Van starting problems suggestions please?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Gromett, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    My van has started playing up earlier this year. It takes forever to start and if I haven't got the battery fully charged it will pull the battery down and not start at all.

    It does this in the nice weather as well as cold weather. Middle of summer it was a bugger to start.

    What I have done so far is replaced the Alternator and got a new battery (again) turns out the old one was still good.

    I have a charger linked up and give the battery a good charge before trying to start. The battery voltage reads 12.7V after it has been left for an hour or 2.

    When I turn on the ignition the voltage drops to 12.4 or 12.5V. After cranking for about 10 seconds it drops to 12V or less.

    When the van is warm it starts straight away no problems. Because it happens in the summer I don't believe it is the glow plugs? Do they even do anything in the summer?

    Any advice or suggestions much appreciated.
     
  2. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    I'm guessing ! Could it be a fuel issue ???
     
  3. Flamenca

    Flamenca Funster Life Member

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    I don't know whether it would result in the symptoms you describe but have you checked the earth strap to the engine. The terminals should be clean and secure.
     
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  4. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Make/model ?
    Year ?
    Engine size ?
    Does it smoke when it eventually starts ? If so what colour ?
    Does it start on all cylinders ?
    Does it drive OK when running?
     
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  5. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I doubt it. It has had a new fuel filter and it runs fine once started.

    Thank you. I will get that checked...

     
  6. ivorantony

    ivorantony Funster

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    as all above!
    first of check the glow plug and relay assuming it's diesel?
    fuel filter replace and if it's got spill pipes from the injectors make sure they are not porous and letting in air,
    many other possibilities but need details of van?
    :)
    Grommet you beat me too it
     
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  7. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Thanks,
    Would dodgy glow plugs affect it in the Summer? I was led to believe they weren't used in the summer?
    Fuel filter already replaced in this years service.
    What other details do you need?
     
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  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Could be low engine compression.. would need to be checked at a garage..

    how many miles on the clock ?
     
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  9. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    OK,
    Let's see.
    Could be a few issues here.
    #1 is to check the pressure in the fuel rail under cranking, this should reach a certain level before it injects. Needs proper diagnosis equipment for this.

    #2 is checking crankshaft & camshaft sensors and see if they are OK and are synchronised.

    #3 is fuel filter issues, they do draw air, this can relate to #1 problem above

    Heater plugs on a common rail diesel are not like the older engines, they will start without them except when really cold.
    The fact that there is little smoke suggest compressions OK.

    Really is difficult to say for sure, but any well equipped reputable workshop should get to the bottom of it... all of the above are really only guidelines and common prognosis on this type.....
    May be worth giving someone a shout on this one.

    Let us know the outcome.
     
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  10. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Thank you. The problem is I am a fulltimer and live in the van. If I take it to a garage they would need to leave it overnight to cool down before attempting to start it again to see the problem. This is a problem.

    The van does start a bit easier in the summer but still takes longer than it should. Are you saying that the heater plugs are still used in summer?
    If so this kind of matches my experience as the van starts perfectly for instance if I run for 30 miles then leave it for a hour while shopping it starts first time when I get back in.
     
  11. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    OK, see your predicament.
    That sort of problem seems more like a fuel issue to me, that is..... fuel drifting back in the system and requires prolonged cranking to get fuel back up to the high pressure pump.... therefore if van has been started and an hour later starts fine it suggests that the fuel hasn't leaked back to such an extent to yet cause an issue.
    A fuel pressure cranking test when sat overnight as I suggested will show this up.
    Sometimes a non return valve fitted right back at the tank on the delivery pipe solves the problem.
    Another thing to check is the 'leak off' pipes on the injectors, make sure they are tight (from memory they have neuroprane o rings on the snap downs) and are not leaking.... If it's rubber pipes make sure they are tight on the nipples.
     
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  12. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Yes they operate the same regardless of season.
     
  13. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    ok, It sounds like my first move should be getting the heater/glow plugs replaced. I believe this should cost about the £100 or less including labour?

    If this doesn't cure it look at;
    The fuel pump appears to be fine. What I do before starting is switch the ignition on and wait for the fuel pump to switch off. I repeat this process twice to ensure enough fuel has been delivered before even attempting to start. I then switch on the ignition for 4 seconds, repeat this 4-5 times before starting. If I don't do this it never starts.
     
  14. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Check heater plugs first, no need to remove.
    Use a bulb to check if they are not open circuit..... cost = zero.

    The pump you hear is the charge pump pumping it up to the high pressure pump driven off the engine.
    The fact that you have to "prime" it a few times reinforces my belief that your fuel is leaking back down the system when the van is inactive. An injector can also cause this, there is a small kit for measuring leak on crank of the injectors, again, any reputable repair shop will have this.
     
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  15. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    @Jonkil Sorry I meant to say I can get away with priming once, however I do need to do the 3-5 switch on switch off. I do the 2 pump prime runs only when the battery is showing a lower voltage say 12.3V.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  16. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    I would definitely check out the glow plugs especially if it is fairly low mileage and/or regularly serviced (y)
     
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  17. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Sounds like air is getting into the fuel line, a microscopic leak will be very difficult to find, try priming the fuel line assuming you have a manual priming pump if it starts that's your problem. Had the same problem with my last car never did find the leak , but it started playing up after fuel filter was changed.
     
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  18. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I finally got round to getting the glow plugs changed. Booked it into the garage today. Guess what. It doesn't have glow plugs :eek:......

    Mechanic recommends I take it to a proper diesel engineer. He think is it probably the injectors.

    Can anyone give me a rough guestimate of how much new injectors cost for 2003 Fiat Ducato 2.8JTD please?
     
  19. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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  20. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Would it be worth trying a diesel treatment first to try and clean/lubricate the injectors or is this stuff a massive con like I suspect?

    If it isn't a con what is the good stuff? Redex seems to ring a bell?
     
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