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  1. #1
    Platinum Member hwp's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
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    643
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    St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA
    Tractor
    Kubota F2400

    Default Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    The impression I get from reading a number of posts on various topics is that it is harmful to a diesel engine to use it before the engine is full warmed up. Is this really the case? This is my first diesel tractor but I have owned several diesel cars and never had a problem with driving them as soon as they were started. Most of those cars had well over 500k miles on them before I sold them and they were still running strong. There is no question that there is a better fuel burn, and therefore more power, at higher temperatures but these engines have to run to warm up so why not use them in the process? I notice that some jurisdictions now prohibit vehicles, particularly diesel powered busses and trucks, from being left idling for more than a few minutes. I have never seen any notation in an owner's manual that a diesel engine should be full warmed up before being used. So what is the basis of the widely held belief that diesel enignes must be fully armed up before they can be used?

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    You will probably get alot of different responses to this. I do believe that you need to let a diesel warm-up for at least a few minutes if it is cold. If it is not cold then drive it right away. The reason is to let the oil warmup a little and get better flow. Plus things break very easily when the temps get down really low. If you let the tractor warmup a little this isn't as big of a problem either. Power steering, the brakes, engine, etc. all work better when the oil is warmer.

    Can you probably get away without warming up? I would say yes here as well. I have never seen any actual studies saying one way or another so it's hard to say. On the old powerstrokes you didn't have any power until they were up to normal operating temp. I am just going by what has worked for many years for us.

    On a side note if you plug them in then you can usually go about right away as the engine is already warmed up.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    472
    Location
    Central NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500HSD

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    In the winter, I start it, pull it out of the garage, walk around and do my manually shoveling around the house and garage doors, then rev it up and go. Probably five minutes warm up at the most. Have never had a problem, but have only had it two years - about 210 hours now.

  4. #4
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
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    Jun 2000
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    6,256
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    I think the key is keeping the stresses low until it is warmed up. As long as the lubricating oil is flowing, it won't hurt to putter around a bit while warming up. In fact, it will help some by warming the other fluids in the system [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    2,518
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    Capital District, Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Satoh S650G, MF135, MF165, JD5205

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    <font color=blue>...Most of those cars had well over 500k miles on them before I sold them and they were still running strong...</font color=blue>

    Howard... WOW!

    Two questions:

    How old are you? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    &amp; What the heck kind of cars did you have...? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img]

    As good as Toyota's and the Honda's are... they'd be hard pressed to go 500,000 miles...

    "I just gots to know".... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2000
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    3,750
    Location
    Stowe, Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    I wondered about this myself till one winter when the seal on my HST filter failed at startup on a minus 10 day. The leaking fluid was very thick at that temp -- almost like maple syrup -- so since then I've let it warm a bit more when brrrr-cold outside.

    Pete

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    49,205
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    On the heavy equipment at our construction company, many of the units have large hydrostatic drives, and they have a hydraulic pressure bypass that you engauge in very low temps, to aid in starting ( Motor graders mainly ).

    Soundguy


  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    1,569
    Location
    Colorado
    Tractor
    2000 New Holland TC29D with 7308 FEL, and top & tilt. 1950 John Deere B. 1940 Farmall A.

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    I agree with RobS, go ahead and use it but don't work it hard until it's warmed up. I work for Cummins Engine (diesel engine manufacturer). I'm an electronic/software guy, so I'm not an expert on the mechanics, but when I first got my tractor I asked an engine designer, who is an expert (has a PhD in mechanical engineering), and he said they don't need to sit and idle to warm up and will warm up faster if you start using it, but don't lug it until it's warmed up. If the temp is 20-25, I plug in the engine heater for at least an hour, if it's 15-20, I plug it in for 2 hours. If it's colder than that, I stay in the house!

  9. #9
    Platinum Member hwp's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
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    643
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA
    Tractor
    Kubota F2400

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    <font color=blue>How old are you?</font color=blue> early 60s

    <font color=blue>What the heck kind of cars did you have...?</font color=blue> 220D, 240D and 300D Benzs - but only gas ones now

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    2,518
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    Capital District, Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Satoh S650G, MF135, MF165, JD5205

    Default Re: Need to Warm Up a Diesel Engine?

    Absolutely... remarkable.... young man...! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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