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Methods of starting difficult tractor engines during the winter

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Culprits to why tractors do not start in cold temperatures typically are jelled diesel fuel or electrical failure.
Culprits to why tractors do not start in cold temperatures typically are jelled diesel fuel or electrical failure.

Gelled fuel and electrical failure are two particular reasons why farmers might encounter difficulty firing up their tractors during the winter, according to a published report.

The cranking amperage of tractors' batteries has an inclination to diminish during colder temperatures. The remedy for that issue is a battery tender. Rarely-used tractors are prone to this variation of breakdown and a battery tender constantly is maintained at full charge. Before winter, owners of tractors would be wise to monitor battery cables since shoddy connections reduce a battery's ability to start a tractor.

Use of a block heater serves as another solution. It heats coolant that warms an engine block and oil in the crankcase, which facilitates an engine turning over.

Once the tractor's engine is humming, users should have it operate at 50 percent of rated speed for about 20 minutes, which causes the hydraulic oil to warm.

A more common obstacle to the smooth starting of an icy tractor is diesel fuel forming wax crystals, which typically occurs during colder months. That impaired fuel clogs fuel filters and an engine will not run. Reducing the temperature at which crystals formation occurs is achieved by use of a winter blended diesel fuel.

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