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So, my 1996 T4 2.4 AAB won't start from cold. I've had it a couple of years now and it's always started first time on the button, even in cold weather. It's not been used much over the last few months since September/October due to the new arrival of a baby in the family, and I noticed when I did start it during the autumn, it struggled a little more than usual to start as the temperatures dipped a little - chugging or spluttering into life after a bit of a cranking period.

Now though, it point blank refuses to start from cold. The engine turns over and over at a good healthy speed but won't fire. It'll keep on like this, turning over and over until the battery is flat without a hint of firing up. I got stuck at work after a later shift, the AA came out and it started first time with a puff of brake cleaner up the air intake.

Checks and things I've done:

  • Glow plug relay clicks and works fine;
  • Glow plug strip fuse replaced and all fine;
  • 12v measured at the glow plug terminals when ignition key turned, and drops to 0v again when the relay clicks off;
  • Old fuel filter replaced, new one primed to the brim and the white T shaped one way valve renewed also;
  • No air bubbles I can see in the clear fuel return line;
  • One damp/frayed/split injector leak off pipe end has been trimmed and re-seated to make a good seal again.
Still the same symptoms - spins over and over and doesn't fire.

The van still started absolutely fine when hot after the AA got me going. First turn of the key and within half a crank the engine fires fine. Idles OK, drives and pulls OK, not smoking out the back. I've never needed the cold start handle even in zero degree temperatures before, so I think the timing is good. I'm sure that this is just a cold start issue - once it's warm it's fine.

On the advice of a good mate, I'm going to try bump starting it whilst towing to see if this will get the van going.

Any other thoughts?
 

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Stupid question but is it getting fuel
Glow plugs might be dropping volts but are they getting hot, if as used brake cleaner to start maybe try that rather them bump starting
 

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If its starting good once hot and the glow plug system is ok its more than likely the glow plugs need doing.
 
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