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Old 11-15-2008, 12:29 PM   #1
jeffwilliams1954
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Prolonged sitting of tow vehicle?

Hello, I would like to know what everyone is doing when they aren't driving their tow vehicle everyday? I purchased a small car now to drive and I'm not driving my TV as much. The tow vehicle is a 2008 6.6 duramax new body style Chevy. It has an engine block heater on it. Is it ok to leave the heater plugged in just to keep the fluids warm. I know one doesn't really need to plug it in until it gets below 0, but my question is will it hurt to be plugged in every night? I usually start it once a week, should I start it more often? I have been driving it for short distances once every few weeks and have been using the four wheel drive. I also bought an ADCO cover for it so I could keep off the elements. Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jeffwilliams1954

Hello, I would like to know what everyone is doing when they aren't driving their tow vehicle everyday? I purchased a small car now to drive and I'm not driving my TV as much. The tow vehicle is a 2008 6.6 duramax new body style Chevy. It has an engine block heater on it. Is it ok to leave the heater plugged in just to keep the fluids warm. I know one doesn't really need to plug it in until it gets below 0, but my question is will it hurt to be plugged in every night? I usually start it once a week, should I start it more often? I have been driving it for short distances once every few weeks and have been using the four wheel drive. I also bought an ADCO cover for it so I could keep of the elements. Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
There is no harm in leaving the block heater plugged in. When we lived in our stick house in Iowa, I left our truck plugged in all the time during the winter regardless of temperature. You'd be surprised how easily it started when I wanted to go some place. You don't need to be starting it periodically like that and letting it idle. Idling is harder on the vehicle than actual driving. Take it out and drive it every couple weeks at least until the water temperature rises some. I only use the four wheel drive when necessary.

Others may differ on this but these are my experiences and they work.

Orv
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:49 PM   #3
TLightning
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Re the fuel...if it will be sitting for a long time, add Sta-Bil and a biocide and it will be fine for many months. I have a boat diesel and have been doing this for years.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
jeffwilliams1954
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quote:Originally posted by TLightning

Re the fuel...if it will be sitting for a long time, add Sta-Bil and a biocide and it will be fine for many months. I have a boat diesel and have been doing this for years.
With the new emissions on this duramax the manual says not to use any sort of fuel or oil additives or it could harm the DPF filter and emissions system. I called my dealer and the service manager says the same thing.
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
DONnANNIE
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Quote:
quote:jeffwilliams1954 Posted - Nov 15 2008 : 6:29:51 PM
...The tow vehicle is a 2008 6.6 duramax new body style Chevy. It has an engine block heater on it. Is it ok to leave the heater plugged in just to keep the fluids warm. I know one doesn't really need to plug it in until it gets below 0, but my question is will it hurt to be plugged in every night?...
Jeff I have a 2006 Chevy 3500 Duramax. I'm not sure about the 2008, but on my 2006 - I cannot use the block heater above zero degrees. Check your manual or dealer first.
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
rwellesley
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by TLightning

Re the fuel...if it will be sitting for a long time, add Sta-Bil and a biocide and it will be fine for many months. I have a boat diesel and have been doing this for years.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you keep your fuel tank full this will reduce the exposure to oxygen which will eliminate the need for a biocide.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
TLightning
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rwellesley

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by TLightning

Re the fuel...if it will be sitting for a long time, add Sta-Bil and a biocide and it will be fine for many months. I have a boat diesel and have been doing this for years.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you keep your fuel tank full this will reduce the exposure to oxygen which will eliminate the need for a biocide.
I do keep it full over the winter for the reason you noted. However, the biocide is needed to keep fungi from forming, kill bacteria and break up slime. These things are more prevalent in the marine environment, but they can still show up else where.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
Montana Sky
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Anytime the temps drop below 30 degrees I plug my Duramax in. I have been doing this every winter since the truck was new. So far after 119,000 miles I have seen no negative effects from this practice.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:40 AM   #9
Wiarton William
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I have a 2004 F350 Diesle...I do not drive it much other than to tow the RV...it sits for weeks at a time...I have a resident mouse that lives in the fender well...I have had numerous problems with minor issues... I have been criticized by the dealer for not driving it enough....I was told....drive it at least 20 miles once a week.. let it get good and hot, do not be afraid to kick it down into paqssing gear a couple of times and when I park it, let it idle for about 5 minutes before shut down..add a little cetane to the fuel to keep it fresh.....dern mouse does get a little upset though..
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:25 AM   #10
Bill-N-Donna
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I drive ours every day. Itís my daily transportation. Donít think I would enjoy driving a smaller vehicle when that is just sitting at the house. It has been somewhat colder here now so when I got home this morning I plugged it in. The temperature outside here now is around 36į.

