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How to fix a diesel that's hard to start cold

Winter! It’s just around the corner. And with it often comes problems with your car, truck, boat or machinery - particularly when it has a diesel engine. An often-occurring problem during the colder months is hard cold starting – the engine takes longer and longer cranking to finally fire up. Not only that, once it does finally kick into life, it’s most likely also blowing white diesel smoke out the exhaust and running roughly until it warms up. Incidentally, white diesel smoke at start up is an obvious sign that things are not right, and if left untreated can become a much bigger problem.

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This hard start condition is very often due to engine deposit build-up. Over time, internal engine deposits continually build up and very often have an adverse effect on engine performance. These deposits are usually a result of ‘not ideal’ types of operation, including excessive idling, short run times, light work load and city-type driving. Additionally, postponed or neglected maintenance leads to increased deposit build-up, all of which does not allow efficient combustion of fuel, be it either diesel or gasoline.

Frequently, deposits build up in several critical areas within an engine -

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  • Piston rings. Hard carbon deposits on piston rings and grooves cause rings to ‘stick’, which reduces crucial cylinder compression essential for optimum starting.

  • Cylinder bores. Fine hard carbon build-up fills the cylinder bore cross hatching making the bore glassy smooth and reducing cylinder compression and increasing blow by. This build-up is referred to as cylinder glaze, or glazed cylinder bores. Low compression is a result of glazed cylinder bores.

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Glazed cylinder bore - hard carbon deposits

  • Injector tips. Fouling of fuel injector tips seriously affects optimum fuel spray atomization, as well as distorting the critical fuel spray pattern. Incorrect fuel delivery is a major cause of hard starting.

  • Combustion and exhaust spaces. Hard carbon build-up in combustion spaces, especially on piston crowns interferes with efficient mixing of the fuel spray with intake air. Exhaust deposits, particularly on exhaust valves and turbo chargers, reduce the engine’s ability to breathe efficiently.

  • Piston rings, grooves and lands. Sludge and gummy deposits often form on these critical areas of pistons. Apart from increasing internal drag, which adversely affects cold cranking and efficient lubrication, severe loss of compression also results.

That’s the bad news…

Here’s the good news - Rather than carrying out expensive, time consuming mechanical work to physically remove, clean or replace affected parts of engines and fuel systems (effectively overhaul), all the above-mentioned deposits can be removed safely and effectively by chemical means, and with minimal downtime. In fact, much of the clean-up occurs during actual, normal driving or operation.

How does FTC Decarbonizer fix a diesel that’s hard to start cold?

FTC Decarbonizer is a truly unique product! It acts as a combustion catalyst to ignite fuel much easier during cold starts. At start-up, the active component in FTC Decarbonizer ignites before the fuel, resulting in faster, cleaner and more efficient cold starts. It also oxidizes (burns off) hard carbon deposits from combustion and exhaust spaces at much lower temperatures than otherwise possible. Even during adverse or ‘not ideal’ engine operating conditions, it removes deposits such as cylinder glaze, combustion and exhaust deposits, even turbocharger deposits.

As well as FTC Decarbonizer, our other products listed here will also definitely help solve the problem of hard cold starts -

  • Cleanpower Fuel Treatment. Utilizing highly refined and specialized fuel system detergents (not abrasive and corrosive solvents), Cleanpower restores total cleanliness to fuel pumps, lines and injectors to restore correct fuel spray patterns, and provide optimum fuel atomization.

  • Flushing Oil Concentrate. Based on specific detergents (again, not destructive solvents), expressly designed to remove heavy, often baked on deposits, Flushing Oil Concentrate will restore pristine cleanliness to the whole oil wetted side of the engine. It removes stubborn sludge and damaging hard carbon deposits to restore full available compression, and bring back clean, efficient lubrication to the engine.

  • AW10 Antiwear. When added to the engine oil after first restoring to clean condition, AW10 Antiwear significantly reduces frictional drag throughout all lubricated mating parts of the engine, subsequently reducing the battery’s cold cranking demand, aiding easier starting.