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Newbie - Cold start problems with my 2.0HDI
Hey everyone,

Ive had a 2.0 HDI LX van for 3 years now. Its been a fantastic van as ive never had problems with it. until now.

Last winter when it got to like -15degC i noticed it didnt enjoy the mornings and on one occasion it didnt start.
This year however, anything below 4/5degC it doesnt want to start.

Ive had battery tested and its output is like 97% and the tester said the alternator is fine too. I also had the glow plugs done and it started eventually but after a good 1 minute of trying, this was on a morning of about 1-2degC. So yet to see what happens below freezing.

The starter motor sounds fine and doesnt seem to struggle and it starts first time with a bump start and after the first start of the day it will start first time throughout the day.

Whats it likely to be? Im assuming its something to do with the fuel lines arent airtight maybe? and the fuel is seeping back during the nights so there isnt any fuel to get started first thing.

If it was the fuel lines or pump this still wouldnt make sense to me that the van will start first time above a certain temperature.

P.s Ive noticed a little black rubber pump ( rugby ball shape ) in the engine bay in front of the engine head, what does this do?

thanks in advance for any info and help

regards Matt

You are not the only one with this trouble. See here:-

The rugby ball - grenade - is the priming bulb for the fuel system
Try squeezing your "rugby ball" 5-10 times before starting.If it improves starting,check the fuel lines/connections.
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
cheers for the replies.

below freezing last night, this morning it didnt want to know. everything sounds fine like it wants to start but it just doesnt start.
tried the little pump a few times, made no difference.

It will keep trying till the battery is flat everytime.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrr i want rid of this damn van but need to sort this out first - its truly frustrating.

any ideas?

cheers matt
does you van have clear see thru pipes from the rugby ball to the filter housing and fuel pump? if so, when you have it running, check to see if you have air in the fuel system..
I had to bump it to get it going again and took it straight back to the garage.

Got a call today saying its the starter motor and that it doesnt have much draw and the battery tested 1 out of 5 on their tester.

The starter motor always sounded fine to me and im not sure if cold weather would affect it? seeing as it starts first time everytime after its got bumped in the morning? How would you explain that.

And they tested the battery this morning after -4degC and snow, surely its bound to not test very strong as its cold? Whenever ive tested it, its been after a 5 minute drive to halfords where it tests 97%.

Are they pulling a fast one, any ideas?

Also if it is likely to be a starter motor, is it something a novice can change to save on labour?

Get a second opinion! It could be the starter motor struggling to turn a cold engine
with cold oil in it. But if they start 'parts changing' then it'll work out expensive.
The Older I get the Better I Was!  Cool
The thing is, as you say, once started it will start fine all day.

So it has to be based on the conditions present at first start.

1. Fuel running back down the lines is a possibility...caused by a blocked tank vent causing a vacuum that sucks the fuel back, or a small leak letting air into the lines. The bleed ball (rugby ball / grenade) should be squeezed until it goes hard...if its still squishy then the lines are not filled.

2. Poor glowplugs - which you had changed - but is the supply wiring or interconnecting wiring good? Connections clean etc. Is the GP relay sticking? Is the engine earth strap good?

3. Waxstat faulty or engine coolant temp sensor so the engine doesnt "know" its cold and fails to use extra fuelling & pump advance

4. Starter motor sluggish...diesel engines need a fast cranking speed to rapidly compress the air in the cylinders so it superheats - slow cranking will reduce the cylinder air charge temps and make it difficult to start

Start with these checks as all of these will cause poor cold start which will be un-noticable when the engine is already warm. Hope this helps mate.


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