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Old 12-08-2008
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Awkardly long cold starting

When it's super cold out (less than 10 degrees) my truck cranks incredibly slow to the point where I think it won't start. I've had it through nasty winters before and it wasn't this bad. The plugs were changed within the last 3 years and have less than 20k miles on them, battery is only a year old, and I'm running 5w-30. Is there anything else simple enough to check over before digging deeper into this situation?
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Old 12-08-2008
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Slow cranking is directly related to the battery. Winter vs Summer temperatures can reduce your battery's performance by 1/2 or more. If your battery is already weak, the cold can render it nearly useless. A typical battery for our truck will produce 400-500 cranking amps are zero degrees (CCA). At 70 degrees, that battery will produce over 800 cranking amps, nearly double. Couple that with the oil being more dense which requires more work to turn the engine over.

if it really has to crank that long, your battery is probably on its way out.
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Old 12-08-2008
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Yeah mine does the same. It sucks. I just replaced my battery last yeah and my alternator and I will have to do the battery again.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Don't rule out battery cable connections / corrosion. Make sure to check the other end of the ground strap too.


Also, when the fuel and motor are both very cold, the fuel doesn't atomize as easily.


Rich
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Old 12-09-2008
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First thing to do is have your battery load tested. If it is ok, you need to check the current draw of your starter. If it has shorted windings, it will crank slow, and the current draw will be very high.

For measuring the starter current draw, you will need an inductive current meter, similar to these:

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog
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Old 12-09-2008
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Might also check viscosity of your oil. Many people go to a lower viscosity oil in the cold months to facilitate cranking.
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Old 12-09-2008
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try turning the key to run, wait there for a few seconds (4-5) then try cranking it over.

Mine is very similar in the extreme cold. I found that if I click it to run an just wait a few it starts much easier.
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Old 12-09-2008
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I'll try that later in the week Zach when it gets colder.
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Old 12-09-2008
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mine used to do that last winter then i bought a new battery 650 CCA doesnt do it anymore when its cold...
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Old 12-09-2008
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A good simple battery check when it isnt so cold is to turn you headlight on for 5 minutes without turning the engine on, then try to start it, if it starts ur good to go for winter.

If all else fails and you dont want to buy a new battery then just plug it in when its cold :P . Since it is starting to get colder here now thats what i do, helps it warm up the heater faster too!
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Old 12-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
try turning the key to run, wait there for a few seconds (4-5) then try cranking it over.

Mine is very similar in the extreme cold. I found that if I click it to run an just wait a few it starts much easier.
After searching some other related topics I've seen this come up a few times, I'll have to try it next time it gets in the single digits

The battery cables and connections are all good. I suppose I could try testing the starter as mentioned. However I got a new starter and starter soleniod about 2 years ago and haven't had any real issues since.

Still fires up just fine when its above 20-30 degrees. So I'm leaning torwards the battery. It's a semi new battery but I believe this is the first winter with it. It's just a cheap one I got at autozone..
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Old 12-10-2008
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If you have too much resistance in the battery cables because of internal corrosion. It can cause slow cranking because the starter is not getting enough power from the battery.
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Old 12-10-2008
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Try to jumpstart it from a good battery, if it starts right up then you know you need a new one
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Old 12-10-2008
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I wouldn't rule the cables out so easily. You can't always see the problem. Earlier this winter I had problems, cables looked perfect from the outside, cut off the casing and completely black and corroded. I know on my work trucks, we have to clean the terminals a couple times a year to keep them running.
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Old 12-10-2008
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I wouldn't rule the cables out so easily. You can't always see the problem. Earlier this winter I had problems, cables looked perfect from the outside, cut off the casing and completely black and corroded. I know on my work trucks, we have to clean the terminals a couple times a year to keep them running.
Hmm maybe I'll try to dig deeper into that. I know what you mean about the terminals, when I got this battery I scratched em up real good with the wire brush then gooped di-lectric grease on the terminals and it's kept them real clean
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Old 12-10-2008
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put your volt meter on 12v DC and put the positive lead at the battery end of the positive cable and the negative lead at the starter end of the positive cable and have someone crank it and check for a voltage drop. do the same with the negative.
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Old 12-10-2008
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I hate the cold start ups. Makes me feel like my truck wont see the spring ahah. Do you guys start up and let it sit a few minutes to get the fluids moving and warmed up? Also plugging in the truck overnight how much electricity would that use? I dont want my mom to flip because the next bill is outrageously high.
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Old 12-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenech627 View Post
I hate the cold start ups. Makes me feel like my truck wont see the spring ahah. Do you guys start up and let it sit a few minutes to get the fluids moving and warmed up? Also plugging in the truck overnight how much electricity would that use? I dont want my mom to flip because the next bill is outrageously high.
This morning was 10F at my place. I started the truck and ate breakfast. Went back out in about 4-5 minutes and the water temp was only at 121F

Anytime it's below 40F I *usually* let it warm up for a minute or ten. I know its no longer "needed" on modern cars. But warming the cab, windows, powersteering fluid, tranny fluid, brake fluid, ect.. all make the car/truck just work easier.

I don't know about lugging it in?

Rich
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Old 12-11-2008
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I usually just start it and drive it. I do that with the F150 now but now that the ranger is supercharged it just doesnt run that well in the cold until its warmed up.
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Old 12-11-2008
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Try putting in a Block Heater. For $20 its a great little mod.

RangerMuse has one and swears by it. I would have one but I dont have any place to plug it in.
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Old 12-11-2008
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Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
I usually just start it and drive it. I do that with the F150 now but now that the ranger is supercharged it just doesnt run that well in the cold until its warmed up.
TQ goes up with fuel. In the tune you could add a little in the cold start area and I bet it would run better.

Rich
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Old 12-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenech627 View Post
I hate the cold start ups. Makes me feel like my truck wont see the spring ahah. Do you guys start up and let it sit a few minutes to get the fluids moving and warmed up? Also plugging in the truck overnight how much electricity would that use? I dont want my mom to flip because the next bill is outrageously high.
Block Heaters take a fair chunk of power, here where i live (it easily gets to -40) you have to have them and all parking stalls have a place to plug in. Its included in the rent of the stall. There great even when it is a bit warmer since the engine starts no problem, it warms up faster and so does the heater.... a big bonus.

Depending on the cost of power in your area and how long you have it plugged in it will show up on your bill. Its ideal to have it on a timer that turns on a few hours before you have to drive to work, you don't need it on all night however mine is.
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Old 12-11-2008
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Depending on the cost of power in your area and how long you have it plugged in it will show up on your bill. Its ideal to have it on a timer that turns on a few hours before you have to drive to work, you don't need it on all night however mine is.
Ya my mom would kill me. Honestly there is no reason for me to plug it in. She sleeps in the garage and even though it gets cold it will never get below zero like your truck.
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