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Diesels are not gas engines, slow running is their forte. Gas engines on the other hand like to foul their plugs and dilute their oil. A diesels crankcase oil is similar to it's fuel! Diesels have no plugs to foul - glow plugs don't count. In fact if you live with a diesel in Alaska you will soon find that you let it run all night pulled into a snowbank or it won't start.
 

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Well glow plugs are great but if the car isn't in good tune (valves) you don't have much of a second chance if any before the battery is dead because of the bitter cold. Running all night doesn't hurt them a bit and with it running there's no issue. As for wear once an engine is up to operating temperature wear goes practically to zero. That's why manufacturers can run a test engine on a stand and go a million miles and still be in specs. Now cold starts - that's murder on an engine.
 
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