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Slow start 300Tdi


simonb
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The last 2 mornings the 90 hasn't started 1st go. Normally it only just needs a flick of the key and it starts straight away. The last 2 mornings its needed 3 goes and 5 secs or so of cranking before it starts - and then its as if its only running on 3 cylinders before it catches. The glow plug light comes on and the relay clunks, but it always starts even if i don't use the glow plugs, so I don't think its that.

Once started it runs as normal and starts ok for the rest of the day. Performance as as normal. My initial thoughts are thats it is the stop solenoid not pulling in to allow fuel into the injector pump, ie its sticky mechanically.

Other thought is an air leak in the fuel system allowing the diesel to drain down. However this would have to be at the injection pump or injectors, as a 300Tdi will still start and run even if the fuel filter is empty - when I change mine i never prime it, just start the engine and it self primes. Filter by the way was changed 6 months ago.

Injector leak off pipes seem ok when I had a quick look under the bonnet yesterday but haven't given them or full "wiggle/flex" test yet.

Its an early 300Tdi so no EGR system or immobiliser etc. No coolant leaks, don't think its low compression due to head gasket..

Any other thoughts ideas? Its a right pain since its intermittent but I bet it will become a permanent feature soon at the most inconvient time! :angry:

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Controversially, I'd say it's perhaps not glowplugs. On a decent 300Tdi with reasonable mileage there shouldn't be an issue with starting it without plugs, especially not in the summer in the UK. I've had my engine in for three years and never got round to even wiring them up.

If the problem's only developed recently I'd suggest it's fuel - I know it's hard to tell in 5 secs but is there any white smoke during cranking / when it starts? Is it 'trying' to go, or does it just turn over for 5 secs dead and then fire up strongly (ie once fuel gets through)?

I'd suggest changing the fuel filter in case any air's creeping in around the O-rings there, then change the copper washers on all the banjo connections (or anneal the old ones). Then start thinking about chafing pipes etc.

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I am getting similar issues with my 200tdi...

some of the problem was due to the timing being out by a couple of teetch - wooops.. :rolleyes:

but fixed that issue and it still does it... in the mornings.. or after being left for say 10 hours - very odd.

as you say though - intermittent. this morning she fired first time - I am going with the stop solinoid for now.. I'll clean it all out and see what happens.. plus check the glow rods just incase.. - If I can get them out that is - I have never actually changed them :D (injectors have been done though)

When yours finally starts do you get lots of blue smoke...? as I had shed loads yesterday morning.. ( I think that means fuel staravtion ???? )

glow plugs for sure

pull them and test them

I'll wager at least 2 are kerrrput!

use a set of jump leads

neg to the body pos to the wire connection

if the tip doesn't glow red in a few secs

replace them.

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sticky solenoid fuel cut off? engine rotating on starter unsticks it or air in fuel lines woudl be my guesses. Mine started without glow plug wired n 2nd turn everytime when i had it.

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No "un normal" exhaust, just the normal black puff when it starts. 1st turn of key, doesn't fire, 2nd go slight cough but still no fire, 3rd go with more cranking it starts, but not normally, slow to catch for a couple of seconds as if its not getting full fuel - thats why i suspect the solenoid.

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glow plugs for sure

pull them and test them

I'll wager at least 2 are kerrrput!

use a set of jump leads

neg to the body pos to the wire connection

if the tip doesn't glow red in a few secs

replace them.

