Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanked 84 Times in 79 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Diesels do not like to start cold.
Your engine should have glow plugs. Make sure that they work. Make sure you use them for 30 seconds to 1 minute when it's cold. Make sure your battery is in good condition. Make sure that your electrical connections (battery to starter, battery to key, battery to glow plugs, key to starter, etc.) are in good condition.
If you check all that, your engine should start OK when cold. When it's real cold, like in the 30's, it will be even harder. If you have shore power you can either provide some heat in the engine compartment (a light bulb or something) or maybe a cabin heater with the engine lid open, or maybe a hair drier on the engine block and air intake. All that will help.
As a last resort the starter fluid can be used, but use it sparingly. Spray a little on the air filter, wait a minute (while the glow plugs are heating up) and then try to start the engine.
My engine, a 1986 Universal M25, has over 3500 hours on it. It runs great but does not like to start when the temperature is below 40. I don't do much sailing then, so it doesn't bother me much. The engine starts fine when the temp is 65 or above. I probably have low compression, but I don't plan on doing anything about that.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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Last edited by BarryL; 12-30-2009 at 08:14 PM.