Won't start and I'm at the top of a mountain!

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Jph123, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Jph123

    Jph123 Read Only Funster

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    Ok firstly I'm technically useless, but I've done all I can do to make sure my Fiat Hymer would survive the extreme weather.

    Im at Val Claret, French Alps, wild camping thanks to a very generous (corrupt) parking supervisor who is allowing me to stay in the coach car park in the highest European skiing resort. Prime position but I can't get the engine started after 3 parked up days.

    I've winter fuel with 10% ethanol, -20 anti freeze, new batteries both reading fully charged, 2 x solar panels fine and working, but the diesel pre ignition warm up light is flashing and not going out, hence engine not starting. It's turning over sluggishly but just won't start.

    The weather has been -12 overnight but 3+ by midday.

    I'm too high up for caravan club recovery, it's listed as a "uncovered area", of course a local garage in the valley can come up and sort / recover but this will involve selling vital organs to cover the cost ...

    So my question is with warmer temps forecast in the coming week, will it sort itself out and thaw out whatever is causing the issue? I'm still here for another week so no rush but is leaving it making the problem worse?

    Any help most welcome.

    Great skiing mind, so life is good if I can just get started!

    Kind regards

    Justin
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Possible solution - jumper leads from leisure to starter battery.

    Worst case, you go from stuck, to freezing your nuts off and stuck.
     
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  3. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

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    Do you have a generator with battery charging facility??
     
  4. Jph123

    Jph123 Read Only Funster

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    Batteries are fully charged

    All batteries, engine and leisure are fully charges and have been topped up by the solar panels throughout the sunny days. Not sure what the jump leads from one to the other will do?

    Justin.
     
  5. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Try giving your battery terminals a good clean... :thumb:
     
  6. Jph123

    Jph123 Read Only Funster

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    No generator but ...

    I've been offered a generator to borrow, but with all batteries at 100% I'm not sure how that will help?

    Justin
     
  7. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    Whilst you are waiting for summer to arrive.....:RollEyes::RollEyes::RollEyes:


    you could take some pics and post them here to make us all jealous.....


    :Wink:::Wink::Wink:
     
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  8. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    The glow plug light flashing is an indication of something amiss. Am not sure which model of Fiat you have, but I think its something to do with water in the fuel filter or a heater plug gone down.
     
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  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Now that's a point, as well as that possibility, the engine to battery earth lead got corroded on ours and that killed the starting. In our case it's right under the engine in just the right place for all the crap to hit it.
     
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  10. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

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    HI you need to get them glow plugs working, and as brian says jump your hab battery to the engine battery to give extra amps, i would expect you have ice cristal's built up in your glow plugs so you need to get them to work a.s.a.p, by what you are saying there is not enough power going to the glow plugs, so jump the batterys, YOU NEED TO GET THAT ENGINE GOING a.s.a.p, and when up in those regions in winter you need to run your engine every day, hope this helps good luck,Alf.
     
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  11. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

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  12. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    First question,

    Are you getting thick white smoke from your exhaust whilst attempting to start?
     
  13. Jph123

    Jph123 Read Only Funster

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    Nothing exceptional.

    Hi, not really, a little puff of standard diesel grey, but only usual stuff.

    I'm going hook up the two batteries tomorrow in daylight and see if I can get some life into her with extra oomph.

    Justin
     
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  14. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Dont want to sound pedantic, but Val T is higher by a few feet :Tongue1:

    Anyhow,

    try this. Go in to any of the hotels. They will have for sure a battery jump booster for this very situation. it happens so regularly it almost funny watching the owners go out with the jumper kit.. (yes jon ive used one once too :whistle: ) They will probably rent it to you.. or even the car park attendant should have one, and being corrupt he will probably rent it cheap :Wink:
    Also get his name, he could be handy for future ski trips, I love tignes.

    I know you say your batteries are charged, but I agree with others, there is probably not enough charge to fire it up in the extreme temperatures. As has been said before, you need to really start up every day. Or what we always do is open the bonnet in the sun around lunch time when the temps are at there highest heating all the metal work in and around the engine. :thumb:

    hope you get it fixed, but if not, it could be worse, Ive been stuck in Newark before, given the choice I know where I would rather be.....
     
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  15. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Eddie is asking what year and what size engine is it. :Smile:
     
  16. Jph123

    Jph123 Read Only Funster

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    2.5 non turbo diesel 1998 Fiat Ducato Hymer.

    Thanks
     
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  17. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Definitely glow plugs or water in the fuel filter then.
     
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  18. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    Dave

    If it is water is it beter not to try and start it before the water is removed.

    Mel
     
  19. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

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    Water in the fuel will NOT cause it to turn over sluggishly.
     
  20. Jph123

    Jph123 Read Only Funster

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    Warmer tomorrow - The Start day!

    My goal is set for tomorrow!

    Ski the morning groomers, but crusty off piste, then get my arse into gear and get this van started. I've got the jump leads, the borrowed Genny and maybe a booster pack all squared away for a 1pm rendezvous at my van, when it's forecast to be sunny and 5c.

    Fingers crossed, will update on my levels of success!

    Thank you everyone

    Justin





     
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