You are wrong tony

Belive me a 200 and 300 TDi can and will start with out the heater plugs. With no worries

I say it is the Battery . I have had this in the past. The battery needs to be a tip top to start a 300 Tdi. if they are on there way out the first signs are what you are getting now

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well its is 5 years old, but reads 14v on the gauge. Off to the Dealers on the way home to see if i can get a stop solenoid - bet they haven't got one in stock :P

need to get it checked. I had the same. So ignored it and replace the starter and then other stuff. and it still ended up being the battery. You need alot of amps to start the 300 TDi. BTW when my batterys we dead (ie had problems starting the 200 , and 300 Tdi) i used to give them to my brother , and then he would then use them i his V8 for the next two years

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You are wrong tony

Belive me a 200 and 300 TDi can and will start with out the heater plugs. With no worries

I say it is the Battery . I have had this in the past. The battery needs to be a tip top to start a 300 Tdi. if they are on there way out the first signs are what you are getting now

Who died and put you in charge of right or wrong?

my 300tdi with a brand new battery wouldn't start

fitted new glow plugs and all was fine again.

as have been a fair few other over the past few years.

he says it starts then runs on 3 before catching how can this be anything to do with the battery?

I'd save the money on a stop solenoid , test the glow plugs and see what you get £5 says they are the prob.

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Who died and put you in charge of right or wrong?

my 300tdi with a brand new battery wouldn't start

fitted new glow plugs and all was fine again.

as have been a fair few other over the past few years.

he says it starts then runs on 3 before catching how can this be anything to do with the battery?

I'd save the money on a stop solenoid , test the glow plugs and see what you get £5 says they are the prob.

Calm Down Calm Down (in my best scouser accent) :lol:

It is just that if the 300 does not start properley don't jump at heater plugs as they are not so vital as they were on the 2.5 N/a and Td. I had a 200 Tdi fitted to a 71 Range Rover and the heater plugs were never ever att . So in hence it had no heater plugs. It started on the button everytime. I have also never in my 200 TDi or 300TDi used the heater plugs and they have always still started what ever the temp

Well if he says it starts on three and then on 4 . It will be the head gasket .... Lack of compresion causeing it to not start easy .Gasket usually gone at number 4 as farest away from the rad , hence the hottest

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I have't jumped at anything

I've given a reasoned account of what was wrong on mine when it would start easily.

I have heard on here many times the 200 starts fine without plugs

this is a 300.

starting on 3 then going to 4 isn't neccessarily a head gasket as the fuel air mix isn't getting hot enough to combust, hence the engine having glow plugs.

Simon also says one started the engine is fine for the rest of the day

so a head gasket IMHO is unlikley.

Tony

feeling very calm thankyou

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Well they didn't have a stop solenoid in stock, might have guessed.

Its just started without any problems after being sat for 8 hours.

Min cranking voltage is 10v so i don't think its the battery. Running voltage is 14v and cranking speed is same as normal.

Just off to check throttle spindle and tightness of fuel filter.

Then 2moz morning I'll see if i get 3 no start days in a row.

Also going to check volts on stop solenoid whilst cranking it.

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ive heard in the past that if you remove the stop solinold there is often carp in there that jams it. i'd try that before buying a new one. plus you can test it while its out anyway. 12v to the pin & earth it, should flick straight away.

does sound a bit liftpumpish to me as well, was the 1st sign when my liftpump started to die.

ive heard 300s need glowplugs more than 200s, but id be surprised if they needed them this weather.

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Well 3rd morning in a row it didn't start. But as soon as it did, i turned it off again. Left it 5 minutes and it started 1st time. Aaargh! Before I flicked the key (the 1st time) checked there was 12v on the glow plugs and stop solenoid and there was, of course doesn't mean they are working... So tomorrow it will be out with the glow plugs and solenoid to check them and a compression check while I'm at it. Will also give all the plumbing a good going over. Watch this space....

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Guest diesel_jim

If you can't get a stop solenoid just yet.... then why not try to eliminate it....

remove the existing one you have (unscrews), pull the plunget and spring out, then re-insert the solenoid.

now, you'll have to stall the engine to stop it, but by tomorrow morning you'll know if it is that or not, and it would have saved you 30 odd quid.

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refuses to start then leave it & works fine. sounds just like when the battery died in my 'normal' car. id get the battery drop tested, any decent car shop should do it for free. could be reading ok on volts but lacking in amps.

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Does sound more like lift pump letting fuel drain back over long periods.

