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Old 03-22-2013, 04:57 AM
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Big time cold start issues

Bear with me please, there is a bit of a back story to explain.

I have been having cold start issues all winter if the truck has sat for 6 plus hours and temps are below 45-ish degrees. It has been better when plugged in but that is a bit of a pain in the butt and I want this issue fixed.

Originally it started as a GP relay issue but there was something else involved as well. I have an LED hooked to the GP relay and when it started showing a malfunction eventually I found one of the posts was broken inside the GP relay so I replaced it a few months ago but it didn't help. I assumed it was probably a glow plug issue once the relay was replaced.

Not really having the facility (or really the desire) to do them myself, I decided to call in a favor from a mechanic friend of mine. I had done some work on his girlfriend for free (I am a chiropractor for those of you who don't know me), so I knew he would do the work. I told him what was going on and he mentioned a lot of times it had been his experience that the UVCH can go bad and it not actually be the GP's at all. Since I already had the set of GP's from years ago when Autozone accidentally was selling them for a penny a piece, I told him go ahead and replace the UVCH's while he was at it, after all, I wasn't coming out of pocket for any of it.

So I dropped the truck off a few weeks ago and he got to it this week. He told me all was well and come get it Wednesday afternoon. When I picked it up, of course they had just been running it and it was about 50 degrees out to boot, so it started without any use of the GP's at all. I drove it to the afternoon shift at work and afterwards it started with the GP relay LED indicating they were energizing for less than a minute.

I usually drive my daughter to her bus stop in the am and she will remote start the truck beforehand. When she came to wake me up yesterday am, she said "Dad, I started your truck" and lying there in bed, I smiled thinking that all was well. My wife had off so she volunteered to let me sleep in a little and take my daughter to the bus stop and then run some errands. Unbeknownst to me, my truck, in fact, had not started remotely and apparently tried to several times and ran the batteries down a bit.

Fast forward a couple of hours and I am getting ready for work and hit the remote start. Now, I should mention that the remote start is set to allow the GP's to cycle for approximately 45 secs before attempting to start the truck so as not to be trying to cold start (assuming the GP's are doing heir thing properly of course). I walk to the front of the house noticing I am not hearing the truck running so I open a window and hear the starter solenoid clicking with no turnover so I shut it down. Great...I have to drive the Expy to work again...

I come home from work at lunch and hook up the battery charger. After work about 4 hours later in 32 degree temps, no block heater plugged in, with fully charged batteries, I attempt to start her up again. The engine cranks fast enough and the engine is acting like it almost wants to start but it won't quite catch, so I shut it down. I put the charger on it again and shut the hood. I am going to attempt to start it later this morning and I am going to video it and put it on youtube so you can see what I am talking about.

Sorry for the length but I want to give as much info as possible.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:24 AM
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My first reaction was doing some work on his girlfriend for free is a rather unique approach to convincing a mechanic to work on your truck... but I kept reading.

My next reaction was along the line of "Oh #%*$! Glow plugs for a penny?" This next question is the ballgame: Were they Autolites? If they were, you were overcharged... seriously. If you don't know what they were, it would behoove you to pop a VC, pull one out, and check it... again, seriously. Autolites have this nasty habit of mushrooming out, forcing the whole head to be popped to remove them. If this were my truck, I would make that the first priority before cycling the key again... if they are Autolites or you are unsure.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:11 AM
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My first reaction was doing some work on his girlfriend for free is a rather unique approach to convincing a mechanic to work on your truck... but I kept reading.

My next reaction was along the line of "Oh #%*$! Glow plugs for a penny?" This next question is the ballgame: Were they Autolites? If they were, you were overcharged... seriously. If you don't know what they were, it would behoove you to pop a VC, pull one out, and check it... again, seriously. Autolites have this nasty habit of mushrooming out, forcing the whole head to be popped to remove them. If this were my truck, I would make that the first priority before cycling the key again... if they are Autolites or you are unsure.
No Rich, they weren't Autolites, they were motorcraft. A few years back, '08ish, someone on here found out Autozone had them listed in their computer for a penny and alerted everyone here. Turns out Autozone occasionally stops carrying a certain product, and when they do, they list it on their inventory as costing $.01 and that is supposed to alert them to pack it up and send it back to the warehouse. Some management know this, others do not. So many of us rode around to all the AZ's in our area's and bought up all that they had. I ended up with 3 complete sets and a partial. I kept one for myself, gave one to may dad, and sent the rest to the brotherhood.


Here is the video of the cold start attempt this am. Pay no attention to my son snickering like Snively from the Hannah Barbera Laugh Olympics show back in the late 70's early 80's. (obscure reference for many of you I am sure).
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:55 AM
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The dog... I remember. If I recall, he was Snidely Whiplash's dog.

