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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first winter owning a diesel vehicle so I wanted to find out if there is anything special that I need to do for my promaster this winter to help it out. I live in Idaho and the temps will dip down to -30*F at times. Do I need to have a radiator cover? Special fuel additives? Etc? Any info would be fantastic.
 

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With temperatures getting into the -30's, that little diesel, needs all the help it can get.
Remember, if its -30, what is the wind chill, at 60mph?
A block heater and rad cover, will help.
Another thought, work your engine when it's cold.
My old 12 valve Cummins, 5 speed needed to be worked if you wanted any heat out of her.
I'd have to keep her at 2000 rpm, going downhill, drop a gear.
A warm engine is more efficient.
I own a 14 PM gas now, more than happy, even at -30, up here in Alberta.
Good luck.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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I don't know exactly what kind of diesel fuel filter/separator is used in Ram Promaster in U.S.A..
But could be useful to drain the water that eventually is present in the filter/separator.
 

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2016 136WB low roof diesel, converted to an RV by Sportsmobile, TX
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Remember, if its -30, what is the wind chill, at 60mph?
Wind chill doesn't factor in on an non-running engine - it only impacts something that is making heat. It doesn't matter if the wind is still or 70MPH, a non-running engine will reach the real temperature and no colder. All the wind will do is make it reach ambient faster.

If you own a van in the north, and you are planning on adding a secondary heater such as an Espar or a Webasto, you may want to think about adding a coolant-to-coolant heat exchanger so that the heater can heat the engine as well - that way if you are somewhere that lacks an electric outlet for block heaters you can still keep things warm.

Also, on the diesel Promaster, you also need to keep the transmission oil warm enough to flow, as the shift actuator is hydraulically activated, and if it's too cold the van won't be able to shift out of drive and into neutral to start. There's a separate heater for the transmission, IIRC it is wired into the same electric pigtail as the main block heater, and I *think* that if you have the coolant being heated by a secondary heat source like an Espar it will also heat the transmission.

As far as a running engine - unless your engine's thermostat is broken, if the engine isn't warm enough, no coolant will flow through the radiator. If the engine is running at any significant load, even at -30F it should make enough heat to keep it warm, and will likely still have to shed some heat via the radiator. And again, wind chill matters little - after all, the van can move faster than any reasonable wind. It would only really matter if you are idling at no load - diesels use so little fuel to idle that the engine could start to cool off in that case. But again, if that's a common use case for you, get a secondary heater like an Espar or Webasto - it will make more heat for less fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses! I do have a block heater, so I'll start plugging that in. One of my concerns is that we took a trip this week and experienced temps in the single digits while driving on the interstate and my wife kept complaining that there was hardly any heat coming out of the heater vents. Would some type of cover over the radiator help this?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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What was the temp of your coolant? Mine is typically 189° min to 206° max (gasser). A radiator shroud might help but I would also keep an eye on the coolant temp so as not to overheat. Your heater control my not be working correctly.
 

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2014 Ram Promaster 2500 159" diesel
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The 3l I4 diesel will only get to 172° +- 2° the thermostat will open above that and the radiator fan will turn on to cool it back down to 172°. Make sure in the cold that you recycle the cabin air make sure the light is on by pushing the fan knob. If you run full defrost this will turn off and need to be reset. Use some cheap obd software with a cheap bluetooth dongle to read your coolant temp on your phone. If it is not reaching 172° then you may have a bad thermostat. Check the fuse for the elec heat element, yes you have one. I don't know what fuse it is so your on your own there. I run with a sheet behind me, keeps me warm and cool.
 

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My Sprinter diesel always ran cold also. Any good reason not to put a higher temp thermo in the diesel for winter?
 

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someone above mentioned it


Run some sort of shower curtain rod w/ a heavy curtain just behind your seats. It will help keep the warm air in the front rather than trying to heat the entire cargo area.
 
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