Do Diesel Engines Have To Warm Up?

Just like people before going on extreme exercises, diesel engines have to warm up before they can perform at their full potential, especially if they are in cold weather.

This article aims to help you by answering whether you need to warm up diesel engines and provides you with a rough guideline on how to do so properly.

Should You Warm Up A Diesel Engine?

The video starts off with the person clarifying that there is a lot of subjectivity when it comes to warming up your vehicle.

Also, there is no clear-cut way on how long you should warm up your vehicle. With that being said, you do not want to accelerate immediately, especially if you live in cold places such as North Dakota.

Give it a minute before you raise the RPM. What this does is that it lets your thick cold oil warm up to reach the places, nooks, and crannies inside your engine. Afterward, let your oil pressure and oil feed all the moving components.

At that point, if it’s cold outside, you can now rev up your engine to about 1000 RPM. This helps increase cylinder pressure, exhaust, and combustion temperatures.

The important takeaway in the video is that you have to get your oil and coolant temperatures on or above normal operating conditions in order to avoid wearing the engine.

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There are some ways how to speed up this process using specialized equipment, such as:

  • Oil heaters
  • Block heaters

These may help your temperatures rise faster when you are warming up your diesel engine normally.

You should avoid idling your vehicle after you have warmed it up to avoid engine wear. Also, you might need to redo the whole process again if you idle it for too long.

If you really need to do so, it is recommended that you rev up your engine to about 1000 RPM or higher to keep your cylinders from wearing out.


Should I run it at full load to warm it up quicker?

The answer is no. You have to remember that your oil temperatures are still fairly low, which means that they are still somewhat thick.

Also, you want more smooth and free-flowing oil to go around your engine so that no mishaps and blockages happen.

Generally, the warm-up phase of the engine is the hardest on your vehicle. It could lead to fuel delusion, which means that some of your fuel has reached the oil.

This typically happens to cars that are idle for too long in cold weather.

Remember to not go full load until your coolant temperature is around 180 degrees. Your engine parts are generally going to be cast iron, and you do not want them to be under a lot of pressure if they are cold. After that, you are ready to go full throttle when driving the vehicle. 

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Should I warm up my vehicle even if it is not cold?

Yes, you could. Warming up before you drive has always been a sign of a good driver as it could help prevent your engine from slightly wearing when exposed to full loads immediately.

Does the amount of fuel affect the warm-up?

Condensation in the fuel tank might happen if they are not full. If it condensates inside yours, you might get frozen or gel-like fuel, and this would cause problems when starting up. Using fuel additives might lessen the condensation in your tank.