Sorry... I just freaked out there. Your starter sounds very slow, so you're talking low voltage or weak starter (or both) can be a factor.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:33 PM
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The dog... I remember. If I recall, he was Snidely Whiplash's dog.

Sorry... I just freaked out there. Your starter sounds very slow, so you're talking low voltage or weak starter (or both) can be a factor.
New starter a little over a month ago. It must be the batteries then. They are not quite 2 years old and they are Interstate Megatron Plus 85 month 850 cca's. I have got to get with my mechanic and get his guy to warranty them which is what he did last time.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:35 PM
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And yes, I believe you are correct on the dog.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:38 PM
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Actually just looked it up and supposedly Snidley whiplash didn't have a dog, it was Dick Dasterdly and his Dog's name was Muttley...brain cells are getting like my truck batteries I guess.....


https://www.google.com/search?q=mutt...xDD6n_3K5mM%3A
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:11 PM
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Actually just looked it up and supposedly Snidley whiplash didn't have a dog, it was Dick Dasterdly and his Dog's name was Muttley...brain cells are getting like my truck batteries I guess.....
Aaaww maan. Now I have to google "Snively"... I was picturing Muttley.

*Edit* Timmyboy76 and I do OK with movie trivia, but I suck at this cartoon stuff. There is no Snively dog, Dick and Mutt is what I envisioned, and Snidely is from Moose and Squirrel days.

Now... get me away from Hanna Barbera, and into the Warner Brothers animation and I fare a lot better.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:09 PM
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Occasionally mine will sound like that...usually when it is lower than about 10 at night and I forgot to plug her in... but... It only sounds like the cranking. She will start fairly quick.
How is the oil level in the HPOP when you try to start it o a cold morning? Possibly a chance of "drain back" where you have to crank it to get some oil back in there before it will actually work the injectors and start?
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:17 PM
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Occasionally mine will sound like that...usually when it is lower than about 10 at night and I forgot to plug her in... but... It only sounds like the cranking. She will start fairly quick.
How is the oil level in the HPOP when you try to start it o a cold morning? Possibly a chance of "drain back" where you have to crank it to get some oil back in there before it will actually work the injectors and start?
I haven't checked it actually. I am getting ready to give it another go here in a few minutes. I will let you know.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:27 PM
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Whie you are cranking, is blue/gray smoke coming out of the tailpipe? Check your battery voltage while cranking. Does it drop below 10.5v? The injector control module needs 10.5 volts to fire the injectors.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:32 PM
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I noticed you have a dp chip. Are you trying to start in stock or a higher tune. Mine starts hard in 60econ or higher, but in stock it starts fine.

I know my HPOP is weak and my batteries are only holding about 11.5 volts when left overnight. I'm not driving it till I get these problems fixed
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:19 PM
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I put the 1000cca interstate in mine last time and they worked fine for the hole six years. You could still have a bad relay even with the LED light on, I read this somewhere here. Mine this year was clicking but was still bad. Take it back to your friend and have him check all the voltages, relay, glow plugs, started etc. Its there somewhere and if he'll do it for free, way to go.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:10 PM
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Whie you are cranking, is blue/gray smoke coming out of the tailpipe? Check your battery voltage while cranking. Does it drop below 10.5v? The injector control module needs 10.5 volts to fire the injectors.
after a few times cranking yes, slight amounts of blue gray smoke, not a ton, just a little bit.

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I noticed you have a dp chip. Are you trying to start in stock or a higher tune. Mine starts hard in 60econ or higher, but in stock it starts fine.

I know my HPOP is weak and my batteries are only holding about 11.5 volts when left overnight. I'm not driving it till I get these problems fixed
yeah i have a DP and I have had it sine 2007. It never has been an issue before so I doubt it is now.

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I put the 1000cca interstate in mine last time and they worked fine for the hole six years. You could still have a bad relay even with the LED light on, I read this somewhere here. Mine this year was clicking but was still bad. Take it back to your friend and have him check all the voltages, relay, glow plugs, started etc. Its there somewhere and if he'll do it for free, way to go.
already checked that there was voltage when the relay is engaged. I had a friend of mine check it the day I replaced it and he is an electrical engineer so I trust him and his fluke meter. I just picked up 2 new Megatrons from Interstate this evening. I will put them in tomorrow morning and check back with y'all.

I didn't check the HPOP level earlier to day because I had taken my socket set to work on Thursday and left it there. If the batteries don't work, I will check it.

Thanks everyone for the input.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:13 AM
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2 brand new Interstate Megatron Plus 850 cca 1000 ca batteries 43 degrees outside let glow plugs cycle 45 seconds at least. No start with blue gray puffs of smoke. Sounded exactly like the above video. Now what?
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