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2018 Diesel Terrain Starting in very cold weather -32 degree C

For those like me who are new to a diesel application, and new to the 2018 Diesel Terrain, here are a few advises on how to start the engine in very cold weather, -32 degrees C without wind factor.

As you get in the car, shut down the headlamps right away as during night operations they may come on automatically

Make sure ventilation, audio system, interior lights, wipers front and rear, and all other possible accessories are turned OFF

Push the start button for 10 seconds... do not press on the brake pedal , you do not want to start the engine at this time

The accessories mode will come on

Leave the multiple computers and sensors, networks communicate with each other for about 20 seconds

Now push on the brake and the start button and crank starter for about 15 seconds. If the engine has not started, rest the starter for one minute, then cycle the starter again for 15 seconds

The French instruction manual (Quebec, Canada) says to press the brake pedal and push the start button right away, i find this is not a good technique in very cold weather and tends to flood the engine

If the engine is flooded, push the brake pedal , and the accelerator to the floor, both in the same time, then start the engine for 15 seconds at a time. Slowly the engine will come to life as you crank. ( the French instruction manual omits to press on brake pedal )

Once the engine is started, make sure you shut down the headlamps, and leave all accessories OFF. You will want the battery and alternator power to be available for the Diesel line heater, and the diesel fuel tank heater. At start up , the low impedance glow plugs consume 80 amperes, thats 20 amps each and there are four glow plugs.
The diesel line heater also comes on.

The current needed to supply the glow plugs, diesel fuel line heater and fuel tank heater is big business, so you dont want to start the heated seats, rear defogger, electrical auxiliary heater blower right away.

Leave the engine run for about 15 minutes to warm up before engaging any additional electrical load. In this matter, the electrical circuits can recharge the battery, and keep the heated diesel fuel warm

The 2018 diesel Terrain comes with an auxiliary heater, this is a fast way to obtain warm air in the car while the engine is cold. However, this is additional load for the electrical circuits, and it may be wise to hold for warm air from the engine before asking warm air from the auxiliary heater. As the diesel engine warms up and you start driving the car, you will notice the heat of the engine is up almost as fast as a gasoline engine, this is due to the front grill that shuts close as the engine is cold. Thus the engine is not cooled by exterior air and warms quickly, the auxiliary heater will shut down and warm air will come from the engine

There is a controller that will disable any electrical load not requested to operate the engine, and you will loose the heated seats for example if the electrical load is too high

Draining the battery and engaging a high load in extreme cold weather -32 C will affect the way the car will start on next start in extreme cold weather. You do want to leave a good charge to start the engine the next time around, ie next morning for exemple

The 1.6 CDT Diesel was designed by Torino in Italy, (city of Turin). The engine is then built by Opel in Germany. A fantastic engine that will start at -32 C no issues, just like a gas engine
But you need to understand the complex systems and give it a chance. The starting procedure is automated, and the limiting current computers will disable loads that are not necessary or loading the system, and if we unload the electrical load on the electrical system manually this will give a much better chance to get the engine started in extreme cold conditions...your battery is part of cranking the engine, so make sure you have a good potential on that battery for those extremely cold mornings..

Montreal Canada
 

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Be a good idea to use the block or oil pan heater, I never fire up diesels on the farm without block heaters on for at least 4 hours. Even -10C is not great starting them cold. You should use 0w40 oil too.
Hope it warms up soon!
 

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TERRAIN and fandjlip--Great information! WE often forget that diesel and gas engines have entirely different processes for getting them running. I remember years ago using a shot of ether to lower the ignition point of the diesel fuel. I certainly wouldn't recommend doing that with any of these engines; as I recall, the engines almost seemed to become dependent on the ether, once it had been used a couple times. I wouldn't want the ether contaminating the oil systems either!
 

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What if you use the "auto start" button?
Does the computer take over the starting sequences ?
Sounds very complicated and confusing I agree with the oil type and I think I might use Rotella full synthetic if the dealer doesnt use it.
I'm assuming the heater is for the DEF also as I have read that it can freeze as newer tractors are having issues this cold winter
 

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That is some good information. Although, I would invest in a block heater, battery blanket, oil pan heater, and every other kind of heater available to ensure that my vehicle would be able to start in such extreme cold temperatures.
 

