Cold weather diesel issues

xcuzme222xcuzme222 Member Posts: 3
edited September 2014 in Chevrolet
I have a Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax that is running like crap below 35 degrees


  • xcuzme222xcuzme222 Member Posts: 3
    I have had my truck in several times because it won't go over 2000RPM's when the weather drops below freezing, 32 degrees. Dealer says it's my fuel gelling but I have two neighbors that leave thier trucks outside, Ford diesels, with no problems. I also have a friend of mine who has a 2500HD 2005 Diesel that is having similar issues. His truck has had two fuel pump changes, fuel filter changes, like mine has, and 4 weeks of total service for this problem to no good outcome. Now my dealer is saying that it might be a bacteria build up in my fuel filter. OK! Anybody having similar issues?
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    Where you get your fuel is very important in winter. I stick with the same two stations... both see a lot of big-rig use and turn over the fuel regularly. A bad load of diesel puts a tractor-trailer out of commission and costs the owner a ton of money, so they won't go to stations with bad reputations.

    If your dealer has found bacteria in the filter, you indeed are running on some poor quality fuel. More than likely, it's been in the holding tank too long. A clean filter, some trusted fuel (find a nearby truck stop), and some cleaning additive will get your fuel system back up to snuff. And depending on where you live, if 32° is rare, then most likely you are seeing some gelling as the fuel for your area is likely not "winterized" as it is in the northern states.

    Power Service products are highly thought of in the trucking industry, and are sold in bottles small enough for consumer use.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • xcuzme222xcuzme222 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. I actually live in the Chicagoland area, so cold is a big issue. I got the truck back yesterday and the mechanic told me to try to go to BP Amoco stations since that is where another customer gets his gas and has had no gelling issues. He also gave me the name of several additives recommended by Chevy....Racor Powershot Plus and Stanadyne Winter 1000. The bottom line is, Chevys fuel delivery system is different then other trucks. The fuel pump is no longer in the gas tank. Instead it is up near the engine so when the fuel gets cold, the pump can't keep up with the pressure caused by thicker fuel.....a.k.a. design flaw. Since 2004 this has been an issue. I wish they told me that the Chevys are not cold weather trucks!
  • dave528dave528 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased my duramax last year. It's an 04 duramax lly. I have noticed it runs much cooler than I thought it should. coolant temp runs just above the 1st quarter mark. Maybe 180 to 185. I get my fuel at a place that turns over fuel plenty fast enough. Fuel filter is clean. I'm in northern Illinois. today's temp 11 degrees. Last 2 weeks not above 30 degrees. I dont have any other problems with acceleration or horse power. Truck runs like a champ. It will get up and go just fine. I would think in this weather it should run closer to 210. Anybody got suggestions out there? Talk to a few people. Only real thought is maybe the thermostat is leaking? I called dealer for price and they asked me which one? I asked theres more than 1? He said maybe? I feel stupid? I know this truck for my use is solid but I am a little short on knowledge of diesels. Can any help me?
  • dg54558dg54558 Member Posts: 1
    The 04 duramax wont run hotter unless you use the engine cover or its a long trip. Also there are 2 thermostates first is set at 185 the 2 nd is 190 I think.
  • steveid1steveid1 Member Posts: 3
    I recently bought a 1995 international with a dt466, I am wondering about plugging it in in the colder weather, why is it done etc. ? And can you tell me about the water separator I don't know alot about the stuff, I've heard a little about them but don't even know if I have one on my truck. Any information to get me ready for winter would be helpful. I live in central wisconsin.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    Plugging in the engine block heater keeps the coolant warm and the heat actually does rise through the block. This makes the engine MUCH easier to start in cold weather.

    The water separator should be checked and drained periodically to make sure that water won't make it into the fuel injectors. This is also a good check of your fuel supplier (gas/diesel station). If you see you are draining a lot of water regularly, the fuel you are buying has too much water in the holding tank and you should look for a new fuel source. A drop or three of water is not a big deal when draining the separator, but that's all.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • steveid1steveid1 Member Posts: 3
    How cold should it be before I should start plugging it in at night and does it hurt to leave it plugged in for say a entire weekend while not using it for work? Also where exactly is the water seperator? I don't know how to check it for water?
  • jjl2738jjl2738 Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone help me? I have a 2005 Duramax and I have a K & N Cold Air intake. I recently have been having problems with it. It is running fine until I get on it a little or get up around 55-60 and it acts like it does not want to shift and makes a backfire noise or something. Then it shifts. I changed the fuel filter and it seemed to help a little but it still does it every once in a while. I took it to the local dealer and they said that it was water in the fuel. I drained the tank and used some supplement but still does not run right. Can anyone Help? Thanks
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    The recommendation is usually
    - under +40°F, plugging in is suggested
    - under +10°F, plugging in is required or strongly encouraged
    - under -10°F, mandatory

    The separator is located specific to each vehicle. You'll need to get a service manual for your truck for the location and operation.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • steveid1steveid1 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for the information it is greatly appreciated.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    Very welcome - good luck!

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • timbo13timbo13 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 2500 HD duramax with 50,000 miles on it that has had a problem from day one that the local dealer has been unable to diagnose after running test and talking to GM tech support on mutiple occasions. They claim there is nothing wrong and that this issue may be inherent or possible caused by the 35" tires. My opinion is that the problem has to be caused by some kind of sensor issue. This is my third personal duramax since 2002 and I also have two others in my business fleet. I also bought another 2007 3500 at the same time. The problem has never come up with any of these trucks and I have had larger tires on trucks before. An finally the problem is when air temp drops below around 60° the engine really starts clattering or what could best be described as extreme detonation or spark knock and the colder it gets the worst it seems to get. When it is hot out you never hear a thing. You mainly notice it when at low RPMs, the engine is lugging and low turbo boost. Please help.
  • ackingacking Member Posts: 6
    Your best bet is get an Espar Hydronic 5 Diesel fired recirculating block heater. They cycle on engine temperature, up to 187F for preheating but can also be used for supplemental heat if the engine is starving for heat
  • rpbuicerpbuice Member Posts: 2
    Cranks fine when first starting then after driving about 15-20 min it won't crank until it cools off.
  • stupacstupac Member Posts: 1
    Started engine fine. Drove about 150 yards to an intersection and when I switched gears, engine stopped dead and would not re-start. Plenty of fuel, temp around freezing. Plenty of battery to crank, but no sign of light-off. Any ideas.
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