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Old 06-04-2003, 11:56 PM
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Location: Boston,Ma
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cold weather advice

Living in Boston last winter,I had no problems starting my '82 240D,using Delvac One 5-40. Temps occasionally at 5 to 10 above--no sweat! However,I'm moving to Vermont soon and need advice. Can I get by with synthetic oil and an oil pan heater?Is the block heater an absolute must? We're probably looking at 15 to 20 below on occasion. How many degrees is a garage "worth"? Thanks for any advice:no,make that any good advice. A little humor?
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:54 AM
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Can't speak to the synthetic oil issue, but it would seem that the garage would help quite a bit in the morning after a -15 to -20 nite. However if you don't get it back in the garage before you shut it off in that kind of weather, and it sits all day (nite) you will likely not see any garage advantage at that point.
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Old 06-05-2003, 11:55 AM
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THe block heater is best because it puts the heat where you need it, the top of the engine.

An oil pan heater heats the lower part of the engine and the heat takes a longer time to get up to the head where ignition starts. I would install a block heater .

You might also have to use an anti gel in the fuel when its that cold or burn kerosene.

Definetly stay with the synthetic engine oil. Maybe even a 0W-30 weight.

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Old 06-05-2003, 12:30 PM
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You should be fine with synthetic oil for those temps. Look at your owner's manual for what oil to use in those anticipated temps. Per the MB Factory approved service products list, for temps that low, the following are recommended weights; 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40 and 5W-50. If your car doesn't already have a block heater I owld definetly get one installed. The block heater actually sits in one of the block's freeze plugs. When plugged in it heats the water. As water heats up it begins to circulate, thereby warming the whole block.
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Old 06-06-2003, 01:12 PM
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You will (should) be able to get by with an oil pan heater and synthetic oil, that was always enough to get my car started at 10 below. I could get it started, but it was tough at that temp - lots of cranking and lots of smoke.
A block heater is much better. Just glow the plugs and fire it right up. I don't think a garage will help much for overnight when it is cold.
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Old 06-06-2003, 07:57 PM
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Location: NYC and VT
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Just for fun...

here is a little reminder to myself of my own stupidity a few months ago that you might find amusing, dbgrate.

It is -25 F and my oil filter leaked at start attempt.

I recommend a battery warmer, a block heater and a fuel line warmer. And a neighbor who is a dairy farmer. And a pit in the garage. And leaving the plugs plugged ALL NIGHT. And check it yourself, don't leave it for someone else to do.

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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Old 06-06-2003, 10:18 PM
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Location: Wakefield, RI
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There are two systems you need to have working perfectly for a diesel to start in extreme cold.

1. A starter and battery in EXCELLENT condition. If the starter is old and tired or the battery is not up to snuff or even if the battery cables are in poor shape the engine will not turn over fast enough to start.

2. Fully-functional glow plugs. The only way to make absolutely sure the plugs work correctly is to pull them and bench test. Older or half dead plugs will test fine electronically but they don't glow red-hot.

Synthetic oil certainly helps cranking speed, block heaters make it easier to start the engine and fuel additives keep the fuel flowing but they are just a crutch if you don't have #'s 1&2 sorted out. RT
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