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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Taking my truck to Colorado this holiday to visit the inlaws. Never had a diesel in the cold weather before, so need some tips and advice.

I know about cycling the key to warm the grids when starting in the morning.

Should I put weight in the bed for traction if the weather turns snow? How much weight and what is recommended?

Extra fuel filter in case I get bad fuel right? De-icer for fuel filter?

What else do I need to know...I'm worried enough when weather turns bad, but I live in TX - now I have to worry about my diesel not being happy (or do I)?
 

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I`m sure a little weight in the back would help but if you encounter icy or snowy roads, do not even think about engaging the exhaust brake! Even at 40 mph, the exhaust brake could cause you to loose control and have an accident. Don`t ask me how I know.
I installed a block heater on my truck but I haven`t used it much. These 6.7`s start pretty good in cold weather. Other than just using caution , I think you will do just fine.
I would use about 400 lbs. of sand tubes just in front of rear tail gate.
Have a SAFE trip!
 
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how would an exaust brake cause you to lose control in the snow if anything it would help keep control because it slowly decelerates the truck by the engine where brakes would just stop the tires in ice
 

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how would an exaust brake cause you to lose control in the snow if anything it would help keep control because it slowly decelerates the truck by the engine where brakes would just stop the tires in ice
This is more prevalent on big trucks.....If you were towing and engaged the exhaust break on a semi it does not engage trailer brakes if the truck slows and the trailer doesnt you have a potential jack knife on your hands.....On another note I drove many miles in a semi loaded and bobtail with and without the jake good weather and extreme weather and never encountered a time when I felt I was going to lose control, but it can and does happen.
 

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how would an exaust brake cause you to lose control in the snow if anything it would help keep control because it slowly decelerates the truck by the engine where brakes would just stop the tires in ice
Its called a "downshift" wherein the rear wheels suddenly slow from the speed of the other tires leading to slippage on the smooth road surface. Even more pronounced when you have it in "Tow/Haul" mode. Its not rocket science but it will be one hell of an experience when you try to regain control of a sliding rear end.
 

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where i'm from it get really cold -30*C and lots of snow. i don't think it would get too cold there where you should have to worry lots. if it gets colder then 5*f you may want to plug it in for the night. if is snowing lots you can lower your tire pressure and put some weight in. try and grt it over the axle. 300, 400lbs would be probily more then enough. if the roads are really bad then pop it in 4x4 and take it eazy. fuel should be ok but you can buy some adds if you want to keep it from freezing up.
 

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i guess you may not have a block heater. aah, you'll be fine.
 
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mine doesnt down shift hard enough to break traction i dont thing any way i feel that me apply n semi aggressive breaking does more to break traction and in snow i drive in 4wd so recovering a rear end will be as easy as driveing straight
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks ... keep the advice coming. And don't worry, no exhaust brake for me if it is snowing...I read all about that and I won't be touching that button.

More worried about the starting in the morning, terrible cold diesel sounds (I've read about) and potential freezing fuel filters leaving me stuck....
 

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On dry pavement, the exhaust brake is the best thing Dodge put in our trucks. On the other hand without a lot of weight in the bed of the pickup and in slippery conditions, I would strongly advise NOT to use it. 400 lbs in the back of a 3/4 trucks is still a light enough load that I would still not use the exhaust brake period. If the conditions warrant, I prefer just to slow down and use 4wd.

Different opinions and experiences is what makes this forum ROCK!
 

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Not long after I got my truck I was coming down a steep windy dirt road on our farm with the exhaust brake on and when the eb activated the rear end started to want to come around and it got dicey for a few seconds. That was at a very slow speed. It suprised me that it did that so easily. I don't run my eb in situations like that anymore. I always thought that it would be useful in slick conditions but not for me at least.
 

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Anytime I go to snow, for skiing or boarding, I throw some extra sand in the back for weight, and a shovel, just as a precaution. I have been up to Telleride, and Durango several times, down near 0 degrees at night, she usually started a little rough, but was alright after a few minutes, never had a problem. However, the truck did scare me once when I left it in park and walked away and it idled up on it's own, I didn't know about that feature at the time. As long as you fuel up somewhere up north before you finish driving the fuel should keep from freezing since they add crap to it.
 

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What part of Colorado? I live off I-70 near Georgetown at 8300 feet.

I haven't plugged my truck in since I bought it in July '08 and have only cycled my grid heaters once or twice.

I have some crap in my bed, but never used sand either, though it can't hurt. Carry some extra wiper fluid, a shovel, and a telescopic brush/squeegee in case it snows. Temps here vary a lot. 60 yesterday, 50 today, and 20s and snow tomorrow.

An extra fuel filter is nice, anywhere you go. I don't think fuel gelling is much of a problem unless it gets REALLY cold.

The things you mentioned can't hurt, but don't worry about it too much, you'll be fine!
 

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Don't sweat it. If it snows use 4 wheel drive. The truck should start just fine. Just let it cycle the "glowplugs" (whatever they call em now) and you will be fine. It rarely gets cold enough here to need the blcok heater or even winter fuel.
 

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I am also headed to Colorado for the holiday's, well the first couple of weeks in January. Should be a fun trip I am heading to Castle rock and Westcliffe.
 

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I use Power Service fuel supplement to prevent gelling in the winter months here in Iowa. I also carry a bottle of the PS diesel 911 just in case my trucks starts showing signs of gelled fuel. These products are both pretty cheep.
 

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One thing you have to be aware of is water in the fuel, especially in the winter. Try to run on the top half of your tank and buy your fuel at large volumne national retailers. Bad fuel in winter is bad, especially if you are with your family sitting on the side of a road in a cold truck! If it gets really cold think about a winter front, even if it is an ugly, temporary one. Keep that on the outside of your grill only. A piece of cardboard and zip ties work in a bind.
 

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Almost forgot. Make sure you only have good winter windshield washer fluid and don't use it if really cold. The best stuff still doesn't work when it is really cold no matter what they claim.
 
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