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Frozen Diesel

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
allanm, Sorry, brain fade at 1:45 am, started typing, then got it into my head it was a "Bump Start" Apologies. Embarassed
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
^^^ So .. attempting to jump start a diesel (with flat battery) is fine, in any weather, temperature or whatever.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
allanm wrote:
^^^ So .. attempting to jump start a diesel (with flat battery) is fine, in any weather, temperature or whatever.


'Always' and 'Never' have the rest of the real world between them...................

Assuming the 'slave' battery(ies) is of adequate capacity, but more importantly, the jump leads are up to the job, and the person orchestrating the deal has some kind of clue. You may be safer using leads that have an anti-surge suppressor across them, so that is the advice, but personally I've never found the need.

This doesn't however solve the underlying problem, if there is one, such as if there is a reason why the battery's is discharged (alternator problem, drivebelt etc etc), or guarantee starting if the battery is so flat the codes have been lost (main dealer), or cure waxed diesel, a frozen engine/waterpump, or etc etc. If it's that cold, it may be worth verifying the engine will actually turn over physically prior to cranking, trying to start a 'frozen' diesel is an complete no-no.

The commonly accepted procedure is to connect the slave positive to the battery positive (or the remote point that serves this function usually in the engine bay with a remote battery), the slave earth to a good clean solid place on the engine block/head/gearbox casing (thus eliminating a potential fault), start the slave vehicle and run for ten minutes or so at approx 2000-2500 rpm to build up charge in the in the flat battery, shut down, give the patient plenty of glow, and then crank over. If it won't start reasonably promptly, stop cranking, run slave vehicle for 20 minutes, repeat........................until calling a technician becomes the obvious avenue. If the leads/clips/terminals get warm to the touch, internal resistance will cause a big enough voltage drop to render your efforts futile.

The jump lead issue is often the killer. My leads are homemade as I couldn't purchase off the shelf leads that were good enough for all situations. The have solid brass clips, 16' long 500amp welding cable leads, weigh about 15kgs and the will start anything you'll encounter on the road. They would cost around 160 to replicate today. Any leads currently worth less than about 30, shop bought, aren't worth a toss, IMO, so don't waste your money (the 'Ruskin law' applying here). wink

[The Disclaimer: Obviously not knowing the potential of any person(s) using the above info, you use any or all of it at your own risk, not at all if you have any doubts whatsoever, soliciting the services of a qualified professional, and given in good faith accept absolutely no responsibility for any consequential damage, etc etc etc, blah,blah, blah.]

p.s. Flat batteries actually freeze at much higher temperatures than correctly charged ones, so keeping it well charged in the first place is good insurance in itself. Also starting ether ('Easystart') has it's place, correctly used, despite the old wives tales, but use sparingly and strictly according to the manufacturers instructions.
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Prevention is better than cure. Before you go, get the fuel filter changed and carry a spare. Don't allow he fuel level to get too low and fill up before you park up. Try and park in sheltered locations, not nose to the prevailing wind if possible. Before you park up, switch off all electrical loads (lights, heaters etc) and allow the engine to idle for 5 mins to get the battery fully charged.
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Quote:

Flat batteries actually freeze at much higher temperatures than correctly charged ones

that's another thing I never knew!
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And DON'T add petrol to your diesel if you have a common rail diesel car. You will kill it quite quickly.

Best solution if you spend a lot of time in cold places is a petrol car... or a Swedish-spec car which you plug in to the electricity to warm the engine before you turn it on.

A fire under the engine is a traditional method with old-fashioned motors, these days it would likely melt something important...


Presumably OP managed to get himself going as he hasn't been seen again.
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Got home today at 6am! We managed to get the car going via a jump start after leaving it in the sun all day. There were lots of people around us who had the same problem and most managed to get going after leaving the cars in the sun. Lucky it was a sunny day as we got a call back from the AA just after we got the car started that the very earliest they might be able to get to us was on Tuesday but that wasnt confirmed. Didnt think much of the AA as after they hadnt come back to us 3 hours after the original call we called them after waiting in a queue for over half an hour only for them to say hasnt anyone come back to you yet and there was nothing they could do for us.
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nnnnn, RAC were very good when we had to use them for a similar problem.
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nnnnn, Thanks for letting us know the outcome....some folk don't bother!
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The word on the street fozzy is the French refineries have been economizing on the antifreeze (normally -15C for the non mountainousness areas of France from Nov to April) and this has caused thousands of breakdowns. They were caught out by the cold snap.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:
Flat batteries actually freeze at much higher temperatures than correctly charged ones

that's another thing I never knew!


