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Thread: Truck Winterization?

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    Member G3_Guy's Avatar
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    Default Truck Winterization?

    As I have mentioned in a couple of other posts, I have a 2008 Ford F250 Diesel and have just moved to AK from TN. i want to make sure I have the truck ready for winter as its the only vehicle we have here at the present time. I was wondering what all you typically did to prepare your vehicles for winter, especially Diesel trucks. I know a block heater is important and fortunately, my truck came with one of those from the factory. What else do you do or need to be ready?

    Thanks in Advance!

    Brian M.
    G3 Guy
    "...with God all things are possible." - Mark 10:27

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    Default prep for winter

    Engine oil that is not too thick for frigid temps. Think 5weight-Xweight for winter. Buy a 10 buck tester for your radiator to see how cold its contents are rated to, and for your area (moderate winter temps) plan to a mere 20 below, just in case. But if you plan to make a wintertime trip to anywhere interior, plan to a more expectable 40 below. Carry an extension cord in your vehicle to hook up that block heater. Keep at least one good sleeping bag in the truck all winter long, just in case; engines fail.

  3. #3

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    I would recommend running an additive to prevent gelling. If your truck has a canopy, have a plastic tote with a few cold weather items of your choice. +1 on sleeping bag or good warm clothing (insulated coveralls, hats, etc.)

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    They've finally got the winter diesel thing figured out up here with the ULSD, so additive really isn't an issue. I run a small fleet of diesels of various types and haven't needed additive in any of them for two winters now. The only special thing I do for my trucks is run Rotella T6 5w-40 Synthetic in all my diesel machines. In south central Alaska (things are diffent in the Interior) there is little need for more than a block heater to get your truck going in the temps you will see. I run no extra heaters on any of my equipment or trucks. In fact, I rarely even plug in my Duramax diesel until it's -20F. The rest of my stuff needs to be plugged in at 20F and lower. Honestly, you have little to worry about. Plug it in at 20F and lower and you will be fine.
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    I ran a VW jetta Diesel on the road system while I lived and worked there. It was a 1991. All I ever did, was make sure the cooling system and heater working properly. I had a block heater. On the VW the glow plugs will burn out over time. Make sure your glow plugs are all in working order. Do an Air Fuel and Oil Filter change. 5w-40 Syntnetic worked great for me, most times I didn't have starting problems. Check your battery, I found that most of my starting problems with my car were due to battery age. And since you have a truck I would make sure all the Wheel bearings are good and well greased. Plus what ever you do to a 4 x 4 if your truck is a 4 x4. And last but least, good tires. Having stuff in the truck like a sleeping bag is a given, I would put a small stove and some gas canisters some place in the truck, you get stuck some place nothing like a hot cup of tea to take the edge off.

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    Brian
    I've been following this site for several years and these questions and answers come up every fall. You might want to research some of the earlier threads concerning this subject.
    Steve
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    Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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    Member G3_Guy's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks guys! I tested the antifreeze and it is good for -45 plus. I already run additive in my diesel every 2-3 tanks. I use the Diesel Klean + Cetane Booster in the silver jug. Will that be sufficient or would you suggest something different? I installed the the block heater cord a couple of weeks ago... what a pain! I have also purchased a Winter Front for my truck to help keep the heat in on those early morning warm ups. I will definitely have a tote in the back of the truck with all of my winter survival kit. Is there anything else you can think of? Being this is my first diesel engine and my first winter in AK, what is the "magic" date and/or temperature I should start plugging my truck up at night? Also, I have purchased a set of studded tires... is there a certain date I can start running these in Kasilof/Soldotna? Thanks Again!
    G3 Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by G3_Guy View Post
    Also, I have purchased a set of studded tires... is there a certain date I can start running these in Kasilof/Soldotna?
    This coming Saturday, 10/1.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    EPA recommends using a block heater starting at 20*, however I wait til it's a bit cooler. Helpful to have one of them programmable outlet timers so mon-fri the block heaters kick on say, 6 hours prior to you leaving for the day.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Thanks again fro everyone's feedback on this thread. I've been working to get everything ready and think I have most if not all of it done. In regards to the Diesel-Kleen additive, would you recommend using the Silver or White bottles of this and why? I use the silver currently and like how it helps performance. However, I'm not sure if it or the white bottle will work best for the winter temps. Thoughts?
    G3 Guy
    "...with God all things are possible." - Mark 10:27

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    [QUOTE= I will definitely have a tote in the back of the truck with all of my winter survival kit. Is there anything else you can think of? [/QUOTE]

    Brian,
    On really treacherous icy days think about bringing your cold weather survival gear into the cab with you. If you skid off the road into a deep ravine and are trapped in the cab it would be nice to have that stuff beside you and not in the back of the truck. It could save your life.
    Steve
    Tomorrow's a mystery, yesterday's history, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present!
    Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    A winter kit is an always thing. Sleeping bag, candles, Hothands, gloves, winter boots, heavy socks, something to snack on that won't freeze...

    I also carry jumper cables and a tow strap for helping others.

    I run 5W-30 in the winter. My 04 I had a grill cover but the 08 doesn't need one in Valdez. I can't even remember pluggin in last winter once. The Deisel Kleen does seem to help the mileage. My biggest problem is I don't run long enough to get the DPF to do a complete regen. When the warrenty is up it is going bye bye.

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