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Very basic diesel truck operation questions

about warming up engine, leaving engine running, mileage
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Very basic diesel truck operation questions

Postby dunstan [OP] » Jan 13 2011, 6:53pm

I have been given the use of a 2002 Silverado diesel. I know enough to turn the key and wait to start, but beyond that I know next to nothing.

1. How long should I let the engine warm up before driving? (It usually gets down to the teens, often close to zero at night.)

2. What about shutting the engine off for a short while, as in running errands? Is it better to leave it running if I can? How long of a stop would it be better to shut it off and restart when I am ready?

3. Any hints on maximizing fuel mileage?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!
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Re: Very basic diesel truck operation questions

Postby enginebuilder4life » Jan 13 2011, 7:01pm

Even in the '90s, it was normal to leave diesels idling, especially in big rigs.
But in pickups, the '82 GM 6.2 was the first that was okay with in-town errands, lots of shutting it off. Modern diesels in pickups are all okay to shut off and restart as you would any car.
Warm-up is a good idea, it takes at least 30 seconds to be sure the oil and ATF are fully circulating and fully pressurized.
There's really no benefit in warm-ups longer than 5 minutes. That'll get the windows defrosted and everything.
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Re: Very basic diesel truck operation questions

Postby LBZDMAX » Jan 13 2011, 8:25pm

So that would be an Lb7 Duramax motor. Huge problem with injectors on that model. Hopefully they've already been replaced or you'll be havin fun with that soon enough :)

1. Enginebuilder is right about long warm up times. It's not beneficial to let it run for more than a couple minutes while tryin to warm it up. Under those cold conditions you'll never reach normal operating temps just idling in the driveway. These trucks are also equipped with a block heater. You can plug it in for a couple hours before you start it and that'll get you a comfy ride with warm air much quicker. (It's also a good idea to use a fuel additive such as Stanadyne blue label that helps prevent fuel gelling in the winter months) The motor has to be 'under a load' to start really warming it up. I usually let mine warm up for a couple minutes and then head out.

2. If you're only going to be in a store or whatever for 5-10 minutes it's not a huge deal. If the truck is already warmed up you might as well kill it cause you're just wastin fuel really. Personal preference on this one during quick errands really.

3. With a light foot they generally do ok on mpg. If you really want to get more out of it then you'll have to dump some $ in to it unless someone already has. Do you know if there have been any mods added to this truck? i.e. free flowing exhaust, programmer, etc.?
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Re: Very basic diesel truck operation questions

Postby dunstan [OP] » Jan 14 2011, 9:51pm

Thanks, guys, for the great replies - they are very helpful!!!
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Re: Very basic diesel truck operation questions

Postby LBZDMAX » Jan 14 2011, 10:21pm

No problem. I would say if you want access to TONS of info about your Lb7 then you need to get on the diesel forums. My favorite is the Duramax Forum. Sign up, I'll find you...........:)
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