I realize this is one of those really basic questions, but I need to ask. Does it hurt anything to leave my engine heater plugged in all night? I park in the garage and the lighting isn't good early in the morning when I get ready to leave. I'd rather just plug it in at night so all I have to do is unplug and go in the morning.
Second - when I go to start it, the "wait to start" light goes off for a few seconds and back on for a couple of seconds etc. I'm assuming this is the glow plugs. I'm starting after it's gone off a couple of times. Should I be waiting longer to make sure it's done?
If you're using a heavy enough electric cord, the only thing that will be hurt is your electric bill. Just make sure you've got a 12 gauge extension, both Sam's club and BJ's have one for $20. Then make sure your using a 20 amp circuit or better to plug in to. You should be safe if you meet these requirements.
As far as the glow plugs, if you've had the block heater plugged in, you won't need to wait on the glow plugs, your truck should start right up. I'm not sure of GM's cicuitry, with the Ford's the plugs cycle once per turn of the ignition. You have to turn the key off and reset them to get them to cycle a second time.
We have left our 6.5's plugged in all night before and no problems. As soon as the light goes off the first time, go ahead and start it. The plugs will cycle on and off for a bit after the engine is started, this is normal. I have found that leaving the key in the "on" position without the engine running tends to load the engine with fuel (Electronic injection pumps on ours just like yours). For more info on the GM oil burners, check out this site. Lots of great info and worth every penny....http://www.62-65-dieselpage.com/
Thanks for the replies. I checked the extension. It's a 14 guage/ 15 amp cord so I decided to unplug it just to be safe. I'll go out and plug it in tomorrow. I've got a couple of 12 guage cords around, just need to find one. Then I'm going to see about a timer. As much as I yell about the wastefulness of leaving lights on in empty rooms, it would be kind of hypocritical to just leave it plugged in for convenience.
The block heater on our Fords draw 1000 watts. Thats like leaving ten 100 watt light bulbs on all night. I have a timer on mine that turns on about 3 hours before I leave in the AM.
The wait to start light is just a reminder to pause a few seconds before starting. If it's not real cold, and the block heater has been on a couple of hours, you don't really need to wait at all. If the truck starts, you've waited long enough. If its really cold out and you don't wait, you will hear the engine trying to start, blowing clouds of white smoke. Thats your signal that you didn't wait long enough.