Winter time is here and along with the beautiful snow comes frigid temperatures, temperatures low enough to do damage to vehicles or create a problem when starting them up. Diesel engines have a harder time starting in the cold than gasoline engines, because Diesel fuel has a different composition. Diesel fuel will gel when sprayed into the combustion chamber if not properly heated.
The cord that you may notice from Diesel vehicles is called a block heater. The block heater keeps the combustion chamber and glow plugs at a temperature that is conducive to igniting the fuel. Otherwise the gelled diesel fuel will cause the engine not to start or cause damage to the cylinder heads.
Typically the need for smaller diesel vehicles to be plugged in is lower than massive diesel engines like those found in garbage trucks. Additives are already in the Diesel fuel during the winter months, which treat the Diesel fuel to keep it from gelling. Larger vehicles typically need that extra layer of protection, by being plugged in, for reliability and to protect the investment.
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