Other than starter problems (not turning egine over) only time I had sluggish starting (on a 200tdi) was when the lift pump was on the way out.

One thing to try is leave it overnight but manually prime the pump (assumig 300 lift pump is similar to 200) in the morning before turning the key.

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Glow plugs can be checked on a battery. The symptoms you describe could be attrubuted to glow plug failure, although it may not be starting on three, but rather running rough for a couple of seconds. As Trev says - remove the plunger and spring from the solenoid. You could also clamp the fuel pipe with something suitable and leave overnight. If it is the head gasket, then it'll deteriorate rather quickly, so things will get worse. The fact that it doen't do it all the time kind-of negates that though. If you have one glow plug not working - the engine may be difficult to start first thing in the morning, but perfectly fine all day long.

The length of time it takes to start is a good indicator - lots of spins before it fires could mean that fuel has to be dragged all the way up from the tank. A bit of a delay could indicate glow plug problem as the engine has to wet the bores before firing.

Best plan is do the cheapest thing first. :P

Les. :)

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Well of course on Sat morning it started 1st time.. :lol:

Anyway here is what I found:

Battery - nothing wrong with it, after prolonged cranking to do compression tests (see below) it was still turning engine over at full speed without difficulty. If it had a duff cell it would have been struggling by then. No load volts after all of that was still 13.1v so no problems there.

Stop solenoid - firstly what a blinking faff! :angry: Grind down spanner to fit in silly lack of working space. Even have to remove terminal tag as it fouls as you undo the solenoid - more faff. Then don't drop plunger or spring taking it out, or putting it back in! Anyway slight wear on plunger - paint was slightly rubbed off, no swarf, and works ok on 12v. So thats gone back in - minus spring and plunger for the time being.

Lift pump - Was going to hand prime if it didn't start, but it did, and had no no starts all wknd so left that for the moment.

Compression Test - All over 300psi with a hot engine, with each cylinder tested by spinning engine on starter (did this before the stop solenoid). First stroke of piston gets pressure up to about 200psi, then rapidly builds to full compression.

Glow plugs - took them out to test them and guess what, all duff! :P Resistance measurements were 2.5K, 1.2M, 1.2K and 2.2M, so on 12v thats not going to heat anything... By comparision the plugs in a Citroen ZX were a short cct ( but with the wiring still connected and the plugs in parallel). Battery test produced nothing from them at all.

So a round of applause to all those who said glow plugs. But those of you who said a Tdi doesn't need them are also correct. I personally never waited for the light anyway and it has started all wknd and last wk apart from 3 mornings, without them. I suspect I may have only been running on one glow plug anyway for a while and that has probably now failed, which caused my 3 no starts.

I also only ever just give it the briefest flick of the key, so if I gave it a bit longer I would have probably never noticed - not till winter anyway...

So whats the verdict on new glow plugs, genuine Bosch (as whats fitted, they did do 160k miles, till they all failed) or pattern part? EPC lists genuine parts as £18 each ex vat - could always just fit 2 though :D

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So whats the verdict on new glow plugs, genuine Bosch (as whats fitted, they did do 160k miles, till they all failed) or pattern part? EPC lists genuine parts as £18 each ex vat - could always just fit 2 though

I recently fitted a new set of glowplugs, the genuine ones are BERU 12volts 0100226129A got mine from a guy on Ebay [came in gen LR boxes] a few listed here good to know you found the cause :i-m_so_happy:

Edited by western
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re:

So a round of applause to all those who said glow plugs. But those of you who said a Tdi doesn't need them are also correct. I personally never waited for the light anyway and it has started all wknd and last wk apart from 3 mornings, without them. I suspect I may have only been running on one glow plug anyway for a while and that has probably now failed, which caused my 3 no starts.

just because you never waited that doesn't stop the timer circuit working

the timer keeps the plugs on for approx 20 seconds car started or not.

I'd fit Genuine (Bosch if I were you )

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