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russianfrog

Can't start Defender

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For the first time in nearly 10 years, my Defender 2007 did not start this morning...

It's been cold last night (-20°c ), and already for the past few days I've had difficulties starting the engine: The starter turned round and round to finally launch the engine. This morning, two little puffes and then nothing. I'm afraid I've drained the battery now: the starter doesn't even turn, I only hear some kind of click.

I don't have any car with a battery strong enough around to help kick start it (I tried), so the truck stays idle.

So, I have a few questions:

- Does my describtion fits with a standard battery problem?

- How frenquent does a Defender needs battery replacement?

- Any tip how to start the trcuk without changing the battery?

Thank you in advance!

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Batteries do hate the cold.  Depending on how far you have been driving each day, you may not have fully recharged it after each cold start?  An ageing battery can appear to die quite quickly in cold weather (then work better when it gets a bit warmer).  That clicking solenoid indicates a very dead battery!  In the old days, we used to check the specific gravity of the electrolyte but I can't help you with common wisdom these days, sorry.

One tip though, which I have used in the past when I haven't had access to a good enough external power supply, is to attach jumper leads to another (running) vehicle for at least five minutes, then try again.  While the other car may not have enough current to turn over your diesel, it can give your battery enough that the two together will do the job.  Years ago, I came across a (disgusting) Toyota Supra at a remote campsite.  The owners had drained the tiny battery overnight and neither of us had jumper leads.  I connected the two batteries with some speaker wire.  Five minutes was enough and the Toymota started under it's own battery power.  True story!

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I'd use whatever battery power was left to operate the glow plugs and try and tow start it, you could also loop a length of hose from the drivers seat into the disconnected air filter to turbo pipe, squirt a small amount of ether into the hose and blow down it as you are attempting the tow start ( use ether sparingly and don't breath it in!).

 

 

will

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Completely dead battery's, as on Ag equipment in the cold can take a lot of starting, we have had to before now connect jump leads from a high revving vehicle to dead vehicle and leave for over a hour, this usually works, but make sure you have jump leads that are up to the job,

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Sounds like solenoid is live but either not throwing gear (sticky) or battery not man enough (now flattened) In those temperatures everything is stiffer and slower and so harder on any good battery.....

How old is battery - 10years?  Consider size amp hours and CCAs.....

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Once you get the battery sorted and assuming its diesel, it would be worth checking the glow plugs are all ok & I assume you are running on “winter spec diesel” so that it’s not waxing, considering your location and temps.  Both relevant to ease of cold starting.

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Thank you for all your comments. Very useful.

I draw as a conclusion that I need to change the battery! :)

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I think you do. If the budget runs to it, the biggest one that will fit in with the highest CCA you can find.

Mo

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Here is an update of my situation, and some more questions!

- I changed the battery. Indeed it never has been changed in nearly 10 years, so it was probably a good thing to do.

- However, I still have difficulties starting the car. I added additive (we still have a really cold weather) but the petrol station claims the diesel is OK till -32°. So in principle this shouldn't be a problem (I still believe the negin is simply cold and that's why I have difficulties).

In practice, it means the starter turns but I need to try several times before a puff comes out, and then another time before it really starts.

So, I wonder: could it be the air intake? I don't have any snow cap or anything of the kind. I always thought it was a joke. But now, I wonder. Should I at least cover the intake and clean free of snow before starting the car?

Or you think it's something else?

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Glow plugs? 10 years old as well? :)

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Yep - I'd look at the glow plugs too. They need to get a good glow right at the tips. Avoid dirt cheap ones that come in a blue box, I find they don't often glow at the tips fooling you in to thinking the problem isn't the glowplugs. Get a decent set and give them a quick check first so you can see that they get hot quickly at the tips.

If it is a Td5 then I think there are only 4 glow plugs fitted. It will be these ones:

http://www.island-4x4.co.uk/glow-plug-heater-plug-beru-err6066g-p-6152.html

Quite a few topics asked about recently on here have been about either glows plugs or security. I've drawn the conclusion that a duff set of glow plugs seem to be an effective security device in winter :P

Glow Plug Test bad  Oct 14.jpg

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I'd have a look at the intake and air filter to make sure they're not iced up, choking the engine.  You may also need a new fuel filter - cold weather causes more condensation in the fuel tank and some of that water collects in the filter.  Over time, that water will build up, and could block the filter when frozen.  Other rubbish in the filter will also be more of a problem when the fuel is cold and more viscous.

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