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Hard start first thing

Aeroelastic

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Oct 13, 2018
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Might sounds common, hard to start first thing in the morning!

First suspect glow plugs:

1. checked glow plug relay when ignition on, it clicked as it should and remains for about 20secs before unclicked.

2. Measures voltage at top of glow plug. Read around 9.5v to 10v during the whole 20secs period when the relay is active. This is with cold engine. Left Overnight.

3. Start car, cranks for maybe 5-10 seconds than fire alive. With a puff of white smoke from exhaust for a few second then all clear.

4. Drive for 20mins, stop engine, then turn key to ON, re checked voltage at top of glow plug, about 10.4v but only last for 5secs. I suppose the ECU knows engine is warm so didn’t carry on glowing the plugs for 20secs.

5. Subsequent starts for the rest of the day fire up first thing on the button. No delay and no white smoke.

The hard start started happening maybe 3 weeks ago.
But it didn’t happen every morning, just maybe 1 out of 5. Now it happens every other day I would say. Probably also correlated with dropping temperature (weather not car).

Few weeks ago the car battery went flat because I stupidly left the park light on for a few hours. Jumped started the car and battery have been charging as normal.

But this might be related? As the voltage on the glow plug tip should read 11v or 12v? Mine only read 10v when cold. What is the normal voltage for glow plug when cold start?

I suspect my batteries are on their way out? So struggling to heat the glow plugs in the morning especially after they went flat a few weeks ago. I don’t know how old the batteries are as they came with the car, but at least 2 year old. That’s how long I have owned the car.

I think I will change the batteries first and see how it goes??

Any suggestions welcome. Thanks
 
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BobMurphy

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Glow Plug resistance should be 1 Ohm or less (0.8 seems to be the desired figure). Their resistance increases with age and they become less effective. Remove the 'buzz bar' before testing !

0.8 Ohms on 12 volts will draw 15 Amps. with four of them that's 60 Amps so the battery voltage will drop a bit (as there are other loads on it at the time as well).

A good battery and effective glow plugs are essential in the winter freeze.

A "High-Rate Discharge Tester" will show whether your battery is up to the job.

Bob.
 

Aeroelastic

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Thanks Bob, I haven’t tested the resistance.the buzz bar is the one connecting all the plugs? Resistance will read different with the bar on? Sorry I am not that electrical savvvy.
 

BobMurphy

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Yes, remove the power bar from the contacts on the Heater Plugs before testing the resistance of each. They need to be tested in isolation - top contact to cylinder head.

Let us know how you get on.

Bob.
 

Shayne

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Classic sign of air getting in and letting fuel drain back to the tank .
 

Aeroelastic

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Thanks, so part of the fuel lines is leaking or porous?

Read somewhere about corrosion of fuel pick up lines, is there a circular cover under the boot carpet that can be removed to check the condition of the fuel pick up lines?
 
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Shayne

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Simple things first , make sure your fuel filter is on tight and sealed then prime it hard before you cold start in the morning .

That alone may fix it long term but if its only a short term fix then at least you know its not an electrical problem .
 
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