Canadian Winter Diesel Truck Checklist: The 2020 Update

Written By JD Diagnostics & Diesel Repair on Jan 02, 2020

Diesel truck in Canadian winter

A harsh Canadian winter is an excellent time to put your diesel truck to the test. However, its performance heavily depends on how well you manage to prep your vehicle for the upcoming season.

In the previous article, we’ve shared the key points to look out for. Below you’ll learn about preparations some diesel truck owners tend to miss. Remember, even if you’ve just purchased a brand new vehicle, these points can’t be overlooked.

Glow Plugs in a diesel engine
Glow plugs can take anywhere from 1-15 seconds or more to warm up sufficiently. The amount of time depends on a variety of factors like outside temperate, engine temperature, and lifespan.

1. Test Glow Plugs

In case your truck’s engine has glow plugs, you need to check them before the temperatures drop below zero. Defective glow plugs lead to diesel leaking into the exhaust pipe, problems with starting a vehicle, and poor engine power.

Even though the truck can still run if one of the plugs is defective, this issue could be straining the engine and leading to unexpected breakdowns.

Truck driving down Canadian highway
Winter windshield washer fluid can be the difference between stopping in time and an accident in poor weather conditions.

2. Buy Special Windshield Washer Fluid

If you’ve been using regular windshield washer fluid during the summer, it will freeze when the temperatures drop. Before the winter comes, make sure you drain the old fluid and replace it with a winter blend. Opt for the lowest temperature on the label (-40°C or -50°C).

Important: Don’t just top the summer fluid with winter fluid. The system pumps the fluid from the bottom of the tank. If it freezes there, even the best winter product on top won’t help.

Diesel mechanic performing oil change
JD Diagnostics & Diesel Repair ASE certified technicians are quick and efficient with diesel truck oil changes. Additionally, as certified mechanics, they are more likely to uncover potential issues.

3. Clean/Replace Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter can bring about a bunch of unpleasant consequences, starting with jerking and jumping during acceleration to failing to start altogether. Make sure the filter is clean and unclogged. If it’s been a while, consider replacing it. Most diesel trucks need their fuel filters replaced every 80,000 – 100,000 kilometres.

Truck in need of block heater
Block heaters can help extend the life of your diesel truck.

4. Test the Block Heater

Many diesel truck owners overlook the block heater because they don’t even know it exists. Find out if your vehicle is equipped with this irreplaceable assistant and test it before the winter comes.

Use a multimeter set to ohms. If it shows results between 9 and 25 ohms, the block heater is in good condition. Anything lower than nine indicates a problem.

Windshield repair services
Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme — but you get the idea.

5. Repair Windshield Damage

Even the smallest crack in your windshield can turn into a disaster as the temperatures drop. Drastic temperature changes turn tiny chips into huge cracks. Clean and inspect your windshield for damage and repair it if necessary.

For more information about making sure your diesel truck is ready for winter, please contact us today.

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