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This Is What a New Ford Super Duty Diesel Sounds Like on a -30 Degree Cold Start

Blood is thicker than water, but diesel and oil are like molasses at these temps.
@alumiduty via Instagram

You might have noticed that it’s been pretty cold, well, everywhere lately. (I’m not talking to you, Florida.) I guess that’s what January is good for, but still, it isn’t a fun time to be a diesel truck owner. I thought it was bad where I live in the Ozarks with temps dropping below zero this week, but I’ve got nothing on this new Ford Super Duty owner in Calgary, Alberta. If you want proof, check out this cold start video where the pickup rattles and clangs to life around -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The clip was shared on the Alumiduty Instagram page, where they tagged the truck’s owner, Daryl J Hall. He’s a professional transporter who uses his 6.7-liter Power Stroke for work, making this weather even more stressful. I’m sure he’s used to it, living in Canada, but such frigid temps are hard on machinery. There’s no question about it.

Hall says he plugged the Ford’s block heater in about nine and a half hours before attempting the cold start. That explains how it was able to fire up so quickly, but as you can hear, it still makes quite a bit of noise before high idle kicks in and things smooth out. Even with additives, diesel fuel can get extremely thick in temperatures like that, not to mention the engine oil. Hall hopped into the comment section to say he’s running 5W40, which is apparently the lightest that Ford recommends.

Conditions like this can wreak havoc on a truck. The part that may be most at risk is a diesel’s high-pressure fuel pump, especially if you aren’t mixing in Hot Shot’s Secret or something like it to improve lubricity. When the pump is whirring and fuel isn’t moving through, it could be just seconds away from burning up. You also need to watch out for high-pressure oil pump problems and cylinder wear.

For other tips on owning and operating a diesel truck in cold temperatures like these, I defer to The Drive commenter Kabouter’s list from a previous story:

  • Make sure you’re using the highest CCA battery that fits in the battery hole, and test it to make sure those amps are available.
  • Run some additional anti-gel in your tank for lubricity and to keep the fuel flowing (for diesels).
  • Install a block heater, preferably two for bigger diesel V8s. plug in for at least a couple hours prior to starting in extreme cold.
  • Now that you’re heating your engine, it can experience wind chill. Park your truck in a sheltered area if possible, tarp off the hood and bury the bottom edges in the snow if not.
  • Once you have started your vehicle, don’t wait too long for it to warm up, 5 minutes is good, just enough time to scrape the windshield.
  • When starting to drive, do everything slowly and deliberately until the coolant temp comes up. Everything on your vehicle will be stressed at these temps. Shifting will be slower and require more effort, power steering hoses will pop if pushed too hard. Don’t get rammy.

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