Glow plugs vs relay on 200Tdi - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Glow plugs vs relay on 200Tdi

What would be the symptoms if the glow plugs were fine, but it was something else, like a relay or something?

Now that it's cold, my 200TDi won't start, but it turns over fine. I have 2 batteries & can sit there cranking & cranking (taking breaks for the starter), but it won't actually start until the warmer afternoon. It also runs bad at first, once it cranks, but smooth once it warms up. I understand this is typical of bad glow plug(s), but wonder if I should not first rule out anything else.

Meanwhile - is there any way to crank it as is, bypassing the glow plug problem? I take it that roll-starting won't work since I'm able to turn it over.
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  #2  
Old December 11th, 2013, 11:00 PM
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Glow plugs are super easy to test.
Pull them out one at a time.
Runs wire from the top to the + on the battery.
Run a second wire from the body of the glow plug to the - on the battery.
If the tip glows it works. If not....... replace it.
Its an easy place to start diagnosing.
Do be careful, if they are working the tips get super hot.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 11:11 PM
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How cold? Is your fuel starting to gel? The past few days have been -10 to -20F in the am here in CO. I had aN issue yesterday with my filter starting to plug due to gelling, I should have had more anti-gel fuel treatment. During the day it would warm up to 20F and the fuel would thaw.
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  #4  
Old December 11th, 2013, 11:56 PM
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Put a test light on the circuit when the key is switched on and if the light is on then you have power.
Then test as Dave Smith suggests.
Also worth noting that you need a good strong battery to spin the engine fast enough to get enough fuel pressure in cold weather to make it start.
A weak or underpowered battery = no TDI start on a cold morning.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 05:25 AM
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My first thought is that the fuel is gelling. The 200TDI i have doesn't even have the glow plugs wired up and it doesn't have an issue starting down to the teens.
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  #6  
Old December 12th, 2013, 05:50 AM
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Plugging mine in at night makes a huge difference, went through all last winter without the glow plugs hooked up without a problem.
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  #7  
Old December 12th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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^^^^ AS said up there, the Tdi's (200 & 300) will start easily without plugs, even when its very cold...
if it's very very cold, it should still start with the amount of cranking you suggest you're doing. check the lift pump isn't dead or air in the system (seal around the filter can leak and suck in air over night when the fuel drains back down)
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  #8  
Old December 12th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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Also check the timing. Retarded timing is the death note for cold starts.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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All good ideas.
But let me make sure about one thing...could it still be a problem with timing, with air in the fuel, or the lift pump, if it runs really rough at start (once it does catch) but then smooths out to a pur? I was thinking that clue made it glow plugs for sure.
Thanks very much for the input.
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  #10  
Old December 12th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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The rough running usually means one cylinder is not firing. You did not mention temperature. If you really are in Birmingham, I very much doubt glow plugs would ever be needed.

Glow plugs are easy to test and replace.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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I get about the same temps as Birmingham here and mine has been starting fine without warming the glow plugs, even the last few nights
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Here is a thought. Are your batteries hooked up in parallel or do you have an isolator?
If they are parallel then one battery may be weak and dragging down the other battery.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Yeah, I didn't think it would get that cold here to be problem. It was only 30 degrees when this problem started.

If it were one cylinder not firing, why would it run smoothly once the motor warmed up?

------ Follow up post added December 12th, 2013 10:05 AM ------

Dave, good thought. They are in parallel (temporarily). Yesterday I put a charger on the main one & checked them this morning. Both are at 13v+
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  #14  
Old December 12th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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The cyclinder does not fire when cold. Once a bit of heat in in it, it works. Diesel ignition happens only at high enough pressures and temperatures.

I doubt the battery is a problem. These engine should start on the first revolution with very little cranking speed. You should never need to crank.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Red90, what would cause the cylinder to not fire when cold, other than a bad glow plug?
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  #16  
Old December 12th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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It is a pretty normal thing. I personally would not worry about it...

Low compression, timing not perfect, poor spray pattern are possible reasons.
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  #17  
Old December 12th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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I think I know what you mean. I'm not really worried about it, but ...it won't crank. So, worry or not, I have to figure out how to crank it. If it's not a glow plug then I need to find out what else to address so it will run.
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  #18  
Old December 12th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Check the glow plugs. Check the timing. Check the lift pump. All quick and easy to do.

If those are good and you still have a problem, pull the injectors and get the pattern tested. at the same time, check compression.
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  #19  
Old December 12th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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I doubt you have a glow plug issue and should not need glow plugs anywhere near only 30F. IT is more likely an issue with unwinterized fuel in moderately cool weather. The CFPP test and reported figures uses a 45 micron filter media. Therefore, the finer filter media we typically use (10 micron, 2 micron etc.) will plug sooner than one would expect with the CFPP of your local fuel. Dose your fuel with some Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement or equivalent.
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  #20  
Old December 12th, 2013, 01:04 PM
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Great suggestion. I'll get some of that since I can do it as is, & if doesn't work, move on to the other stuff. Thanks
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