Merlo Tech Talk: Getting Your Merlo Ready for Cold Weather

Merlo Tech Talk: Getting Your Merlo Ready for Cold Weather

When the leaves begin to change, and the temps consistently dip, it’s time to prepare for working in cold weather. Are you and your Merlo ready?

Our technicians recommend the following to prepare your Merlo for winter:


Store full portable fuel cans in a temperature-controlled area to avoid condensation if applicable. Diesel can become contaminated with water and not be suitable to use as fuel.

Drain the water from the fuel water separator. Best practice is when the machine is shut down for the day, so water does not sit in the filter overnight if storing your Merlo in a non-temperature controlled enclosure. Water expands as it freezes and will split whatever the fuel water separator is made of.

Fill fuel tanks at the end of the working day. Full tanks do not leave room for overnight water condensation.

What about AdBlue?

 AdBlue DEF freezes at 11.3°F. Because most DEF tanks are situated next to the exhaust, this may not be an issue.  DEF systems have their own heating elements. These elements only activate after the unit has reached operating temperature.


Antifreeze NOT water! (Every toolbox needs an Antifreeze tester.)

Wiper fluid NOT water! Fluid freezing points range: -20°F, -27°F, -40°F, or even down to -50°F. This washer fluid contains an alcohol that lowers the freezing point of the washer fluid significantly. Find the wiper fluid tank under the seat. This tank feeds all three nozzles (front window, back window, and roof)


Plug the block heater in. Every Merlo in the US is equipped with a block heater. Look for the cord/plug within your engine compartment. Rotos have an outlet that takes a grounded extension cord.

Engine Pre-heat-1. Grid Heater.  Found on most Merlo telehandlers. Found in the intake, sensor activated,it will not allow the engine to turn over until the correct temperature is reached.

Engine Pre-heat-2. Glow Plugs. (Installed on Merlo telehandlers in USA with Kubota engines) To activate Glow Plugs: Turn key to R. Wait to see GP symbol.Wait for an additional 15 seconds, then fully turn key to start the engine.

 Earlier than 2016 Merlos

can retrofit block heaters.

Please have your Merlo serial number available.



If your battery is not sealed, check the acid levels.  Adding distilled water to the chambers will ensure a long life for your battery.  All of the batteries in Merlo telehandlers that originate from AMS are “wet cell” batteries. They need water (distilled) to make the electrolyte solution work. That water can evaporate or boil off leading to unusable batteries.

And while you are at it, clean the battery terminals.

Note: Older Rotos may show error code 422 meaning the battery is very low and may need to be replaced


Tire pressure drops 1-2 lbs. for every 10 degree temp drop. Always check tire pressure is within proper PSI (yellow tag on the rim) for consistent traction and handling.

When was the last time you looked at the brake pads? Just asking.

Belts, hoses,  and 3 wiper blades.  ​Rubber becomes more rigid and subject to failure in cold weather. If belts, hoses, and wipers are old and/or cracked they can fail at any time. Good practice is to inspect all your Merlo’s rubber components before cold weather really sets in.

AMS-Merlo service advisors are available to answer your cold-weather preparation questions. / 803-327-4949.


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