Iím wondering now if there could be a connection with plugging it in and the problem I once had with the ejector wiring harness being melted? I certainly hope not but if it was then I guess it might show itself again. Iíve assumed that it was like that when I bought it but the dealer couldnít say what had caused it to melt. Iím not sure how its set up and what is connected to electric to keep it warm. Perhaps someone else could jump in here and explain that a little. The manual indicated I didnít really need it plugged in until it was in a temp below -20į (I think.) My dealer indicated to me that it shouldnít hurt anything plugging it in and when I had that problem that is what I did for one afternoon and then I was able to get it started in order to get it to the dealership. Right now itís running great and I want it to stay that way.

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Old 11-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #11
TLightning
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Wiarton William

I have a 2004 F350 Diesle...I do not drive it much other than to tow the RV...it sits for weeks at a time...I have a resident mouse that lives in the fender well...I have had numerous problems with minor issues... I have been criticized by the dealer for not driving it enough....I was told....drive it at least 20 miles once a week.. let it get good and hot, do not be afraid to kick it down into paqssing gear a couple of times and when I park it, let it idle for about 5 minutes before shut down..add a little cetane to the fuel to keep it fresh.....dern mouse does get a little upset though..
FWIW, I'd get that mouse out of there. I had an 05 Silverado that used to sit for a week or so at a time. Once, I got in, it started, but would just barely move when put in D or R. Long story short, had it towed to the dealer (it was under warranty)...seems a squirrel had made a nest under the hood and the nest consisted of some of my wiring and insulation.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:27 PM   #12
clutch
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My truck sits all summer. I try to keep the tank full and I take it for a drive once or twice a month just to keep all the seals lubricated.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:36 AM   #13
abonzer
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I have a Chev 2001 8.1 gasser. Bought it new and now has 38,000 miles. Just have it to tow with. My only problem has been a leak down of the torque converter if it is not driven for a while. I believe this issue was fixed on later models. I try and start it up about every two weeks and let it idle until it warms up. Is this bad? I could drive it but I leave it hooked up to the 5er. I end up changing the oil once a year because the manual says so even though last year it was only driven about 4,600 miles. It is a great truck and I see no reason to upgrade so any comments on my current maint. is appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:06 PM   #14
TLightning
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quote:Originally posted by abonzer

I have a Chev 2001 8.1 gasser. Bought it new and now has 38,000 miles. Just have it to tow with. My only problem has been a leak down of the torque converter if it is not driven for a while. I believe this issue was fixed on later models. I try and start it up about every two weeks and let it idle until it warms up. Is this bad? I could drive it but I leave it hooked up to the 5er. I end up changing the oil once a year because the manual says so even though last year it was only driven about 4,600 miles. It is a great truck and I see no reason to upgrade so any comments on my current maint. is appreciated.
I would actually drive it when you start it to warm the engine. While sitting the engine is getting warm but nothing else is...transmission, seals, pumps, gaskets, etc.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #15
Clyde n Deb
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Very advisable to drive it if yuu are starting it up. 30 miles or so at highway speeds is better. Gets all fluids warmed up, seals lubed, even the rear diff lube warms up.
I drive my truck at least once a month for no other reason. Same with my '57 Chevy. Tranny on it starts to leak if you don't.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:29 PM   #16
sreigle
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What constitutes "a long time" as far as fuel problems? We brought the car to Texas with us because of fuel costs, like Jeff did. In this past almost one month I've put maybe 30 miles on the truck. The tank was filled shortly after arrival so is less than a month old.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:48 PM   #17
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I agree don't idle a diesel to warm it up. The first issue is that diesels will not warm up idling and will gum up the EGR valve and EGR coolers as well as valves. At these low engine temps diesel slips around the piston rings and pollutes the oil. The only time you need to idle a diesel engine is to cool the turbo down after a long pull or expressway driving and then only for 4-5 minutes.
Leaving the heater plugged into power simply wastes 1000 to 1500 watts of power. Plug it in 3 hours before you plan on driving it in cold weather -10 F and below.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:00 PM   #18
sreigle
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I think this Dodge, and my 2003 Ford had block heaters that used a thermostat and thus used power only when the heater was needed. I may be wrong but that was my understanding.
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