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Cold Weather Starting


ChetMotoX
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I have a 18 HD10 and I've had a few issues with it over the years but this year it's getting hard to start.

I've changed the fuel sock a few times, do it every oil change now because I've had issues with that but this fall it started having issues with starting.

When it would fire up, you had to let it warm up at least 5 minutes or it would want to die when you moved it. Even if it was 80°.

Now it's below freezing and it is taking forever for it to fire. It cranks good but I have to crank on it for a few minutes(intervals of about 10 seconds then letting the computer shut all the way before going again) before it'll fire. 

I'm leaning towards a fuel pump but once it's running it's working good so I hesitate on just buying one because all the fuel pumps I have dealt with are usually just dead. Any suggestions?

Also, my dealer told me to not use any type of block/engine heater but it really needs something, anyone have anything they've used?

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In my HD 10 defender limited, 87 octane has ethanol which will cause water to condense and freeze in your fuel lines.  Keep tank full with non-ethanol 91 octane to ensure this is not an issue in freezing conditions.  You can also add an alcohol based gas stabilizer / treatment to help clear any water condensation that has collected in your tank and fuel lines.  I live in freezing winters and my dealer recommended non-ethanol gas to avoid hard-start and freezing condensation in lines.  I run 91 octane as that is the only non-ethanol gas I can get.  The 87 has ethanol.  I have had no issues with cold star in freezing temps.

Edited by Dougdoug
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You will have cold start and running/staling issues if you use 91 octane in these machines. They were designed and programmed for 87 octane. I use Stabil during the winter in all my gas cans as I don't burn through it as fast as I do during summer.

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I run ethanol free gas which is 91 octane.  All other options, 87, etc, have 10% ethanol.  I live in the cold freeze all winter and have had zero issues.  Seems to work for my autos that sit for extended periods as well.  I keep the tank full of non ethanol gas to avoid the condensation ethenol causes in freezing temps.   Enjoy your day.  

Edited by Dougdoug
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My 2019 HD10 has been run on 91 non ethanol fuel since new and is used in the winter for ice fishing etc. above -20C/-4F and it starts and runs just fine. I use 91 non ethanol in all the toys because of the ethanol in 87 fuel and the condensation problems, I don't use Stabil in the Defender but in all other stored toys.

There is no benefit to running 91 from a performance point of view unless you have a tune.

Low fuel pressure on startup would likely give you a lean mixture that might contribute to your poor starting.🙂

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I am about to try tarping my 2018 XT HD10 and running a space heater near it for awhile, waiting for a day where we get closer to +20F. Mine ran fine when I bought it used last week then the bottom dropped out and we had a few days in the -20 to -30 F range. Stored in an unheated pole barn with a charger maintainer, not a battery issue. Only 91 octane non oxy used up here near Frostbite Falls. I don’t even get a solenoid click, just fuel pump whirr. Hoping a little warmth will help before I haul it 2 hours to the dealer for a thorough service check and install Apache tracks. Hope you get a better answer! 

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Steelslinger shoots and scores! Starter relay warmed and happy and she fired right up. Thanks again for the tip, I might have been looking to replace muffler bearings or blinker fluid to get it going.

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So it was the fuel pump or regulator. Did some testing and found it wasn't holding it's prime when it got cold, figured something either was stuck in an o-ring or holding a check valve open. 

Changed the pump and regulator a couple weeks ago and it's started and ran great since. Tested the cold starting last couple days, fired right up at -24° F so I'd say my problem is fixed!

Went with with aftermarket fuel pump cause it was way cheaper than OEM and I was able to get it quicker and the month wait my dealer told me 

QFS In-Tank EFI Fuel Pump w/ Fuel... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DQTSDW9?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

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mine starts up fine when it hasn't been running but after it gets warmed up it acts like it wants to die when you stop and sometimes it does. then you can crank and crank it over for 5-8 seconds and pump the gas pedal and it will start with a back fire and roll smoke out. changed the plugs and air filter and going to try running 91 through it. have been running 87 since i bought it. will see what happens or ill be looking at a new fuel pump

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