Littleton and Highlands Ranch in Colorado offer residents picturesque mountain views. Yet, the distinct regional conditions of these areas can impact vehicle performance, especially starting systems. This is due to a combination of high altitudes and cold temperatures. Branch Automotive is here to assist with diesel repairs, particularly when you’re faced with starting system complications.
High Altitude and Cold Starts
The high altitude presents a major challenge for diesel starting systems. At elevations exceeding 5,000 feet, the air becomes thinner, resulting in less oxygen for engine combustion. When coupled with cold weather, it’s no surprise that vehicle no-starts are common during winter. Cold conditions can hinder battery chemical reactions, reducing its effectiveness. A solution? Consider installing a block heater for those chilly Colorado mornings.
Battery Issues in Littleton CO, and Highlands Ranch, CO
Given that diesel engines require high compression, turning them over demands more power. When high altitude and cold weather join forces, the strain on the starting system becomes apparent. Regularly inspect your battery, addressing any corrosion on terminals promptly. Corrosion can disrupt power flow from the battery to the starter, an issue you certainly don’t want. If you haven’t yet, think about switching to a battery with enhanced cold-cranking amps.
Fuel System Problems in High-Altitude Locations
The combination of the high altitude and cold weather can cause two fuel problems that affect starting diesel engines. The thinner air can cause a vapor lock. The fuel in the lines turns into vapor and prevents the engine from starting. The other problem is that diesel fuel can freeze. Using an antifreeze additive for diesel fuel during the winter can help prevent both issues.
The high altitudes of Littleton CO, and Highlands Ranch CO can also affect the ignition system because of the air density. The air has less oxygen, which affects combustion. Make sure the glow plugs are in good condition, as they heat the cylinders to make it easier to fire off the diesel fuel. The oxygen sensors can also cause issues with starting in high-altitude areas. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for ignition system maintenance to help prevent ignition-related starting issues.
Winterization and Emergency Kits
Annually, as fall approaches, we recommend a comprehensive check of your diesel truck’s systems at Branch Automotive. While this significantly reduces non-start risks, it’s still prudent to be prepared.
We strongly suggest all drivers, irrespective of their vehicle’s fuel type, equip their cars with a winter emergency kit. The probability of starting system issues is just too high to gamble.
A comprehensive emergency kit should include:
- A first-aid kit.
- A tarp for protection against the weather, should you have to build a fire for heat. You can’t rely on your vehicle’s heater when you have a truck that won’t start.
- At least one change of warm, dry clothing.
- A waterproof jacket.
- Water and Non-perishables for a few days.
- At least 2 liters of water for each person in the vehicle.
- A portable shovel.
- An ice scraper.
- A flashlight and extra batteries.
- A blanket or cold-weather sleeping bag for each person in the vehicle.
With these items, you have a much better chance of surviving if someone can’t get to you right away.
Ready Your Vehicle’s Starting System With Branch Automotive Today!
Facing starting system issues in cold weather? We’ve got you covered! Conveniently located at 6030 East County Line Road, Highlands Ranch, CO, 80126-3919, Branch Automotive is dedicated to ensuring your vehicle’s starting system is winter-ready. Don’t let the cold stall your plans; call us at (303) 771-2224 to schedule your appointment. Drive with assurance this season!