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Non start 300tdi

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Well that was an interesting Christmas.

Clutch fork went 50 miles from home. Managed to get 10 from home and the starter was dead.

First order of business today is to sort the clutch then look to the electrics. After the first start I noticed I had lost the supply to the radio. Fuse I thought. Now the radio is working but there is no glow plug light and the starter doesn't operate. I am favouring a loose connection somewhere but if anyone gas any pointers while I am crawling unde the motor it would be much appreciated!


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The main wiring harness plugs are at the left of the gearbox or drivers side on the bulkhead, these will cover your glow plug. These is also an earth wire on the same area. it about 10" from the bottom of bulkhead so low down.

Does the starter turn ? if not check that there is 12v on the signal wire to the solonoid on the starter when you turn the key (its the small wire) also check that there is 12v on the heavy wire at the same place.

Good luck

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You could well be on to something, as it was only when I put the engine back in it occurred to me that I had not taken an earth strap off!

Never had any starting issues in the four years I have had the motor, but maybe the extra load of starting in gear has fried the handbrake cable, or gearbox earth- assuming there is one.

Once the weather co operates I will get back under and have a look.

Needless to say I will be picking up an earth strap for the engine.


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The plot thickens.

Tried the secondary earth - no joy.

In addition to the lack of glow plug light, I found that the glow plugs have 12 v on them all the time the ignition is on.

Of course if the relay is removed the 12v on the glow plugs is lost.

The heated rear screen does not work and the light does not come on. Fuse is ok.

There is 12 v on the starter solenoid wire, as soon as the ignition is on. The starter does not operate.

I took the wire off the starter solenoid and ran a wire directly from the battery to the spade terminal. No joy.

Checked the resistance of the solenoid and it was in the kohm region ( can't remember the exact figure) which doesn't seem right, so it looks like there is a starter fault.

The original cable on the solenoid looks to have been hot, as the plastic clover over the spade shows signs of melting.

I am wondering if there is a short in the harness somewhere?

Downloading the correct wiring diagram for the model year to see if I can identify a common point to cause all the various problems.

Have given up for the day, and will continue tomorrow. It is certainly an interesting one!

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I was able to do a few checks this morning. Score duty called elsewhere.

The "ignition" switch checks out ok for function, but I have found that with the wires disconnected from the back of the switch, the red/white wire has 12 v on it, so there must be a back feed as this is the wire to the start relay.

All wires behind the instrument panel look ok with no signs of burning.

Won't get another look until tomorrow now.

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A bit of digging this afternoon found the fault behind the base for the starter relay.

The feed to the starter solenoid had melted across the permanent live and the ignition live.

I'll examine he harness tomorrow in the daylight to see how much needs replacing.

Separating the wires cured all the spurious indicator lamp problems, and glow plugs now operate.


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