VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok here's the thing. My van is refusing to start, it's a 1.9TD 1998 138k. It's only a weekend driver and is usually very reliable. For the last tankful I have been using biodiesel. I drove it to Abersoch and back for a surf and it ran like a dream, changed fuel filter when I got back as my old one was knackered anyway. I left it stood for a week and it fired straight away. Drove it for MOT last friday and it was absolutely fine. It failed MOT on minor things, so I've been working on these this week on the evenings. I took my front drivers side tyre in for a replacement due to pucture, but as it's not my daily drive I put the spare on and dropped the wheel off at the garage. I came to put it back on the other night and it wouldn't fire in order to move the van to level ground in order to jack it up.

My battery is a little weak but normally starts first crank. I put the battery on charge overnight last night and came to it this evening, no joy. It turns over fine and goes to fire occasionally and is smoking from the exhaust and engine bay. I am a little low on fuel ie light on, but drove van home and didn't run out of fuel so shouldn't need bleeding or anything. My driveway is a steep incline so I thought I may be low, there is fuel in the filter as I've had it off. I put a 5 litre can of Derv in to see if it made any difference, but still nothing. The only other jobs I've been doing on it are repairs to sidelights, finding a reverse light fault that blows fuses (dodgy tow bar wiring from back lights and I've relocated horn to engine bay.

Anybody any ideas? I know it points to the fuel but previous owner ran Veg, I am reluctant to do this so went for properly manufactured bio diesel from a reputable supplier. I see people filling up new golfs and mercs there etc. Could possibly be filter blockage as my replacement was probably premature, but surely this would be symptomatic whilst driving and not while occur whilst stood? I've had the filter off and seems clean looking through the top and the fuel seems clean that drips out from it. Could it be injectors or glow plugs? Any obvious checks for this?

Normally runs like a dream this van. grrr had a bad day, flooded my kitchen also as left tap running whilst filling the bowl for the dishes as head full of van faults! Mrs is gonna go mad, may have damaged flooring
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
If they're is smoke from the exhaust, it points to glow plugs to me (or a glow plug wiring issue) mine suddenly gave up last week when I was away in Poole on holiday. Hasn't had a problem all winter then suddenly nothing! Changed all 5 and starts a dream.
Hope it's of some help! Stu
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Stu, I'll have a look in to it. Wouldn't you expect it would be ok in this weather though?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
That's what I thought, it wasn't exactly a cold morning when mine gave up. A small squirt of easy start got mine going straight away, might be worth trying that straight into the air filter. A very small squirt though and that should tell one way or another.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
It did the job, AA bloke gave a small squirt otherwise it would still be on the campsite now! Wouldn't make a habit of using it though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Try changing your glow plug relay,front R/H corner of your relay board, could be numbered, 102/103/104,regards bighookT:T:T:T:T:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
I know my glow plugs don't work and it also has a problem starting when low on fuel, but if I keep cranking the oil light comes on then eventually it will start. Mine is a 2.5 though. Maybe keep trying to crank it. It takes longer than I would usually crank a car but eventually starts. Some one said it was to do with starting from compression? It kicks a load of out the back once it does start. This only happens when it's under 1/4 tank of fuel in it. When I fill it up it does the same on its first start then it's fine. So I try and keep it topped up until I can fix it. Issues are with the glow plug wiring and also the fuel pick up pike cracked.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've not looked at it in the last couple of days. I ran away from my woes and went surfing! I'm gonna have a look at it tomorrow/Mon. I've cranked it loads and it won't go, so worried about burning the starter now. If its smoking, does that mean its getting fuel, or could the filter be blocked? Is there a way to check the filter? Surely the bio hasn't killed it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
I've not looked at it in the last couple of days. I ran away from my woes and went surfing! I'm gonna have a look at it tomorrow/Mon. I've cranked it loads and it won't go, so worried about burning the starter now. If its smoking, does that mean its getting fuel, or could the filter be blocked? Is there a way to check the filter? Surely the bio hasn't killed it?
Get a mate to give you a tow start T:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Had a little play this morning. Cracked off an injector and turned her over, then managed to get her going. Had a look at the clear fuel line, which was anything but clear, it was black with road muck. Cleaned a patch off and could see air in the fuel line even with the van running. Van ran nice after an initial burst of smoke. I noticed this pipe off at the injector and it has split, I can cut the split out and put it back on, but what does it do?



I think the problem has stemmed from my fuel filter change and could be down to the o ring on the valve on top. What does the valve do? Also there mustn't have been one on my old filter as none came with my new filter and I didn't see one drop off when removing the old filter. Can I just get one from an auto factor?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
A while ago I noticed my coolant level slowly drop and posted on here about it. I got a mate to put it on his ramp and we couldn't see any leaks or dried coolant anywhere. However after having a look this morning I've noticed the leak is coming from here
At this valve thingy, what is it and can it be easily swapped. It drips every 30 seconds or so a very minor amount and I barely lose anything from the header.

Thanks a lot guys
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Recently change my fuel filter and got a similar problem to yours, changed the white valve on the top of the fuel filter and problem solved starts and runs great, think the valve is called a thermo valve, I got mine from German and Swedish. hope this helps.

PS that thing that's leaking is the temperature control valve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,711 Posts
Had a little play this morning. Cracked off an injector and turned her over, then managed to get her going. Had a look at the clear fuel line, which was anything but clear, it was black with road muck. Cleaned a patch off and could see air in the fuel line even with the van running. Van ran nice after an initial burst of smoke. I noticed this pipe off at the injector and it has split, I can cut the split out and put it back on, but what does it do?



I think the problem has stemmed from my fuel filter change and could be down to the o ring on the valve on top. What does the valve do? Also there mustn't have been one on my old filter as none came with my new filter and I didn't see one drop off when removing the old filter. Can I just get one from an auto factor?
Thermo valve.

Don't go wrong to often.

The O ring is on the filter. It is thin and hard to see.

As the system is a suction one you need to make sure all connections on the filter are good and not possible to let air in.

Proper fuel pipe connections NOT jubilee clips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi mate,

I've had exactly the same problem.
I've changed all glow plugs, leak off pipes and tightened everything fuel related I can get to.
On a full tank of fuel it starts first time every time but anything under half a tank and it won't start for about 5 turns of the key.
Someone suggested the fuel pick up in the tank may have gone and I suppose if the tank is full the pressure keeps the fuel up but when it's low it seeps back creating air in the line.

I haven't changed mine yet and was wondering if it would be an easy fix??

Hope this helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,073 Posts
Dead easy to change the fuel tank sender unit - search in the engine section there are lots of threads on it. One thing that may not be mentioned is that it is also worth buying new fuel line clamps for when you change it over - the old ones can get brittle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Ok the plot thickens with mine. My van starts after a bit of a faff every evening after it's been sat on the drive warming up all day, but will never start in the morning no matter what. I've been thinking that it had to be glow plugs. I couldn't hear the relay click, so decided to check the fuse tonight and it had rusted through and both lugs were rusty. I bridged it with a piece of flex and hey presto she fired. The real test comes tomorrow morning. I can't believe I haven't checked this earlier but every mechanic friend I've spoken to has said that it shouldn't be needing plugs this time of year, however maybe it's because of the bio diesel that it needs them. I've literally had the run around with it due to it happening after changing to bio/swapping filter. ie Variables. Hoping it is just this fuse.

Anybody know what size it should be, I've read that it's 80 amp?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top