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Sounds like a lot more work than the average customer would want to deal with. I can't imagine my wife would even want to own a diesel, if she knew what was involved just to start a car in cold weather. Seems like GM should automatically take care of all the extra stuff that is required. Just saying...
 

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There are places in the continental U.S. (think Minot, N.D) and Canada where people have cars and trucks they need to drive. And it gets very, very cold in some of those places. No car maker installs or offers more than maybe a block heater option since 98% of vehicles sold would never need such devices.

So, battery blanket or plate heaters, oil pan heaters, circulatory coolant heaters and other devices are additional things that help just like snow tires and some other non OEM supplied things.

While in Alaska in the military, we were often on call round the clock and would have to go out and run to the shop in temps of -40F to -50F in the middle of the long winter. All parking lot's had plug in posts to connect the several heaters needed so that we might at least have a chance at starting a truck. Even with those things, you often only had one or two "key turns" to start the engine. After that, the battery had no more cold cranking amps. And this was with over sized batteries and special low viscosity oil that we "borrowed" from the flight line guys.

If the truck didn't start it didn't matter. We were expected to get to our duty stations no matter what including walking in our mukluks and parkas for a mile if needed.
 
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Larrywal

Very good point you have here with the Diesel Exhaust Fluid DEF

DEF will freeze

So i'm not sure how this one goes... if the DEF freezes and thaws in the tank does this not change DEF properties, and how will the sensors react to frozen DEF, if indeed it would freeze in the tank

I purchase my DEF from GM dealership, AC Delco part number 88865751

Anyone out there have an answer for us ....
 

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There are places in the continental U.S. (think Minot, N.D) and Canada where people have cars and trucks they need to drive. And it gets very, very cold in some of those places. No car maker installs or offers more than maybe a block heater option since 98% of vehicles sold would never need such devices.

So, battery blanket or plate heaters, oil pan heaters, circulatory coolant heaters and other devices are additional things that help just like snow tires and some other non OEM supplied things.

While in Alaska in the military, we were often on call round the clock and would have to go out and run to the shop in temps of -40F to -50F in the middle of the long winter. All parking lot's had plug in posts to connect the several heaters needed so that we might at least have a chance at starting a truck. Even with those things, you often only had one or two "key turns" to start the engine. After that, the battery had no more cold cranking amps. And this was with over sized batteries and special low viscosity oil that we "borrowed" from the flight line guys.

If the truck didn't start it didn't matter. We were expected to get to our duty stations no matter what including walking in our mukluks and parkas for a mile if needed.

I was stationed in Alaska as well. I can't tell you how many batteries were replaced because they were frozen.
 

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I was stationed in Alaska as well. I can't tell you how many batteries were replaced because they were frozen.
My BIL was stationed at Elmendorf, and they used to heat their engines with a hibachi under the engine.
 

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There are places in the continental U.S. (think Minot, N.D) and Canada where people have cars and trucks they need to drive. And it gets very, very cold in some of those places.
I worked a couple months in the Northeast corner of ND about 7 miles from Canada and noticed the motels and businesses had plugins at parking spots to keep your vehicle engine warm.
If I lived up there I would have a block heater and battery warmer even with a gas engine.
 

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So i'm not sure how this one goes... if the DEF freezes and thaws in the tank does this not change DEF properties, and how will the sensors react to frozen DEF, if indeed it would freeze in the tank

....
I found this info.

The 2018 Equinox Diesel utilizes selective catalyst reduction (SCR) after-treatment with urea-based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). The DEF is fed to the emissions system through heated lines in cold weather, keeping the system at optimum efficiency as it cuts nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions.
 

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Line heater sounds good, any Def freezes here usually are the lines. Every vehicle in Canada is ordered with block heaters.
Def stays melted if stored inside above think - 15C. But colder and it is risky.
 

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There are places in the continental U.S. (think Minot, N.D) and Canada where people have cars and trucks they need to drive. And it gets very, very cold in some of those places. No car maker installs or offers more than maybe a block heater option since 98% of vehicles sold would never need such devices.

So, battery blanket or plate heaters, oil pan heaters, circulatory coolant heaters and other devices are additional things that help just like snow tires and some other non OEM supplied things.

