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Well we had possibly our coldest night of the year in chicago last night. My trucks always been a champ about firing up in the morning, maybe two tries at cranking max and she stumbled to life. This morning, not so much. Several cranking attempts, and some dead battaries later I have some Q's...

Here's what I suspect contributed to the problem.

After my last fill up, I didnt add my anti-gel as I usually do. Knowing it was getting extra cold overnight, last night after getting home I added my opti-lube and started the truck and ran it for 10 minutes to get it mixed into the fuel well.

I didn't plug it in, as I never have and its always started for me.

Now my Q's are, I have my battery charger set for 15 amps and hooked to the passenger side battery. That's fine to charge both battaries right? I went to the passenger side as the drivers side had a few wires tapped directly at the battery for the fuel system and programmer, and didn't want anything funny to happen.

Also, when I was cranking it, after a few attempts with no start I started playing with the throttle. Next thing I know lil black curly pieces of ash started raining down from my stacks. Never quite saw anything like that before? Looked kinda like sawdust, not really specks, more like flakes.

I'm guessing the fuel gelled up. If I charge the battaries and plug the heater in for a couple hours and get no start I guess it's time for the diesel 911? Add some to the fuel filter and water seperator on the FASS, and some to the tank, wait a few and give it another try?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Last night was also (hopefully) our coldest night of the year too... -10*F :banghead: I know there are colder places on this planet... but that doesn't mean that -10 is some kind of balmy sunny day.

My super-cold starting trick is to turn the key on to start the grid heater cycle. When the cycle is complete I bump the starter, turn the key off and then back on. This will cycle the grid heater for a second time as well as run the lift pump for thirty seconds. If it is as cold as it was this morning, it doesn't hurt to do it a third time. This process brings the air in the intake to a warmer temperature and 'stirs' the fuel in the filter housing.
At this point the truck should start... and if not, don't excessively crank the motor because all of the air that was being heated in the intake will be sucked through the engine and replaced with more cold air. Cycle the heater another time or two without cranking and try again.
 

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but all that goes out the window if you're batteries are weak. last, winter my batts froze on me. for the week that i waited to buy new batts, i was running half grid cycles to make sure i had some juice left for the crank. sounded really rough too.
 

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I'm thinking my batteries may be weak too. Has some chrysler brand batteries of an unknown age. I put it on a 15 amp charge for about 9 hours while I was at work, plugged the block heater in for an hour, and threw the charger on 100 amp crank assist and she fired up like It was July and we were going to a 4th of July picnic.

I'm gonna throw some new batteries at it next check possibly.
 

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A whole lot of cold + age = dead batteries.

And yes, putting a charger on one will charge both of them. If I had to guess I'd say that one is dead and the other is on it's way out.
Spring for some good ones (Optima, Interstate, etc.) rather than what is on sale at WalMart. A few dollars now will save you a lot of trouble later.
 

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When does the factory fuel heater come into play? Will that degel or heat the fuel in the canister at least? Cold as it got was -4 back in Dec. Truck crank slow but did start. The PS moaned like a . :shock: Couldn't plug it in as it dropped that cold while I was at work. I work nites. :party018: Bad thing is no way to plug it in.
 

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get some diesel 911 from power service to help with any anti gell issues

Why dont you just plug it in even for an hour, call me crazy but i plug it in everynight all night when i get in the truck i dont have any issues and the heat is already coming out warm. Below 40-0 the owners manual suggests to plug it in, below 0 they say it is required. if the owners manual says to do it why not do it, less fuel spent to warm up, no cold start issues, and so much easier on the motor, ok i understand it cost money in electric so than just plug it in for an hour or two trust me youll be happier

even with plugging in i still run a winter front, i know im doing all i can to minamize fuel consumption due to warming up the engine

 
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We used to take the battery inside the house back in my days of driving beaters and parking on Chicago streets.
 

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I have my block heater set up on a timer so that it comes on a few hours before I have to leave for work. Not only does it shave a few bucks off my electric bill but it keeps me inside my warm house until I actually have to leave. :thumbsup:
Just make sure that if you have the timer outside you use an outdoor rated timer! If you don't the result could be... shocking! :doh:

My experience has been that above 30*F it needs two hours on the heater for a happy, easy start-up. For every 6 or 7 degrees below 30, add at an extra hour of heater time.

Remember that a block heater only heats the engine coolant. All of your other fluids (especially oil) will still be really cold so it is still important to let your truck warm up for a bit before you drive off.
 

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the block heater helps warm the oil up some, but yeah it's mainly for the coolant...and i like your idea about cold starts...i bet that helps a lot w/ battery life
 

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i bet that helps a lot w/ battery life
And it's a lot better for your starter than cranking and cranking and cranking...
I had to replace one of those last summer and it was not cheap.
 

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Plus, if you will leave your defroster either set to straight defrost or split between floor and defrost (works better in this position I think) with the temperature all the way hot, the warmth that goes through the coolant will seep up the windshield and help prevent the frost from building as thick. I'm not saying it will prevent any frost, but will help thaw the windshield faster.
 
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