumpers you can also help out any other owners who havent taken the time to properly prepare for the cold. Some people dont know or just dont care about proper care in cold weather.
 

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I just wanted to fill you guys in on my situtation. I have been bashing my head on a wall with a truck that just will not start when it is cold. Everything tested great. I tested everything myself then had two different shops test it out. The truck still would not start.... The other day some one suggested I jumper the glow plug relay. I did this AM and the truck started up no problem. So my point is that you can have a GPR that tests fine but is not passing enough current to actually get a good glow on the relays. In my case I was even seeing voltage on the Glow plugs but I guess it was not enough.

Jon
 

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I've always installed heated battery blankets or battery pads and I glue one or two heat pads to the engine oil pan heater. It hasn't gotten cold enough here in years to seemingly affect my manual transmissions (with synthetic atf). I've never not had the added heat pads so I can't say for sure how things would go if I didn't have them.

One very nice thing about the 7.3 ltr diesel is that it will stay warm for several hours after you've shut it off, even at temperatures that are quite low.

I replace my batteries every 6 years whether they need it or not... I've only had one battery fail me in my life, and that battery was on its way to being bad the day I bought it. Replacing at 4 years may be premature, at least based on my experience.

Plugging in won't harm anything (unless you're paying for the electricity /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif...) Your coolant won't be boiling away, there's just a little heater thingie that warms the coolant a bit. Heating pads attached to the engine block just warm things up a bit so your oil doesn't get as thick as it otherwise might.
 

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Good and informative thread.

Where I live -40 happens a few times a year, and the last few weeks it has not been above -20(C) in the morning. I have only the factory BH, not tranny warmers, battery warmers or anything else. I plug in at anything colder than -10, the truck will start at colder temps, I've started it at colder than -30 after sitting all day, but its not happy. If the power is free (Hotel, work etc.) I plug it in if its at all below freezing, why not? If I have to let it sit all day at extreme cold I usually get someone to start it every 4 hours or so if possible. I can set my command start to fire it up every few hours for 20 minutes but I don't like doing that. If I leave it overnight and forget to plug in, and it's -40 or colder and I have to go somewhere I don't even try it before I fire up the tiger torch and run it through a 3' length of stovepipe with a 90 at the end for about 10 minutes or so, although one time it was so cold the propane was gelling so I couldn't even do that..
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Is there a way to test the block heater for proper operation? I can not find any info from Ford.

[/ QUOTE ]
Easiest way is to just plug it in when the block is cold, and then feel the block a few hours later... should be nice and warm. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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WOW..... : /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif I guess I just missed that trick..... does anyone know of a way to test out the block heater when it does not get nice and warm after many hours of being plugged in? Is there a fuse? Resistance test, etc? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif Thank you orp516
 

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If it doesn't get nice and warm after a few hours, that means it's not working.

Either the plug in your house is bad or you've got a circuit breaker in your house popped, or the extension cord to your truck is bad, or the cord from the front of the truck to the heating element is bad, or the element is bad, or one of the connections therein. There aren't any fuses or anything in the truck for the block heater.

Here's some info I found in a search:
***
The block heater does not operate correctly
Block heater power cable. - CHECK the resistance of all three circuits in the power cable. If any circuit measures greater than 5 ohms, INSTALL a new power cable.

Block heater. - INSTALL a new block heater
***
 

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Some of you have been asking about oil. For us Canucks, Esso makes XD 0W40 Synthetic which can be purchased as 4L jug (~$23) or by the pail at an Esso cardlock.

I've been using it year round for 70000 kms after changing from Rotella. Touch wood but I've had no problems, and I believe it has been starting easier in the cold.
 

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Thanx

Many thanx to cool cannuck & jlhansen. My 03 goes into warranty never land next month, your posts on testing the starting system will be priceless when I go on my own. Until I came to your posts the little "secrets" about the glow plugs and starting system drove me nuts. I just got to know a pretty decent Ford Teck who lives in town. Still, I have spent many years doing 99% of my own repairs. With the info you share I will be able to continue the fun!
Thanks again!!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Quick Question.
I don't understand where people get it from, but I live in wisconsin and many people around me seem to think that running your block heater damages your engine or something. where does that come from?
It only helps, wether it's 30 F or -30 F.
 

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Quick Question.
I don't understand where people get it from, but I live in wisconsin and many people around me seem to think that running your block heater damages your engine or something. where does that come from?
It only helps, wether it's 30 F or -30 F.
I'm with you. I can't see where it hurts the engine at all. 1000 watts versus what burning the fuel in the engine puts out is really insignificant. Heck, I even leave mine plugged in after starting while I do stuff like scrape the ice off windows. I even tried to drive off with it plugged in the other day. :lol:
 

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My brother did that with his old 6.5 chevy. We had to put a new plug on th truck. Now he has an 04 four door dually. he has gone from a truck that would not start unless plugged in, to a truck he doesn't have to plug in. Im still wary of his new truck though, he had a huge puddle of anti-freeze under it the other day, and he took it in to get looked at. they pressurized the system for 2 days and sdidn't find anything.
 

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Years ago, in the cities in Saskatchewan, many of the parking lots had plugin for each slot, so folks could plug their car in during the day while they work.

I dunno if its still like that.

My father had a trick, he had installed a small electric room heater, under the dash of his car, and then plugged it in also, in addition to the block heater. He had a separate circuit out to the car to carry the load.

Then when he got up to go to work, the car would start easily and the windshield was melted and clear.
 

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well my brother seems to think he read somewhere that on the newer trucks
(his 04 Powerstroke) you're not supposed to plug them in until it's colder than -20 F
 

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Weird Cold Start Problem

I am having an issue with my 01 F250. I have never had any issues in the past with it cranking in cold weather down to -18 until today.

The truck cranks fine in the morning after it has been on the block heater. The last few days we have had high temps in the teens and after sitting in the parking lot all day, it has been really difficult to start. I had to cycle it 6-10 times to get it to crank. Today, it failed to start. It sounds like the batteries are fine and that it is not getting fuel.

The last two tanks of diesel were purchased at the local Shell station rather than at my usual Marathon station. I do run the White bottle DFS in the wintertime.

So..................

Is it batteries? - I am overdue for new ones.

Is it possible I got a bad tank of fuel?

Is it something else like the Glow Plugs.

Thanks for any help.
 

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I'm not sure bout that. I know my brothers old chevy was the same way. we found out that the glow plug tower, which cycles the glow plugs was bad.
Check the batteries and glow plugs. Maybe ask around to find out about what runs the glow plugs. It is called a glow plug tower on my brothers chevy, it might be called something else on a ford.
 

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what weight oil are you running? could also be your gpr going out, or bad gp;s
 
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