Won't start in the cold! - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:12 PM   eBay Motors  #1 (permalink)
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Won't start in the cold!

Hi I am new to this forum, and just bought my first diesel. Its an 04.5 sierra 2500HD duramax 6.6 LLY, I got the truck a day ago and it ran and drove great when i met up with the guy and took it on a test drive and i had no problems starting it that day at all that day (although it probably didnt sit long enough to get too cold). After it sat outside for the night it would crank but just wouldnt start! Its been really cold lately, in the negatives and i wasnt able to plug in the block heater that night because the are no outlets anywhere near my apartment parking lot, i tried priming it, bleeding the screw on the fuel filter housing, cranked but no turn over, finally went and bought a generator to plug in the block heater, let it sit for about 2 hours but still didnt turn over. The batteries got really weak after a few times of cranking so i used jumper cables and hooked it up to another running vehicle (non diesel) and only was able to get it to crank weakly, so now i am not sure were to go from here, could it just have been weak batteries from the start that need replacing? do i need to leave the block heater on longer? any other suggestions? Any help appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 PM   eBay Motors  #2 (permalink)
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You said it cranked but no turn over??? Kinda confusing. Is the engine turing over? Is there any fuel additive in the tank?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:45 PM   eBay Motors  #3 (permalink)
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Sorry, it cranks but wont start up, earlier i did pour some seafoam in the tank which is under quater full, didnt seem to make a difference though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:44 AM   eBay Motors  #4 (permalink)
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How old are the batteries? It has been VERY cold out lately and worn out batteries + low temps = no start. The starter is going to be drawing a LOT more current than usual if the oil is cold, which doesn't help matters because batteries that have enough capacity to start the truck when it's above freezing won't do crap as it gets close to zero outside. Five years old is ancient for a battery, especially one in a diesel.

You can cheat by taking the batteries indoors and charging them. Once they are nice and warm and charged, they should start the truck just fine, assuming they are just old and not total junk. If you want to re-start the truck later, you're probably screwed though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:45 AM   eBay Motors  #5 (permalink)
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if you had to jump it, it sounds like you need new batteries. i know mine did. it should start without being plugged in but it sure does help especially if its 15W oil. It has to crank fairly fast to start. I run 0W-40synthetic oil for winter here in canada.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:46 AM   eBay Motors  #6 (permalink)
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I'm with the others on the new batteries. made a world of difference starting when I bought my truck last year with what were, probably, the original (5 year old) batteries.

Just had the truck parked for two days in Michigan's UP with temps at or well below zero both days, and no way to plug the truck in. Started right up. Likewise, it started right up yesterday here in Minneapolis even after I forgot to plug it in the night before.

I also run 0W-40 oil (but do it year round with Rotella T6).
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:17 AM   eBay Motors  #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, ill start with new batteries, ill keep eveyone posted.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:17 PM   eBay Motors  #8 (permalink)
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depending on what was in the tank, you may have gelled up. When this happens your fuel filter plugs up with gelled fuel and your truck will not start. Pull the filter off and make sure the fuel is good. Use an additive with an anti-gel like Diesel Kleen white bottle to keep it from happening in the future.

Mine went all last weekend in Marquette MI (not nearly as cold as here in MN) and wasnt plugged in most of last week or during the days this week.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:58 PM   eBay Motors  #9 (permalink)
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Ok so i got 2 new batteries, plus the block heater going for the last 2 and a half hours and its still wont fire up. One thing ive noticed is that after everytime i try to start the truck it loses prime and i have to prime the hell out of it until its firm again. Could the fuel filter head be bad and cause it not to start?
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:07 PM   eBay Motors  #10 (permalink)
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fuel could be jelled, get some diesel kleen 911 (red bottle) and change the filter, thats where i would start.
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