[boring]

Basically as a battery discharges (flattens), the electrolyte (battery acid) weakens (less concentrated), as the percentage of water relative to acid increases (diluted). Weak acid (discharged battery) freezes at a higher temperature than more concentrated acid (charged battery).

[Charged] Pb + PbO2 + 2HSO4 = 2PBSO4 + H2O [Discharged]

[/boring]



nnnn Glad it solved itself without too much hassle, relatively.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Anybody got a can of de-icer?

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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Spyderman, ^^ What a cracking pic!! Where did you take it??
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
NoDosh wrote:
Even with winter additive, it starts getting marginal at -20C. It's a fundamental problem with diesel. Best bet is to learn where your fuel filter is, buy a spare one and take the tools needed to change it. Once you've changed it, move the ignition to the last position before engine start and leave it there for 60 seconds. Turn off and repeat 4 times. This will purge your fuel lines and get the fuel pump warm. Depending on the engine you may also have a primer pump under the bonnet; if you have, use it.


Unfortunately changing the fuel filter isn't exactly a roadside DIY job on all cars. On both my Honda's it's at the back of the engine bay and there a numerous components to remove first to access it. The FRV is the worst, as you have to remove the engine cover, throttle control unit and air filter box (and to remove that you have to remove the battery), and then it's still a royal PITA as the fuel pump is directly attached to the filter enclosure and the mounting bolts are nigh-on inaccessible.

OK in the comfort of a warm garage, but outdoors at -20C? Think I'd have frost bite in my fingers well before I'd finished the job.

And back on the 'Petrol in Diesel' point, I stand by my advice that it's potentially a bad plan. It's only fair that anyone reading this and thinking about it knows there is a fair risk in modern diesels. The vast majority of car manufacturers recommend against it. It will almost certainly invalidate any warranty, could result in a large repair bill, not to mention a far more inconvenient breakdown at some point in the future. Not all engines are the same. The fact some people do it without problem does not make it safe - a bit like off-piste without a guide and the right gear! If it was really that simple, wouldn't the oil companies do it? If you are happy to take the risk, Google around for a broader understanding first and keep the percentage low (<5%).

Personally, I'd rather shell out a few quid extra on additives designed for the job than risk it. If you really want a DIY additive, central-heating oil might be a safer bet (though maybe not readily available up a mountain), and of course you would pay the additional tax due for using it on the road, wouldn't you wink

OH, and Spyderman, don't worry about deicer, a couple of kettles of boiling water should sort that in no time Toofy Grin
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There is some pertinent information on this thread, given by people who actually know what they are talking about.

As this kind of question crops up quite frequently, maybe parts of this could be made a sticky, without prejudice.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Spyderman, you think you've got it bad in the 4x4, just look at the MX5 behind it! Hardtop anyone?
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BCjohnny wrote:
There is some pertinent information on this thread, given by people who actually know what they are talking about.

As this kind of question crops up quite frequently, maybe parts of this could be made a sticky, without prejudice.


BC You're having a laugh mate!!....
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
BCjohnny, problem is that there are a lot of stickies ready. If I were driving to the Alps I would refer to the AA

Interestingly their advice is against additives. OTOH their advice to diesel drivers is not much use once the temperature has dropped to -20C

Quote:
Fuel capable of operation down to at least -20C is normal in the popular winter resort destinations.....
So called 'cold flow' additives are not required nor are they recommended.
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I would heartily recommend ignoring everything I've posted. I've never done trailside repairs in less than optimum conditions, never delivered urgent medical supplies and personnel in -15 and lower and certainly never fitted auxilliary heaters nor built dual charge systems in any of my vehicles.......

rolling eyes
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NoDosh,
Don''t get me wrong, I wasn't trying to say it was bad advice to be prepared, just that quickly changing the fuel filter sounds easier written here than it might be in reality. You are clearly confident and experienced in such tasks. I'm happy changing a filter in my garage, which is suspect is more than some people reading this would consider, but I know my limits. I'm also sure I'm not the only one who's fingers only just retain feeling long enough to fit chains, let alone longer more fiddly tasks in the cold.

achilles wrote:
BCjohnny, problem is that there are a lot of stickies ready. If I were driving to the Alps. I would refer to the AA.

Interestingly their advice is against additives. OTOH their advice to diesel drivers is not much use once the temperature has dropped to -20C


The same AA that other have said told them to wait a few days for help wink

Quote:
Fuel capable of operation down to at least -20C is normal in the popular winter resort destinations.....
So called 'cold flow' additives are not required nor are they recommended.


Let's read that in context. They are suggesting additives are not recommended or required for ready winterised fuel. Winterised fuel would be my first choice. If my fuel was gelling, given the choice between a purpose designed and tested additive and petrol, I'd go with the additive. And if that caused problems, at least there is someone to pursue for compensation if you're so inclined.

