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Winter Engine Operation

Ensuring excellent cold-weather operation of your Cummins Turbo Diesel is easy with four key features that are designed into the engine, and two aftermarket equipment options that might be beneficial depending on the climate in your area. Here’s how you can protect your engine and improve your truck’s cold-weather starting capabilities.

Engine Block Heater
The engine block heater is a resistance heater installed in the water jacket of the engine just above and behind the oil filter. It requires a 110- to -115-volt AC electrical outlet with a grounded, three-wire extension cord. The engine block heater is required only when ambient temperatures are below -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius), but recommended at temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). For full capability, once you turn on the engine block heater, it needs to run for one hour before you start your truck.

Grid Heater
The grid heater found on your 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel is effectively an electrical element that sits in the entrance to the intake manifold. When the engine is keyed on at cold temperatures, the “wait to start” lamp will be illuminated. During this time, the vehicle batteries are being used to heat this electrical element. When the engine is cranked, air is drawn over this hot element, meaning that the air entering the cylinders is preheated, and hot enough that the diesel-and-air mix will ignite easily when compressed. For more details on grid heaters, please read “Grid Heaters and Glow Plugs” from Q1 2013.

Fuel Filter Heater
A 12-volt heater built into the fuel filter housings helps prevent fuel gelling. It is controlled by a built-in thermostat.

Fast Idle
If ambient temperatures are low, the engine idle speed will slowly increase to 1,000 rpm after two minutes of idle, if the following conditions are met: do not depress the brake or throttle pedals, the automatic transmission must be in park, and the vehicle speed must be zero. To cancel the fast idle feature, apply the throttle. For more information on the fast idle feature, consult your Owners Manual.

Battery Blankets
A battery loses substantial cranking power as the battery temperature decreases to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). At 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius), the engine requires twice as much power to crank at the same rpm. The use of 120-volt AC powered battery blankets will greatly increase starting capability at low temperatures. Suitable battery blankets are available from your authorized MOPAR® dealer. For more details on battery blankets, read “Fact or Fiction: Batteries in the Cold” from Q1 2013.

Cold Weather Grille Cover
A winter front, or cold weather cover, is designed to be used in ambient temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit; especially during extended idle conditions, to reduce condensation build-up within the engine crankcase. The cover will also drastically increase the warm rate inside the cab. The cold weather cover is available as a part of the Cold Weather Prep Package or through your authorized MOPAR® dealer.

Starting Fluids
Never pour fuel or other flammable liquids into the throttle body air inlet opening in an attempt to start the vehicle. This could result in serious personal injury.

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