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2000 Berlingo 800D 1.9LX No Start
My Van; 2000 Berlingo 800D 1.9LX has been kaput for two weeks. First some background (it may or may not prove relevant):

Had several problems with starting since around late Jan/Feb this year when starter solenoid kept sticking - cleaned up starter solenoid and refitted. Worked great for about 3 weeks then went again. New starter fitted after an attempt to tow start failed miserably with the front of the van being ripped off due to an utterly crap repair done by Aviva insurance recommended repairer! They had failed to properly weld up the inner flitch plate and towing eye!!

These brain dead pillocks also managed to blow up my relatively new replacement engine after yet another different and previous garage cockup - not replacing the bottom air filter cover - went through a (shallow) ford and the engine hydrauliced. That replacement engine (~35k on ~80k mileage for the van) had been beautifully run in by me from brand new and was purring like a kitten. The insurance garage driver failed to stop when all the coolant blew out because they hadn't refitted the bottom rad hose properly after a repair. It later transpired that they'd also screwed up several other things that caused me a lot of grief afterwards. That was way back in 2008 IIRC.

Consequently they (the garage) tried to write it off (NO bloody chance) but eventually agreed (after I threatened them with a negligence action) to fit a replacement engine from one of their write-offs they claimed only had 40k miles on it. I was NOT a happy bunny I can tell you but I had little option at the time - the van had been with them for a total of almost three months (!!) before I got it back working (ish).

As a consequence of the front end being rived off the N/S metalwork, the mass airflow meter connections were also ripped from the plug. Four of the five wires are the same colour green (no tracer or other colour!!) The garage who repaired the van this time (GREAT job, GREAT price) had to try all the permutations one at a time before finally getting the engine to start.

A few occasions since (after about two or three weeks) it would intermittently not want to start and last Monday same issue - no start, but steadfast refusal this time. Gave up on it and used my wife's car but last Tuesday tried van again in the morning and it started first turn of the key!! Round our area for a few spins, stopping and restarting a few times no issue. Last Tuesday evening NO JOY AT ALL! Stubbornly refused all attempts to start despite turning over at a great rate of knots (the new starter's working fine).

After examining the airflow mass meter (seemed an obvious first check) I noticed some green copper corrosion and was gently (VERY gently) scraping it off one of the hot wire junctions (old style unit) when it literally just fell off - BOTH ends. Bought a new one online & fitted it no probs. Still no start. Fast turn-over but no sign of a kick or anything. When the van has been working normally it would start literally at the turn of the key - no churn, churn, fire; just click, fire, run.

Next stage - removed EGR housing to be able to get at the stop solenoid to check it and discovered EGR unit FULL of oily, carbon cr*p. Cleaned it out thoroughly with degreaser and elbow grease and then went to check the stop solenoid. This has me stumped since it is a three wire unit which is supposedly what is used with an immobiliser, yet the keys I have do not have any battery in them of which I am aware. So are they some kind of passive RFID type key? Anyone know for sure how to tell?

Checked all three pins of stop solenoid to each other for resistance - all open circuit pin 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and 3 to 1. Also all open circuit to ground/chassis. So far, I cannot remove the solenoid to check its operation as it is one of these stupid "special tool required" units that no normal spanner/wrench/socket etc can fit.

Noticed one wire had a crack in the insulation and again some more green corrosion showing around the crack. Firmly but gently pulling that wire caused it break very easily at the corrosion point. stripped, cleaned, resoldered and heat shrink covered the wire so back to full working order hopefully now, but no way to tell if it was open circuit before or not as testing showed nothing on any pin to each other or to ground (!!??).

So FINALLY here are the questions I'd like some help with in order to try to get the van mobile again without necessarily having to get the angle grinder going on the sides of this unit in order to get it out to test it:

1. Can anyone confirm for certain that this stop solenoid IS one used with an immobilser? I have a pretty good picture of it I can post if it helps and I can get TinyPic to work.

2. Can anyone explain precisely how such a three wire unit actually operates? Presumably, with only three wires, it can have a maximum of eight binary permutations of volts on the contacts (000 thru 111) but only 7 would be usable (at least ONE pin must have volts on it in order to provide power to the enclosed solenoid. This also presumes some decoding electronics inside the body of the unit.

3. Is there a definite and easy way to tell if the keys I have actually are immobiliser coded in some way? They look like standard car keys with no battery container of any sort that is obvious. Is there any other way to confirm whether or not an immobiliser is fitted? Are there passive RFID style versions of Berlingo keys?

4. Are there any electronics included inside the unit that are more complex than a simple 3-bit binary coded key decoder? e.g. does it use some sort of serial data string to pass a more complex code or info.

5. Anyone know where to get a new one and approx how much? I have looked all over the web for anyone selling such a 3-wire stop solenoid to no avail. I have seen posts in forums referring to the type I have but all the ones shown for sale are of the single terminal type. Presumably it will be at least twice the price of the single terminal unit because of the anti-theft element (if that's what it is) and God help if I have to get an official Citroen part - I'll need a third mortgage!

Tomorrow I'm refitting the EGR assembly (which also had a broken pipe on one of the vacuum actuators that has now been repaired!) and will try to get it started again just in case the problem WAS that suspect wire and the unit does operate in some strange way. However just in case of further failure if anyone can give me answers so some or all the above that would be great.

BTW, fuel is there, no air in system, fully primed on hand pump; haven't yet tried slackening off an injector feed to confirm it IS pumping fuel or not, but will do if it still doesn't start tomorrow after EGR refit. Battery is on charge overnight as it had been run down (obviously) from repeated start attempts so that shouldn't be an issue.

One final bit of info is that there WAS 12v showing on one of the supply pins to the stop solenoid when it was disconnected and tested with the ignition on and I THINK on reflection it was pin three but I am not 100% certain.

Thanks for any help.
Hi, Your key has a transponder chip in it that is picked up by the ignition switch. If you keys were not matched you should get a warning on the dash - Yellow background with a key symbol in it.
I would crack a pipe off the injector pump to see if it,s pumping diesel before you start dismantling the pump. Be careful as this will be high pressure.
Post the picture of the pump, I'm presuming it's a Lucas?
Let us know how you get on. :thumbsup:
2006 2.0hdi 600 with bench seat.  Cool
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to Rustscrat for this post:
  • ron, webmaestro
Well I have to apologise for not putting a reply sooner, but the (main) problem has now been resolved and the van now starts again at the first turn of the key.

Other than cleaning (thoroughly) the EGR unit and the inlet manifold (with Gunk and high pressure water jet - off the engine of course!!) and repairing a broken vacuum pipe on the bottom of one of the EGR actuator valves the ONLY other thing that was done was to cut and resolder together one of the wires to the stop solenoid that I suspect had corroded through (presence of verdigris - green copper corrosion - around a fracture in the insulation).

I STRONGLY suspect that it was just the latter, but without having been able to test it properly either in situ or remove it to bench test it (which would likely not have worked anyway due to it having the anti-theft wiring) I cannot be certain.

Only issue now is the rough running after starting - seems OK once fully warmed up but before that it's almost like a petrol engine with a bad plug or tracking HT lead - very lumpy and juddery unless under hard acceleration.

So for any others reading this: IF your stop solenoid has THREE wires going to it then it is fairly certain that you have an anti-theft solenoid and testing it is likely to prove very problematical. It MAY also be a problem to replace directly with a non-anti-theft version as I have no idea on whether or not feedback from it to the EMU is required for the engine to start and run properly.

BTW in my case at NO time at all did the dashboard "key" light come on indicating a lack of proper security key use.

Hope that helps.

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