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2013 Q7 TDI won't start in cold - help a rookie

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Old 01-06-2014, 05:06 PM
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Default 2013 Q7 TDI won't start in cold - help a rookie

New to diesel engines. Need help.

It's -7 before wind chill in Michigan today. Took my car (2013 Q7 TDI with <3k miles,full tank of diesel) out of the balmy 30 degree garage at 5:30am. Went to work, parked outside. Drove around at 1pm for 20 minutes. 6 hours later went back out to trouble. Electronics come on, car turns over, RPM's hit 1k briefly and car shuts down. Over an over. I got a low battery warning. Hooked up jumper cables to a v8 truck for a bit, same response, but also got a new indicator on dash showing image of vehicle with red hood. Gave up, left car and bummed a ride home.

What's up? Too cold for diesel? Too cold for any car?

Only other observation is that doesn't seem like you can crank on it excessively like you could a old gasser. The electronics crank briefly and stop.

I appreciate any thoughts/comments.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:55 PM
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There is no way that it was too cold for diesel. My 335d easily started the other day in even colder conditions here in Toronto where it was -23.5 C (-10.3 F) that morning. You must have a battery issue of some sort.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:44 PM
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Diesel must have gelled. Car was in a safe place (outside). I decided not to have it towed. Wednesday, when temp was -10F before windchill I tried to start it again (using portable battery jumper, tried cables). Same issue. Would crank but not start. Glow plug light flashing, but wouldn't go off.

I left it until today. Waited until it warmed up to about 20F. Jumped with portable battery. This time Glow plug light was flashing, but started immediately. Was getting other electrical issues like TPMS system not working, etc. Those messages cleared as car ran a bit.

I guess I learned my lesson about using an additive.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:00 PM
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Using what additives? Putting in Diesel Stabilizers on your own? Aren't all diesel stations supposed to sell fuel with additives already in it. I've started my car at -21C (-6F) several times with no issues. It took 2-3seconds from time of pushing the button to cranking the engine. Nothing out of the ordinary.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:50 PM
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Yes, additive. I wouldn't use any normally in any of my vehicles, but convinced the fuel gelled due to low temperature. Fuel was purchased mid-December from a busy station. My plan going forward would be to use additive from December through February (coldest weather for Michigan).
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