Do you have any winter diesel tips? It takes three attempts to get my car started in moderately cold weather. I live in Northampton, MA.
1. I read an article (see attachment) that suggested getting my battery's cold crank tested.
2. Another tip was starting the glow plugs three times before attempting to start
3. Mixing winter diesel a blend of DF1 and DF2 to increase my cloud point and definitely my pour point.
Do you like any of these ideas?
Any other winter diesel tips?
Have your battery checked every year on any car, if the acid runs low the space it once occupied will fill with hydrogen gas and one morning you will go to start the car, the plates will arc and your battery will explode, denting the hood and covering the engine and wiring in acid... This happens about this time of year, every year and I get 3 or 4 calls each winter asking what to do.
You can actually melt your glow plugs if they are left on too long, and glow plugs draw a lot of amps, amps which your battery will no longer have to crank the motor. Twice is about enough in rapid succession I think.
You can install a block heater and set it on a timer. Plug in the car when you get home and have the timer set to turn the heater on an hour or so before you will be starting the car in the morning, it will get the engine to about 130F.
Search biodiesel.infopop.cc for "fuel mixing", many people in Europe, esp Germany mix unleaded with WVO or diesel to "winterize" it. I have found that mixing about 3% unleaded with WVO causes it to settle out in just a few hours, muck goes to the bottom and clear oil remains on top. I then sucked this oil off and put it in a mason jar in the freezer, after a few hours it did solidify but thawed out in about 30 minutes at room temp and in less than a minute if I ran warm water over the jar.
You can replace your thermostat with a higher temp thermostat so you get to temp faster and block a portion of your radiator from air flow. Look at big trucks, they have a zippered vynal flap over the rad in the winter covering most of it. I made one for my benz and it works great.
Thanks for the tips Chris.
you also may have one or more bad glow plugs. there is some way to check them with a volt meter, but unfortunately, my knowledge stops there.
hey you know it's winter time when your old diesel just will not start. i replaced the glow plugs in my 84 rabbit ,checked for a weak starter and replaced my older battery with a new and more powerful one and...............it still would not start when the temp here in northern ny. dropped below 40. since i'm off the grid and can't access the electricity to run a block heater i must resort to the good old can of starting fluid sprayed in the air intake. i don't use the glow plugs when i do this out of fear of engine damage from high combustion. i also have heard that using starting fluid too often could damage the engine. maybe someone else coud confirm this? hey but when your stuck somewhere that can of starting fluid could save the day. my mechanic says that diesels just don't want to start on a cold day unless the are plugged in. good luck!
Glow plugs -
1) Have someone turn them on, while they are "Glowing" apply a test light to the end of each plug, the one nearest the firewall should be light the light brightly, each successive plug whould dim the light a bit. (not my favorite way)
2) Glow the car twice, get out, pull the dipstick and touch the end with the drip of oil on it to the end of the plug, if it smokes it it working. Like this one and the "Wizard" aspect of the smoke is sure to impress the croud. Passing your havds in a circle over the hood before opening it adds to the effect.
3) Disconnect the wires from each plug and check for continuity to ground, if you find an open circuit, you have a bad plug.
Starting fluid - A little goes a long way! Since everyone here is in to "out-of-the-box" andswer and methods which may or may not be a little risky I will share this little gem from the darkest corners of the midnight mechanics toolbox... Connect another battery to tthe battery in your car...IN SERIES... have a friend sit in the car and cover his/her eyes with a blindfold, touch the battery cable to the terminal of just one batt and glow the car (on 12v) as soon as it is glowed turn the ign off quickly and connect the second batt and have your beautiful assistant start the car. With 24vdc it will spin like a Heuey on take-off and likely fire even if it only has 80lbs of compression. As soon as the engine starts reconnect as 12vdc. This can be done with a jumper box as well and I have never had this method fail to start a car - it has risks - everything in the car is designed for 12vdc and you are doubling it. Although I have never burned out a glow relay, instrument light or starter, it is possible. We used to convert VW bugs to 12v and just leave the 6v starter in and they lasted years... Try at your own risk and I never told you about it.
I like the radiator cover and the block heater best it works! Off the grid I don't know, VW makes a solar battery trickle charger that you plug into your cigarette lighter but at 3.2 watts and 170 milliamps it is more to keep your battery topped off than to recharge one it is about 1 foot square and has suction cups to attach it to your wind shield.
KEEP ON GREASIN'
1998 VW Jetta, 1.9 L TDI For Sale!! 7,500. Only 88,000 miles installing TDI HEATER when it gets here.
1994 Chevy Suburban, 6.5 L TD
1982 VW Westy in the bullpen.
1973 Olds Delta 88 Convertable, AKA Land Yacht, 455 Rocket, King of the
Chris, would you recommend the 3% gasoline mix in order to speed up the settling process? It would be nice to have clear oil in 3 days instead of 7-8 days. (longer in cool weather)
I recommend nothing of the sort, all this is experimental - that said, I do it regularly. I found that heating the oil to 140F and pouring it through a VW jetta air filter produced the same results - settled overnight.
I have already started the 3% gas mix in half of my 'cubes'. They do show signs of heavy chunks on the bottom in the first day. The 'biodiesel.infopop.cc' link looks like those guys have formulated a poor-mans biodiesel by removing the fats from filtered oil - really interesting stuff. \
A couple of other winter tips I didn't see on the list, especially for older vehicles:
1. Make sure you change your oil to a low-viscosity (ie 5w-30) oil made for diesels. This makes winter cranking easier.
2. Check your cables and groundstraps. Replace with big new cables if necessary. Clean all connections. These things help.
3. Block heater is the best, and reduces wear on all the other parts by just making the whole enterprise easier.
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is...
Have you tried mixing in unleaded and then also heating your oil? Maybe the better question would be, when you have blended unleaded with your veggie to promote settling. Did you then heat it before final filtering?
Hi all, i'm new to this forum and this is my first post.
Just got a 94 jetta in the hopes of running it in wvo in the future once I work out all the bugs, one of which is right on this topic.
Found this tip in the net, I have zero car knowledge.... anybody can give an explaination or thumbs up/down on Jims solution? Thanks in advance...
Everything you would ever want to know about your VW TDI is at "www.tdiclub.com"
Hauled enough dino petroleum products!!!
I just noticed your comment about adding gasoline to the veg oil is this to separate some of the glycerol or is it to make it more liquid so it settles the chunks better? It would be great to be able to separate some of the fats if possible.
I have noticed the oil fully settles in a matter of days. The goo on the bottom of the cubes is much thicker/dense than unmixed oil, and the top oil does not cloud as easily as unmixed oil. From what I have read on the info-pop forums, and from mixing myself, the 3% unleaded mix does seem to winterize wvo.
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