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Discussion Starter #1
hi,

I'm having trouble getting my T4 Multivan 2.5 tdi started first thing in the morning -- the starter turns, the engine fires but stutters and stalls again unless I pump the accelerator like crazy. Then it seems to 'take' and run fine after a few seconds. I initially thought glow plugs but if it's that then presumably pumping the (cold) gas wouldn't be helping... They're seemingly awkward to get at so I won't change em now unless necessary.

I changed the fuel filter not so long ago and I'm now wondering if it's to do with that -- any ideas anyone? Having done the school run 20kms it seems to start fine the rest of the day. It's 1997 and has always started fine the last 5 years that I've had it.

any thoughts much appreciated!

mike
 

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Hi there
Does sound like glow plugs you could try turning ignition on till glow plug light goes out then repeat process a few times then try to fire it up if it starts no problem it'll be one or more of the glow plugs. if its still reluctant to start more likely be a cold start fueling problem.
Smudger
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi,
so today I let the glow plug light go out 10 times before actually trying the start the engine, and same problem (it's -5 here today!). So I reckon it's not the glow plugs.

I had another look though at the fuel line coming out of the diesel filter (the transparent one) and to my surprise saw sporadic air bubbles! I checked immediately after fitting the thing and it was fine... grrr!

I'm guessing this explains the starting problem and once it all warms up and expands the fuel arrives without the air bubbles as the connections become airtight.

Any thoughts other than just re-tightening the connections? Possibly a bad filter? (got it off UK ebay...).

thanks a lot for your input!:)

mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ok, I re-tightened everything up around the filter and still air bubbles in the line and trouble starting in the morning. The air bubbles seem to be going from the filter towards the engine. I did bleed a little diesel from the filter underneath, but no difference.

Anyone have any ideas as to what next? The only other clue is that it's started making a bit of a blowing noise when you put your foot down -- bit like the turbo on my ageing Volvo estate. May of course all be unconnected to the cold start issue.

would appreciate any suggestions as to what next:)
 

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If you let the glow plug light go out several times and it's still the same that would tell me that it is the glow plugs, glow plug relay or the 50 amp glow plug fuse. Might be worth a check??

Im no expert mind :D
 

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;)Must Agree with T4Chippy looks like your glow plugs or associated wiring etc.Easiest way to check wiring is to buy/borrow or steal a cheap test light, crocodile clip, on to negative side of battery, test light probe on to wiring at glow plugs if the test light lights up and then goes out after around 10 seconds when someone puts on the ignition means wiring, fuse and relay ok.
Time for oily fingers I,m afraid.:(
 

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i had similair problem ,when fuel got to a certain level in fuel tank ,i changed glow plugs for no reason.
it was ok when i had a lot of fuel in it .
basically it was the fuel sender sucking in air thru cracks in the plastic. i changed it and its ok now.
fill the van up with fuel and see if starts ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks a lot for that guys -- I will go and fill it up with diesel today and see if that makes a difference before embarking on the glow plugs.
 

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I had a similar starting problem during the cold weather in December and it turned out one of my glow plugs was open circuit and another had a loose cap.

It doesn't take long so I recommend you check the resistance of each glow plug between the tip where the cap fits and earth as that is how I found my problem. You can also check between the caps and earth with your meter on volts to check you are getting power. You will need to drop the rad into service mode and will need a pair of long nose pliers to remove the caps. You should get a reading of about 0.5 ohms to 1 ohm.

This page is quite good, its about a Merc car but the same principles apply on what you need to check and how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
An update -- I did indeed start by filling it right up with diesel... and now it starts first time! And the bubbles in the clear line after the filter seem to have disappeared too. So it looks like the same problem as you, danmc73 -- cheers for that advice. And thanks to you all for your ideas.T:
 

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if you need any advice on changing the fuel sender ,let me know ,its quite an easy job though,it cost me about £65 to get the part from vw
 

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I am having a similar problem, i had a diesel leak from the fuel pump which is now sorted. I have been having trouble starting it because of air bubbles in the fuel line, i had the fuel filter changed and was told by the garage that he got hte air out of the fuel line. Brought the van back, started fine but the next morning it wouldn't start had to bump start it to get it going but it was fine all day. The next day I went out to use it again and had the same problem, it wouldn't start! This has happened every day since, the still seems to be air in the fule line but could there be another problem aswell?

Any help would be really appreciated!
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey danmc73, did you happen to have any loss of power issues going up an incline that turned out to be related to the fuel sender? I'm finally getting round to doing something about the starting issue (other than keeping the tank full-ish and parking on a downhill slope!!) but noticed it's struggling and putting out black smoke up hills... wondering about changing the non-return valve on top of the fuel filter too. I suppose since that's a fiver it's worth doing first.

would much appreciate any thoughts!
 

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Hi mike t,as regards to smoke check easy things first. have you checked your air filter could be blocking up and try disconnecting your air mass sensor see if that makes any differance to your smoke proplem. make sure you dont have any small fuel leaks injector area or bleed off pipes to your injectors can suck air in making hard to start first time..
 
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