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Can I check my thinking with you all please....

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I've had a problem twice in the last week and been trying to think it through and thought I'd ask the collective experience on here to check my thinking....

The scenario...

Truck is a Td5 90 circa 125k miles.... Starts on the first turn every time.. (Well until Sunday afternoon and this evening....)

Turn key...

Normal lights..

Turn key to crank after heater coil light goes out.

Accessories / sockets go out

Relay clicks

Starter doesn't spin.....

Sunday, switch off and back on... Fired & ran.

Tonight, switched off, back on, nothing... Several times...

4th or 5th time it fired normally....

I think the key barrel is ok....

I think this because the relay clicks when I try to crank, the current draw /ECU switches off the accessories etc.

My questions....

Does this sound like a duff battery in the plip? (Will carry the spare for next few days and change battery in current plip as soon as I can get a battery)

Could it be the immobiliser not letting the truck crank due to battery being low?

Could it be the starter solenoid?

Any challenges or comments on my observations?

Anyone had the same experience and can offer a solution?


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I've had this happening with my 110 which granted is a 200TDi... IMHO my issue is either the ignition switch, starter relay or the starter solenoid sticking, I think it's one of the first 2.

Unfortunately I don't know how the td5 interacts the immobiliser, fob and ecu with the starter motor and ignition switch....

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The more I think about this the more I suspect (given the supplied facts) it's the starter solenoid / motor.

Does the solenoid click every time you try and crank it? If that's the case then the switch and feed side of the solenoid are good. The problem would then lie with the high-current side of the solenoid. We've had similar issues on both the tractor (after Dad drowned it) and the dumper truck and it was solved by "simply" removing the starter motor (they're nice and easy to access on those!), stripping it down, cleaning it and reassembling. They were pretty gunky inside and just simply not making contact.

If the solenoid doesn't click every time you crank then it's a problem before then - could be immobiliser / ECU kicking in due to low voltage (or simply failing to switch over because of low voltage). Alternatively it could be the relay / switch being cruddy as well. I'd suggest getting some battery voltage readings from the battery, both "at rest", open circuit and ideally during a successful crank. It'd be pretty obvious if the battery is struggling.

When I had an old (the original 7 year Land Rover) battery in the Range Rover then when the ECU detected an under-voltage it wouldn't even bother attempting to click the starter solenoid. If it does try to click and it is under voltage then that implies there's a secondary cut-out downstream of the starter relay / solenoid.

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I would say the starter solenoid also Neil as when mine times out and is immobilized there is nothing, no click or anything.

Your battery could also be a bit low, night time driving, heater etc not uncommon this time of year although you did do the mileage at the weekend so should be fully charged?

I have a spare alternator here if you need one? and for that matter a brand new Numax if you want to give that a go also?


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Great feedback.. Thanks.....

I hope it can hold together until Sunday when I get a chance to get under the truck...

Was fine, first turn of the key, this morning once again....

I'll go for the solenoid as that seem quite low cost and will check the wiring to the solenoid as suggested... (Thanks for the link Stephen..)

If it's still there after that I'll pull the dash out and change the back of the key barrel....

After that..... Errr....

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I live on top of a hill Mo.. So long as I get home, I should still be ok for Saturday :)

May have a fiddle Friday night and just clean the contacts up while I wait for the kit.. (Monday delivery according to Eblag....)

Still need to sort the floppy Hi-Low lever..... Hopefully just loose and nothing fallen off & lost....

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My starter went on the blink intermittently, initially just a click, and on the next turn of the key it started normally, and it deteriorated to not starting at all. My first action was to remove the starter and clean all electrical connections, specially the earth strap from the chassis, and that seemed to fix it. No problems in the last three months.


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