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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    1,708

    New TDI engines and starting in cold weather

    So I've been contemplating getting a new Passat TDI as I'm kinda fascinated with getting 800 miles on a tank of fuel. Does anyone here have one of the newer TDI's that can tell me how they start in cold weather--i.e. VT cold weather?

    They don't come with optional block heaters like the older diesel engines and even so the magazine reviews report starting fine in 20F, that is completely different than 0F. And of course I can't trust the car salesmen to give me the honest scoop.

    Or am I just nuts for contemplating this and stick with gasoline?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
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    6,284
    Wife has an older TDI, but she never uses the engine block heater (I don't even think it has one). It starts a little rough in cold weather (have to let it warm up for a bit), but we've never had trouble getting it started as long as the glow plugs are functional. The plugs burn out every once in a while, but they're cheap and easy to replace. I don't recall ever having trouble starting it in below 0 temps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    Colder than -15C you defiantley want a plug-in heater of some kind, they had oilpan heaters glued to the oil pan but they never had block heaters

    you can get an inline coolant heater, google frost heater
    Last edited by XXX-er; 02-15-2013 at 04:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Bravo Delta.
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    5,962
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Wife has an older TDI, but she never uses the engine block heater (I don't even think it has one). It starts a little rough in cold weather (have to let it warm up for a bit), but we've never had trouble getting it started as long as the glow plugs are functional. The plugs burn out every once in a while, but they're cheap and easy to replace. I don't recall ever having trouble starting it in below 0 temps.


    Yup, we (g/f) has a 2001 VW Jetta TDI. Starts no problems down to -30C. Takes a while for the glowplugs to heat up at that temp, but fires up no problem. Even had it sit for about 2.5 in the middle of winter, started without hesitation at -15C. Colder than -30C and we plug it in if we remember (ie. starting is cold is a non-issue).



    C x 9/5 + 32 = F
    Quote Originally Posted by Socialist View Post
    They have socalized healthcare up in canada. The whole country is 100% full of pot smoking pro-athlete alcoholics.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    land of the free
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    7,122
    2009 tdi starts without glowplugs at warmer temps. Did that more than a few times, when I forgot it was diesel.

    With any diesel, when it's really really cold I find it helps to cycle the glow plugs twice before you engage the starter.

    Even so, the tdi has never had the bad shakes that my old Chevy diesels had when super cold.

    Never started my tdi below negative ten, however. So if you live in Alberta or Yellowstone, you may need a heater plug.
    "Fakers are Maggots" - T. Hall, 2011
    heh
    only a fake Rasta could make a claim like that

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    8,577
    TDi burns not much fuel so the engine does not make much heat and takes forever to warm up altho the heated seats help make it bearable, the best thing is to start engine and drive it right away, my kid has a frost heater in his 2009 and he gets heat much faster

    Anywhere in Canada except Vancover I would get a plugin engine heater

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    I-70
    Posts
    3,516
    I'm a VW TDI nerd. Don't own a new one, have an old one pushing twice the stock power, and a friend is building a new one with compound turbos.

    Don't even worry about cold starts with them, but get a frost heater for comfort and less worry of cold oil feeding the turbo.

    With the new ones, you can let them idle to get them up to temp, but they use a lot more fuel than normal in doing so, best thing is to get in, start and drive. Main issue is the emissions equipment will get clogged up, TDI's were designed around using them as any other car, get in, start and drive for best economy. During idle they post inject fuel to keep temps up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vacationland
    Posts
    965
    '11 JSW owner in Maine. Start and go like he said^^ First diesel for me, mpg varies greatly with the weather though. Maybe karpiel can speak to that? I'm a rep so lots of highway miles and it can be 40mpg in winter and close to 50mpg in summer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    8,577
    I said -15C cuz its a pretty safe bet you will start unplugged

    IME with an ALHs at colder than -20C the engine is gona struggle and usually start, at colder than -30c unplugged starting is a very big maybe and at -40C forget it

    The big difference between gassers and diesel is even tho you use a synthetic oil you still gotta turn over a very high compression engine with a battery that loses power as it gets colder, the cranking power at -40 is greatly reduced so along with a pan heater I used a plug-in battery blanket for full battery power no matter how cold, the stock VW batteries are really good and last 8 yrs in warmer weatehr but maybe starting is not so good at -30C as that battery gets older

    also you really got to watch you fuel quality in winter especaily early season or going north into an arctic front so I use a cetane booster below -20C
    Last edited by XXX-er; 02-17-2013 at 10:16 AM.

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