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Five Parts to Prepare Your Truck for the Elements

It is no secret that cold weather is hard on diesel trucks. The winter brings with it problems like fussy heating systems and trouble starting up. The effect of winter on diesel is just one of the topics you can learn about in diesel technology school. If you want to protect your car from the effects of cold weather, there are a few parts you should pay special attention to before winter arrives.

1. Fuel Injector
Winter usually means that your truck will spend more time idling in order to keep it warm. Idling can be rough on an engine. You will want to make sure that you have a working fuel injector when you are regularly running the engine at low speeds. You can learn more about fuel injection by attending diesel technology school. Injection timing is crucial for proper functionality.

2. Battery
Your battery should last somewhere between two and six years. It may be wise to replace it after three years even if it’s still working. It’s also a good idea to coat the cables and terminals with a corrosion inhibitor since large temperature shifts can cause them to expand and contract. A battery warmer may also be necessary since your battery can lose as much as 60% of its power when the temperature falls to zero degrees. Another option is to get a battery with more capacity if you have the space for it.

3. Engine Heater
Both diesel and motor oils can become thick when temperatures fall. It may be necessary to have two heaters: one on the block and one for the oil pan. Some vehicles come with built-in block heaters that you connect to a regular 110-volt outlet. If you buy an aftermarket heater, make sure it is correctly sized for your engine and the weather in your area. You may be able to get away with a smaller heater if your engine is smaller or if it’s relatively warm where you live.

4. Glow Plugs
Diesel engines need higher temperatures in order to burn their fuel. This is because diesel fuel contains a wax-like substance called paraffin. Paraffin can cause diesel fuel to harden when the temperature falls below 40 degrees. When this happens, gelled diesel can make your engine difficult or impossible to start up. (This is not a big problem with gasoline since gas is so flammable.) With diesel, glow plugs are used to make the fuel warm enough for the engine to ignite. The heat from the glow plugs is focused on the cylinders to warm them and the engine block. Make sure that all your glow plugs are working.

5. Fuel Filters
When it comes to the consistency of your fuel in winter, your filter will play a major role. If it’s dirty, it collects gelled paraffin and cuts off the fuel supply to the engine. Always replace fuel filters before the onset of winter.

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