2 Possible Reasons Why Your Diesel Truck Is Difficult To Start In Cold Weather

4 November 2019
 Categories: , Blog


When you have a diesel truck, you are probably used to having to start it and let the engine run for a few minutes before taking off, especially in the mornings. However, you may have noticed that you have problems getting it started when the temperatures outside turn cold. There are a couple of possible reasons why this is happening.

1.  Compression Is Too Low to Fire up the Engine

One reason why your diesel engine is having trouble getting started on cold days is that the compression is too low to fire it up. Diesel engines depend on the buildup of compression within the chambers to push the fuel so that it can be ignited. This process requires a high amount of pressure to ensure that enough fuel is delivered.

If compression is too low, there are a couple of things that could be causing the issue. First, the cold air has condensed the air inside of the engine, making it necessary to warm it up before enough pressure can build. In this case, when you repeated try to start your truck, it eventually will turn over.

Second, if your engine is old or worn out from extensive use, the engine may not be able to build up enough compression because of old lines. When compounded by the condensed cold air, you will have trouble getting the engine to start. Eventually, you will start seeing issues even in warm weather, so you should have it checked out by a diesel mechanic to make sure.

2.  Starter Solenoid Is Heat Soaked

Another possible cause of your diesel engine's difficulty in starting is that the starter solenoid is getting heat soaked. This means that the solenoid is getting so hot that it shuts off as a safety mechanism to keep it from burning up.

While you may think this would not be possible at extremely cold temperatures, the solenoid has to work harder to start the engine when it gets cold. As it works harder, it heats up faster and will not work until it cools down. In this case, you may need to replace it with a new one. 

If you find that it gets progressively harder to start your truck, you should have it looked at before it simply refuses to start one day. Have a technician with an auto service that deals with diesel engines inspect the engine and diagnose the problem so that the appropriate action can be taken to fix the issue.

For more information about diesel engines, contact a local auto service.