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Cold starting problem - 2.0 HDi
Hello folks,

I found this forum when Googling for Berlingo starting problems and even after searching on here I have found others with an identical problem but no convincing solution.

I have an 05 Multispace 2.0 HDi and it starts fine as long as the temperature is above freezing. As soon as it gets to freezing it takes a good bit of cranking before it eventually starts in a cloud of smoke. Once started the first time it is fine all day although I have noticed that a day standing in the real cold makes it reluctant, I'm guessing this is due to retained heat in the engine.

I don't like things that don't work properly and I since noticing that this is temperature related I have spent hours reading Haynes manuals and playing to try to get to the bottom of it.

So what do I know:

- It didn't happen when the car was new so something is broken.
- It only happens below zero so generic things like compression and fuel runback I don't think are relevant.
- I have bought so many glow plugs I could open a shop. The current ones are new and have been individually tested to make sure they glow.
- The Hdi starts without much help down to zero which surprised me tbh. This had me going for a while as I was convinced that the glowplug preheating was broken but it appears that it was not being called on.
- The glowplug system comes on after the engine starts. This seems to show that the relay side of things is functioning as the book says this should happen.
- There is little correlation between the heater lamp on the dash and voltage at the plugs. I am also unclear what the "STOP" sign on the dash is linked to and how it is different to the heater warning lamp. I have measured two distinct voltages at the glowplugs incidentally, 5V and 12v. 5v is a control voltage so could be a diagnostic phase as the unit has the ability to store glowplug faults.

From this I am thinking that the ECU does not know what the outside temperature is and is therefore not switching on pre-heat. Diagnostics have however showed that the ECU does read out temperature although we couldn't test it as low as zero. The temperature gauge appears to work OK too, midpoint normally and a bit below when its this cold.

The one element that I havn't found is the fuel heater. The book says that the fuel is pre-heated to 25 degrees C. I'm wondering if the dash lamp is actually signifying this. Anyone know where it is?

Some clever people with the diagnostic gear have looked at this and got nowhere, and I'm not a complete muppet myself but it has me flumuxed.

If anyone knows something I don't, I would be very pleased to hear.
You've probably thought of this but I would be looking at the temperature sensor which triggers
the glow-plug system. Wherever that might be....maybe a dirty/loose connection there or a faulty sensor.
The Older I get the Better I Was!  Cool
On the vw passat the glow plug circuit is triggered by the water temp sensor, Had one which although the temp guage worked ok it was not triggering the circuit, new temp sensor and bobs your uncle . I wonder if the berlingo has a similar set up?

Just reading a certain book and think this may help.
On 1.6 and 2.0 litre engines the coolant temperature sensor has a green wiring connector and is mounted in the thermostat/coolant outlet housing at the left hand end of the cylinder head. The temperature signal from the sensor is used by the engine management ecu for diesel injection regulation and to control the operation of the exhaust gas recirulation, cooling fans, pre/post heating control unit.
So reading that it may be worth changing the sensor and see if it makes any differance.
Are we there yet????? No we fecking ain`t  gggggrrrrrrr
Ex 1.6hdi van now 3 seater 1.4 multispace
I would take a guess that the egr valve has been getting a bit gummed up, apparantly it should be closed on startup. The fact that you are getting a cloud of smoke on first startup is interesting.
Just putting this suspect up so it can be eliminated from your enquiries.
Thankyou, Jeffers, Brodfather and Tomcat, that is where my suspicions are lying and I think a temperature sender purchase has to be made, if only to eliminate it.

EGR hadn't even crossed my mind tbh. Wouldn't starting generally be affected though?
This is very temperature dependant and will stop happening once we get back above freezing.

Probably worth giving it a clean and check anyway though after 80k miles.
I put a new temperature sender on mine and it made no difference to the cold start
Somedays you're the pigeon, Somedays you're the statue.
I have bought a new temperature sensor and picked up a new glowplug relay at the same time.
Fitted the relay and not a jot of difference.
Not yet fitted the sensor BUT bought myself a present in the form of an iOBD2 which sends the OBD data to my phone. From this I can read the intake and coolant temperatures real time so I know that they are both reporting accurately. This fits with steve v's experience.

According to the book, the HDi only has a glow duration of 0.5 seconds at 0 degrees so I'm doubting that the failure of this is such a big deal.

There is much reference to a fuel heater but on my 2005 HDi there is no sign of one, unless its in the filter housing. Why would there be a cable to the fuel filter housing, is there a sensor in there?

This is going to be something really simple but I can't find it. The next scrutiny I think will be the fuel filter housing and the EGR valve.
I think the water detector is in the fuel filter housing - would that explain the cable?
I have a 2005 2.0 HDi with 112000 on the clock and am experiencing the same issues this winter (I've owned it from new and this is first year it's happened). First thing in the morning cold start it really struggles to get going then starts up with a cough of smoke. Once started it's normally fine all that day until the next morning apart from the last 24 hours which have been REALLY cold where it actually took two goes to get started. The first time it was just turning over and over and really didn't sound like it wanted to start. Pause, try again and it started quite quickly but with a big puff of smoke out the back. The thread above is a bit beyond my mechanic skills sadly so I'm taking it to my local garage - what to I should them to look at? The problem is of course I'll take the car to the garage after it's been started so it will be fine when they look at it.
Citroen Berlingo 2.0 HDi Desire 2005

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