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Trevor
Trevor, UK Car Mechanic
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 1318
Experience:  NVQ 3, Modern Apprenticeship, MOT Tester, 15+ years experience diagnostic technician
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Van..glow plug light to go out, starter motor turns the engine

Customer Question

Hi,

I have a citreon Berlingo van 1.9Deisel with a starting issue.
Basically turn the key, wait for glow plug light to go out, starter motor turns the engine over no problems but does not start.

1 year ago i had the usual old van starting problems so i replaced the battery, glow plugs and glow plug timer relay.

What i have now checked: Battery is fully charged. glow plugs have power for aprox 40 secs at initial start up. all glow plugs have been individually check (1.8ohms each) fule solinoid valve on pump has twelve volts.

If i leave the starter motor turning the engine over then eventually the van will start after about a minute of so but this is not goo for the battery or starter.

If from cold i roll the van down the hill, it will bump start fine but obviously this is only good if i keep parking it on a hill.

Once the van has started from cold, i can switch it off, leave it for a hour or so and start it up again without any problems.

Can any one please advice
Thanks
Neil
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Trevor replied 6 years ago.

Hi

 

Welcome to Just Answer

 

Do you a lot of grey or white smoke after the engine has started?

 

Trev

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, Big time

 

its quite embarrasing realy

Expert:  Trevor replied 6 years ago.

Hi

 

Ok, that rules out a fuel problem, as the smoke is unburned fuel from trying to start the engine.

 

You have measured the resistance accross the glow plugs, but the next thing to do is to take them out, and power them up with a set of jump leads, make sure each one glows almost instantly bright red, disgard them if they dont and replace them, this is most likely your problem.

 

If they glow, then reconnect them to the wiring on the car, earth them against the engine or with a jump lead, and make sure they glow when the ignition is switched on, even though you have battery voltage at the plugs, you may not have the ampage to power them fully, if they dont glow, then you need to check the wiring between the glowplug relay and the plugs, and the relay and the battey/fuse for faulys or bad joints.

 

If the glow plugs are working fine, then check the compression of the engine using a compression tester, you should have between 20-23 bar compression in each, this can be measured through the glow plug holes rather than removing the injectors.

 

If the compression is good, and the glow plugs are fine, then it would point to an injector fault, it may be that they are not injecting very good, but, usually in these cases, the car smokes when running normally.

 

Hope this helps, if you need more assistance, please let me know.

 

Regards

 

Trev

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Ok, will check the glow plugs but

how do i check the compression. is that a garage job?

 

i am an electrician (household) i know the basics because i have been running about 4 vans for 7+ years.

 

Every winter i have starting problems with vans, but usally the easy jobs - battery, glow plugs i now do my self because they are common and easy.

but i am no mechanic.

 

Ta

 

Neil

 

 

 

Expert:  Trevor replied 6 years ago.

Hi

 

The compression test is easy and only takes a few minutes once the glow plugs are out, you screw a special guage into the glow plug hole, crank the engine over, and read the compression from the guage.

 

You can get diesel compression test guages from tool shops, or there are cheap ones on ebay for about £90.

 

I'm pretty sure you will find a glow plug problem though, so check this thoroughly first.

 

Regards

 

Trev

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Ok will check the glow plugs this afternoon

Thanks

 

Neil

Expert:  Trevor replied 6 years ago.

Let me know how you get on, and if you need further assistance.

 

Trev