And one last point, for those who say they use petrol in a homebrew biodiesel mix without issue, while still not ideal, biodiesel does have higher lubricity than mineral diesel, which will somewhat compensate for the effects of the petrol. It also has a higher gelling point though, so don't add biodiesel either!

Hell, if your car won't start, just take it as a good excuse to spend a few more days skiing until the weather warms up enough to go home (Summer?). Sounds like a plan to me.
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allanm, the only thing I find laughable is the risible 'advice' given in some of the posts.

I reluctantly joined this thread to try to correct some of that, has have others with sound advice. I'm fine with gifted amateurs giving their expert advice, but when it could potentially lead to expensive damage, don't be surprised when those, for whom this is more than a hobby, correct it.

Hopefully anyone who may have a use for any of this information will be able seperate the wheat from the chaff. wink
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NoDosh, how's that tractor of yours?
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Ok I think I will fill up in the mountains, park in the sun (if there is any) and not try to leave too early in the morning - if at all....

Will that do?
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James the Last wrote:
NoDosh, how's that tractor of yours?


Which one? Laughing

Trust you don't mean any of the three with the Green Oval on them wink
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NoDosh wrote:


Which one? Laughing

Trust you don't mean any of the three with the Green Oval on them wink


What you got? I've got two, B-i-L has four.
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More frozen chuff than frozen diesel, not sure what additives she had in her tank or whether she needed bump starting afterwards (Lake Geneva yesterday)







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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
davidof, Shocked
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Quote:

Fuel capable of operation down to at least -20C is normal in the popular winter resort destinations.....

Well on the pumps it generally says -15. I filled up with non-mountain diesel near Troyes last night before staying at the Val Moret, where the temperature when we parked at 2230 was -11. I parked the car nose into the building. The two UK registered 4 x 4s in the next two spaces were backed into the building. Which meant that this morning, when it was -12, they had ice on their windscreens and I didn't and could hop straight in and drive out. Little Angel Car started first time.

I always buy the bog standard diesel. What are the advantages of the much more expensive fancy ones? I did wonder, after I'd filled up last night, whether I should have spent the extra 6 cents a litre.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
davidof, Shocked
I'm impressed! Was it -20 in Geneva yesterday as well?
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FYI - Total garage at Albertville sells 2 types of diesel. I asked what the temperature rating was: 1 at - 15 deg. and the other - 20 deg. So it's worth asking as there was no notice on the pump itself.

The breakdown guys must be rubbing there hands in glee at all the fees they're currently earning.


I had been filling up at the SuperU at La Bathie and had experienced problems. Seems much better now. Too tight until now to pay the extra!! There's been a noticeable performance difference - anyone know if the injectors in a 2.0 HDI engine are affected by this gelling?
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davidof, Amazing.

Was at 'our lake' the other day, I did remark to myself that 'you wouldn't last 30 seconds in this'.
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davidof, i bet she had some icy nips
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
davidof wrote:
More frozen chuff than frozen diesel, not sure what additives she had in her tank or whether she needed bump starting afterwards (Lake Geneva yesterday)










and to think I'd lost interest in this thread Shocked

(only quoting to keep the pics nice and recent, think any further replies to thread should be via a quote)
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Spyderman wrote:


What you got? I've got two, B-i-L has four.


1978 sIII 88" 2.25 truck cab
Freelander Td4
Disco3

Sold our Puma County T/c about 4 months back. We prefer the series!
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Sorry, nearly forgot Embarassed
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NoDosh wrote:


1978 sIII 88" 2.25 truck cab
Freelander Td4
Disco3

Sold our Puma County T/c about 4 months back. We prefer the series!


So you've got 2 then, can't count a Gaylander wink Laughing

Mine are a 1981 Series III 88" CSW, with 2.5N/A, snorkel, 900 tyres, Goldfish Winch, twin battery/split charge, X-Eng brake, Detroit Locker, Parabolics.
Other is a 1954 Series I 86" with Rover 3.0l straight six. CSW with safari roof.

Nothing to beat a Series Landy, puts a smile on my face every time I drive it.
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The Freely has proved to be a pleasant surprise. Toying with getting an early facelift FL1 3 door and doing a mad max job on it to upset the bobtail D1 brigade. 2" spacers and king springs, deeper section tyres and an auto box will let it go pretty much anywhere a standard 90 will go.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sorry for the hijack. Now back to the real subject of this thread. Picture of frozen pump below:



Pretty certain you would be ok lighting a fire under that.
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*needs to remember not to open this thread at work*
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NoDosh, it was an Italian tractor, wasn't it? And what about the L200?
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