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Bassboy1645

Cold and trucks...

17 posts in this topic

My blazer didnt start this am...my roomates f150 barely started...Once his was warmed up 20 mins later I put mine on the jumper cables and tried it 5 different times. The furthest I got was runnign for a second then died. It has a full tank of gas. It dosent have an oil pan heater. I tried adding some iso heet stuff and tried a few more times. It wanted to go but it just couldnt..Mechanic Uncle says back in the old school they built a little charcoal fire under the block and sealed out the bottom of the veichle with blankets and carboard. just enough heat to warm up the lines and the block...seems kinda dangerous...What can I do?? or should I tow it to a garge if I can and heat it up for a while inside??

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Are you able to crank the motor well or is it weak? How old is your battery? Do you have corrosion on your battery cables? How's you ground circuits? If your electrical system is fine then you need to work on heating your block. The typical coolant heater works, an oil pan heater works (fairly cheap and uses less electricity than the factory block heater), or if you really want to go first class and solve the problem try a webasto FOH coolant and air heater for your truck (very little current draw, uses fuel from your tank)

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I was logging during the mid 80s and one day I neglected to start my truck during the day so at the end of the day I couldn't get it going. The high that day was something less than -20. It had a manual transmission so we tried to push start it with a skidder but the gear oil was so thick the rear tires only slid on the ground when I released the clutch. Had to leave it in the woods overnight.

The next day I brought an old metal cake pan, some charcoal, and a blanket. We lit the charcaol but waited until the starter fuel burned off then placed it under the engine on the ground. Half hour later it was running.

Thing is, this can work BUT if your engine has any oil leaks or fuel leaks there is the potential for a fire. Since I suspect your vehicle is near a place where you have electric power, you would be better off to find another safer way to warm it.

One difference between ignintion systems today and the old contact points we had is that if your battery is putting too much energy into turning the engine, the output voltage may be too low for the electronic ignintion system to function. With our old systems, if the engine could turn over at all, the ignition system still had the potential to function enough to fire.

Bob

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More then likely it is flooded out, you can try to crank it over with the foot pedal to the floor, avoid turning the key on and off, make sure the battery is fully charged or have a good set of cables on it. If that doesnt get it started you could pull the plugs out and dry them off, check the oil see if it smells like gas. If you can wait, tomorrow is suppose to be warmer, charge the battery up, and try it tomorrow, just be sure after you do get it running that you check your oil to make sure it doesnt smell like gas.

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I agree at this point it is probably flooded. Hold the gas pedal to the floor then turn the key on and crank it over. Holding the pedal to the floor while cranking should put the vehicle into deflood mode. Once it starts be ready to let off the gas as they sometimes will climb RPM's pretty fast and other times will be boggy for a couple of seconds.

A new battery might be a start but it would be worthwile to see if the plugs are worn out (I have also run into brands of plugs that don't work well in these in the cold weather) or switching to synthetic for the winter to help with the cold starts. (I know its hard to believe that I would reccomend synthetic oil but for extreme cold I have first hand seen the benefits)

Good luck! Don't be affraid to hold the pedal to the floor, its a common practice for suspected flooded vehicles.

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Airjer, after this happens, when a car can't start or gets flooded, should he do an oil change right away? I was told, and followed the advice with wifes '92 chev years ago, that gas could get into oil and then really mess with gaskets and do serious damage if you didn't change oil. Is this true?

We changed her oil, let car warm up, we used electric heaters in garage, and then it ran great afterwards.

I found that the most problems arise when people let their batteries get older than 5 years and they get weak and then the first cold spell they won't start, and that is when the rash of little problems start up. I now change batteries after the 5th summer, whether it seems I need it or not.

Thanks.

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Gas in the oil is bad, if it smells like gas change it. A old battery doesnt make it a bad one, I would recommend getting the battery tested every oil change or every 3 months, more then changing your battery at 5 years. You would be suprised at the amount of batteries that fail in less then 2-3 years old. I have had many batteries last alot more then 5 years. Its just best to get them tested regularly.

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Gotcha 4wand. Thanks for info! Will do that as well.

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Hmm...my truck is fairly new...00' amd the battery is new last yr. the electrical system is sound... I may try the flooded part later...But thing is even if it was flooded wouldnt it not be flooded after a few hours?? I tried to start it at 130pm but still no go...If all else fails Im gonna wait till friday supposed to be in the 20s and then if it dont start ill tow it or push it into a garage if I can to let it thaw a bit.

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oh i got synthetic oil too...!

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Hmm...my truck is fairly new...00' amd the battery is new last yr. the electrical system is sound...quote]

I am not mechanic, but that sure sounds like you might want to make sure the fuel pump didn't so south on you. If you just turn the key on, but not turn it over, do you hear the fuel pump "wind up"? On a Chev you sure should. Not sure about other trucks.

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 Originally Posted By: Bassboy1645
But thing is even if it was flooded wouldn't it not be flooded after a few hours??

No. Its too cold for the fuel to evaporate. Not only is liquid fuel covering the plugs it is also covering the pistons, cylinder walls, and intake runners. It can also washing away the lubrication for the rings and can cause a loss of compression in the cylinders.

Good point about the fuel pump. If you cannot hear it run then don't be afraid to whack the tank about dead center while somebody cranks it over. Typically either a brush has hung up or the commutator in the pump is worn out in a spot. A good thump will sometimes move it enough to make contact again and get you going. This is not a fix! If this works than a new fuel pump should be in your near future.

Typically we will recommend a deflood package which includes new plugs and an oil change. Its never a bad idea to change the oil after a vehicle has flooded. Most cases when the vehicle does not start after a couple of tries, people will stop trying and call the tow truck. In these situations I don't feel IMO that it is absolutely necessary unless it is almost or overdue for one anyway. The people that crank until the battery is dead, I would be more inclined to change the oil. Like I said it never hurts.

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hmmm nice ideas guys but it was just too cold....half my buddies trucks didnt start either...Yesterday it was warmish and I put her on the jumpers one last time and she turned right over... it ran rough for a min but then all was good and running like a champ ever since... just had to borrow another truck for a day is all....

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Glad to hear it. Make sure you check to see if the oil smells gassy, if it does, get it changed.

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 Originally Posted By: airjer
I would be more inclined to change the oil. Like I said it never hurts.

I once bought a Saab that wasn't starting. Went home, drained motor oil and got 5 GALLONS OF GASOLINE mixed with oil out of it.

It was a ECM failure, and thank godness it did NOT start.

Change the oil, it's cheap and safer \:o

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If your oil pan is steel you can buy an oil pan heater that is magnetic. Stick it on the bottom of the pan and pull it off again the next day. Kind of a pain, but it works to keep the oil warm.

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Just get a block heater installed...

The extra mile is a battery blanket, but don't hear much about those anymore.

I did a few years in the AF at Grand Forks AFB. Had a block heater and a battery warmer/blanket and my vehicle never failed to start no matter how cold as long as it was plugged in.

Also, I've used 0W-30 synthetic in my truck the last few winters and it starts quite well even when not plugged in. Well, except for a couple weeks ago when it didn't start. Was completely dead. Went to put the charger on it and saw that the battery looked like a basketball. Oops... left the dome light on and the batt was froze solid. Oh well, it was three years old anyway.

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