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  #1  
Old February 15th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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Mike Hammond
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Sluggish starting tdi

It's been cold (for southern Britain -5 deg c minimum )and my 200 tdi is very sluggish when starting from cold. Sometimes it fires then cuts out but restarts. The engine won't rev for an initial 30 seconds, if you floor the throttle it slowly pick up revs accompanied by clouds of blue/white smoke.
Same thing happens when driving initially - pulls sluggishly and rolls along at 1000 - 1500 RPM after a couple of hundred yards it picks up and drives fine.

Once it's warm sluggishness and smoke are gone and it pulls fine, start-ups for the rest of the day are fine too even if the engine is relatively cold.

Any ideas?

I was going to look at the glow plugs first and then it starts getting expensive - injectors or injector pump
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  #2  
Old February 15th, 2010, 07:08 AM
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Same ideas you have. Glow plugs not heating properly, poor injector spray pattern, loss of compression from worn rings or valves.
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  #3  
Old February 15th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Tried to get the glow plugs out - very tight, wouldn't budge and I'm worried that they'll shear.
Having talked to my friendly LR garage they've pointed me towards the fuel lift pump allowing the fuel filter to drain partially overnight and causing fuel starvation on start-up in the morning. I'll check the fuel filter before starting in the morning.
I always go for the worst case options - a replacement lift pump wouldn't hurt the bank balance significantly,
It'll get a new filter regardless.
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  #4  
Old February 15th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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Another thing you may want to check, if you haven't already, the timer relay for the glow plugs. Does the light in the dash seem to cycle correctly? Have you tried to cycle the glow plugs twice before the cold morning start up? Just a thought?
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:00 PM
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The glow plugs seem to make little difference, slightly more reluctant if you don't wait for them at all but no improvement if you cycle through twice.
I'll see what cracking open the filter reveals in the morning.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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As a non-tdi owner take this with a grain of salt, but my family's diesels would be hard to start unless we put in the additive for winter. forget what it is called.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:32 AM
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It gets injector clearer every few thousand miles. don't use any winter addative, don't think it gets cold enough and the fuel is good in for these temps anyway.
I'm going to check the filter now.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 05:46 AM
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I'd look at the lift pump and then possibly check the timing (belt might have stretched or ot was a tooth out, although you'd expect the poor running to be all the time in that case)

Easy way to chek the lift pump... get the engine running, leave it on tickover, on top of the filter housing unscrew the bleed screw a bit.

Fuel should immediately start to weep out.

When mine have gone bad in the past, could take the screw right out, look into the top of the filter and see it was only managing to keep it half full.

Expect to pay about 30 for an aftermarket lift pump.. make sure you get a couple of the olives for the pipes.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Well the fuel filter was full to the brim this morning so the filter draining overnight idea didn't hold water (or diesel), changed the filter anyway and got the rough running until the filter had filled, similar to but not nearly as rough as start-up first thing in the morning. The filter wasn't on exactly tight. so I'll see what happens tomorrow morning, makes fault finding a slow process. I'll try the bleed screw test this afternoon, thanks for the tip Jim.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Having talked to my friendly LR garage they've pointed me towards the fuel lift pump allowing the fuel filter to drain partially overnight and causing fuel starvation on start-up in the morning.

If they know anything about how diesels work they would not suggest such a wild ass guess. Recheck the basics. 99% of all diesel engine problems can be traced to bad fuel or clogged injectors.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
If they know anything about how diesels work they would not suggest such a wild ass guess. Recheck the basics. 99% of all diesel engine problems can be traced to bad fuel or clogged injectors.
Why only the problem first thing in the morning, that's what's got me puzzled.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post

If they know anything about how diesels work they would not suggest such a wild ass guess. Recheck the basics. 99% of all diesel engine problems can be traced to bad fuel or clogged injectors.
Actually air leaks are a first thing/easiest to look into when hard starting. If the previous filter wasn't seated well that could well be the issue. My boat engines don't have glowplugs and the only hard starts I have had have been traceable to a bad o ring on a racor filter.
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  #13  
Old February 16th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland 110 View Post
Actually air leaks are a first thing/easiest to look into when hard starting. If the previous filter wasn't seated well that could well be the issue. My boat engines don't have glowplugs and the only hard starts I have had have been traceable to a bad o ring on a racor filter.
Thanks for that vote of confidence.

I've also noticed that the plastic fuel pipe from the lift pump to the filter isn't as tight on metal part of the union as I'd like. It's on the pressured side of the pump rather than the suction side so I think air is less likely to be drawn in while its pumping but it's something that needs fixing. I'll see what its' like in the morning with the new filter.
I hate diesels when they're not 100%.
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  #14  
Old February 16th, 2010, 02:51 PM
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Bad spray, bad timing or low compression on one or two cylinders. The cylinders in question are not firing at all until the revs pick up to develop heat.

Do a cold compression test first. Then check timing, then the injectors.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:40 PM
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I'd agree with you Doug if it were a sudden onset problem. It only seems to appear as hard cold start. In these cases it is likely poor fuel dispersion combined with less than ideal compression.
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  #16  
Old February 17th, 2010, 04:17 AM
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It's sorted, seems the filter was the culprit. Fired right up after scraping the frost off he screen. I'll replace the fuel pipe as well in the fullness of time (once I get one on order).
200Tdi's that are looked after rarely give major trouble.
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