While in Alaska in the military, we were often on call round the clock and would have to go out and run to the shop in temps of -40F to -50F in the middle of the long winter. All parking lot's had plug in posts to connect the several heaters needed so that we might at least have a chance at starting a truck. Even with those things, you often only had one or two "key turns" to start the engine. After that, the battery had no more cold cranking amps. And this was with over sized batteries and special low viscosity oil that we "borrowed" from the flight line guys.

If the truck didn't start it didn't matter. We were expected to get to our duty stations no matter what including walking in our mukluks and parkas for a mile if needed.
Sounds like you were stationed at Eielson. I used to fly in and out of there on WC-135s; cold could get pretty severe; -65F and no wind chill was coldest I experienced. Went into post office for less than three minutes, didn't leave vehicle running OR plugged in--and it barely started upon return.
 

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Sounds like you were stationed at Eielson. I used to fly in and out of there on WC-135s; cold could get pretty severe; -65F and no wind chill was coldest I experienced. Went into post office for less than three minutes, didn't leave vehicle running OR plugged in--and it barely started upon return.
Yes, Eielson. Coldest it got the second winter I was there was -77F. usually it hovered between -40F and -50F most of the middle winter months.
I get that.. . . yeah, can't turn off an engine unplugged for too long. Taking a risk.
At -40 to -50F, you could put a room temperature beer out on the barracks window sill and it was ice cold in 60 seconds. Any longer, and it was quickly slush or frozen solid. . .
Not that I would know. . . . ..0:)
 
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Yes, Eielson. Coldest it got the second winter I was there was -77F. usually it hovered between -40F and -50F most of the middle winter months.
I get that.. . . yeah, can't turn off an engine unplugged for too long. Taking a risk.
At -40 to -50F, you could put a room temperature beer out on the barracks window sill and it was ice cold in 60 seconds. Any longer, and it was quickly slush or frozen solid. . .
Not that I would know. . . . ..0:)
I remember the first time I went to Eielson--all bundled up in arctic gear, parka, mukluks, insulated pants, etc and trudged in to Amber Hall in the -30F cold. Had tech school buddies stationed there and living in one of the barracks. As I "trudged" toward their barracks, here were gyus playing touch football in the snow---dressed in sweatshirts and shorts--at -30F. Guess the were acclimated.
 

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Yes, Eielson. Coldest it got the second winter I was there was -77F. usually it hovered between -40F and -50F most of the middle winter months.
I get that.. . . yeah, can't turn off an engine unplugged for too long. Taking a risk.
At -40 to -50F, you could put a room temperature beer out on the barracks window sill and it was ice cold in 60 seconds. Any longer, and it was quickly slush or frozen solid. . .
Not that I would know. . . . ..0:)
I remember the first time I went to Eielson--all bundled up in arctic gear, parka, mukluks, insulated pants, etc and trudged in to Amber Hall in the -30F cold. Had tech school buddies stationed there and living in one of the barracks. As I "trudged" toward their barracks, here were gyus playing touch football in the snow---dressed in sweatshirts and shorts--at -30F. Guess they were acclimated.
 

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I remember the first time I went to Eielson--all bundled up in arctic gear, parka, mukluks, insulated pants, etc and trudged in to Amber Hall in the -30F cold. Had tech school buddies stationed there and living in one of the barracks. As I "trudged" toward their barracks, here were gyus playing touch football in the snow---dressed in sweatshirts and shorts--at -30F. Guess they were acclimated.
Ok, one more. . we got off topic.

But, yes, I was amazed about cold acclimation. Thought it was a myth. In Spring, when it got to +20F and sunny, it felt like +60F and we would walk to the chow hall in short sleeve fatigues. Also, usually no wind and very low humidity in the middle of winter only 5% if that. And, ice fog for months.
When I left Alaska in early May for my next base, I could not stand sleeping with even a single sheet for covers. It took me over 3 months to get adjusted to warmer temps.
 

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I commented earlier about my wife would not like the procedure needed for the diesel in the cold weather, and after thinking about it, I don't think I would like it either. I am not sure that diesel cars are ready for prime time for US drivers.
 
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