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.

cold weather starting problems, hard starting, cold starting, diesel engines, FTC Decarbonizer, Pro Maintenance Additives, proadditives

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. [...]

Most modern diesel engines are now fitted with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) to further reduce noxious exhaust emissions. Although this is a great step forward in reducing toxic chemicals in our atmosphere, DPFs are a band-aid remedy only, and with this technology comes a list of problems that must be overcome to maintain the integrity of each DPF system.

Some of the  problems which can progressively develop are:

  • The number of ‘forced regenerations’ increase, requiring the vehicle to be parked up for 20 minutes at a time, to burn off the soot under higher fuel usage conditions

  • Where such regeneration cycles have become ineffective, DPF cleaning or replacement of damaged units is required; both expensive exercises

  • Some of the excess fuel required for regenerations can get past the piston rings into the engine oil. This causes excessive fuel dilution of the oil, which in turn increases the frequency of oil changes  [...]

Low Oil Pressure warning light problems on modern vehicles

A low oil pressure warning light or on-dash message is becoming a more frequent complaint from owners of many late model gasoline powered vehicles, especially those with engines fitted with solenoid controlled valve lifter systems. These types of engine first started appearing around 2005.

In an attempt to eliminate the low oil pressure warning signal, some technicians have replaced the oil pressure sensor. Often times this procedure has not yielded positive results, and the warning signal remains activated.

Also, the oil and oil filter are changed in an attempt to solve the problem. Sometimes, multiple oil filters are changed out, in the hope that a different brand of filter may deactivate the warning signal! When this doesn't solve the problem, the assumption is that problems must exist within the oil pump itself, or even worse, serious engine related problems are to blame.

An overlooked element of some of these types of engines is a [...]

A Solution to Engine Blow-by

Engine blow-by is the term used to describe loss of cylinder compression as it leaks past the piston rings into the crankcase.

Blow-by is a direct cause of diesel smoke, oil consumption, loss of compression, and high levels of soot in the lubricating oil.

So, it's not surprising that it's a common trigger point for a complete (and expensive) engine overhaul.  For a heavy truck engine, this cost could be around $50,000 including downtime, or for a mine haul truck engine it could mean costs of around $300,000 - $400,000 for repairs plus downtime!

Blow-by is usually regarded as an indicator of wear. However, the truth is that in approximately 80% of cases [...]

Cost Effective Maintenance (Australia) Distributes to North America with Pro Maintenance Additives

Press Release:

To assist with the ever increasing volume of orders being dispatched to the USA and internationally, it was time for Cost Effective Maintenance (Australia) to engage the help of a well-established international distributor. Finding a business that could handle all the technical requests and was set up to handle large volumes of domestic and fleet-based customers was a priority.

In early 2017, the team at Pro Maintenance Additives started helping CEM to expand even further into the US market, and in early 2018 imported their first bulk order of CEM products.

Pro Maintenance Additives launches in the USA

Scott Sticklen has been involved in the automotive industry, mechanic by trade for over 40 years. In 2005, Scott was introduced to CEM products when running his mechanical workshop on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. After many years of product testing and vehicle trials, he was more that impressed with the extensive range of engine and fuel treatment products. Having worked closely with CEM products now for over 13 years, Scott has a wealth of ‘real-life’ experience, along with an in-depth technical knowledge of all CEM Products.

By using CEM products, Scott has not only saved his customers thousands of dollars in potential engine rebuilds, but as also developed a strong reputation in both the Australian and the USA automotive industry.

With over 40 years of business experience, Scott and the Team at Pro Maintenance Additives are the perfect business partner to assist CEM in distribution throughout the USA and Canada, solving engine problems.

Pro Maintenance Additives not only trade via their website at, but also look after all fleet and commercial clients with bulk and onsite technical support.

Pro Maintenance Additives are the sole agent for distributing CEM products throughout the USA and Canada.

“We are thankful to have such a professional international partner such as Scott, representing our products in the USA,” said Brid Walker, CEO, Cost Effective Maintenance, Australia

Why is Diesel Engine Oil Always Black?


Have you ever wondered why diesel engine oil is always black? And why does it instantly go black (and gritty) immediately after a routine oil change?

The answer is soot. Engine destroying soot. It is a by-product of the combustion process, caused by incomplete fuel burn, which itself is caused by the mixture of hydrocarbon fractions within the fuel which burn at varying rates. If there is a lot of soot produced, it will make its way past the piston rings and into the engine crankcase. There it mixes with the oil, turning the oil jet-black and gritty, causing an abrasive effect on all oil-wetted engine components.  Soot in the engine oil is a real problem. There is a solution to this problem...

FTC Decarbonizer is a unique fuel catalyst - it enhances the combustion process of fuel, both gasoline and more particularly, diesel, causing the fuel to burn much more completely (therefore much less soot formed), as well as [...]

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