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Matt, Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21120
Experience:  Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
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Land: I own a Land Rover Freelander td4 2001. The previous

Resolved Question:

I own a Land Rover Freelander td4 2001. The previous owner had no problems with it. On the clock it is approaching 104 000km. I am happy with it. Recently I find that after parking it for a while, when I start it later it would not start. When it happened the first time we tried for more than an hour to get the engine started till we towed it home. After parking it, I decided to try it again and the engine started. Three days later the same thing happened. I left it and came back two hours later and the engine started. The following day it did the same after it was parked for 3 hours. When I put the key on, I noticed a noise that I thought came from the fuel tank. When the noise stopped, I tried it and it sounded promising. I did the same exercise twice and the engine started. What is this symptomatc of? Pleasee help. It is my first time owning a diesel vehicle.
Ray Mthalane
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 5 years ago.


I'd check that you're getting full power to the glow-plugs, they pull a lot of current so take care when checking but see if the relay is clicking when the ignition is turned on first and also check the fuse if this is OK check to see if the engine earth strap is also OK.

If the plugs haven't been changed in the last 20K then they may have to be replaced.

You can test the glow-plugs with a multimeter by measuring the resistance across the plug ( between the power connection and the body) it should be around 4-8ohms if its tending to infinity / open circuit the plug is faulty or by using a clip on current clamp, either on the supply wire to glow plugs or onto engine earth, with glow plug light on you should see 15-20amps for each glow plug fitted, 4 cylinders would be approximately 60-80amps.

Also its worth checking that the electric pump that feeds the main fuel pump is working correctly, it should run for a few seconds then switch off when you first turn the ignition on. If the connections to this are corroded or damaged then the pump could stop at any time. Check that its relay switches in and out and the relay contacts are clean and bright – replace the relay if in any doubt and do the same for the fuse, ideally measure the voltage at the pump and check its getting 12V

Also if its not injecting at all then check the connections to the crankshaft sensor, unplug it and check for corroded contacts and broken wiring, and consider fitting a new sensor - do the same for the cam position sensor

If the EGR valve is stuck open then this too can effect starting so try disconnecting it to see if this helps or changes anything

Lastly it’s also worth considering fitting a new fuel filter as if only slightly blocked this can lower fuel supply pressure and choke the main pump, the pump will be more sensitive to this when its cold as diesel thickens considerably with low temperatures.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Does this mean that I should not take a long trip until this problem is attended? Once the engine has started, the car goes very well. Sometimes I would stop and it would start again. I am supposed to travel from Johannesburg to Nelspruit tomorrow.


Expert:  Matt replied 5 years ago.
Hello Ray

it's worth getting the simple things I've mentioned checked over before you start the trip as they don't take much time to check but could leave you stranded if they fail completely