February 12, 2012, 6:31 pm
This is my first post after reading many posts around the 'glow plug' light on my delightful 100,000 mile 2003 TDCi Mondeo. I love the car... when this light isn't on, I get 55 to the gallon and it is amazingly comfortable and safe - a great family car... I hate the car with this light on...
The first time this light came on, on a long run, and would not go away on restart, I took the car to a Ford garage and they told be the fault code was "Knock threshold reached on number 3 injector", so after the first recode (which cleared the error for about 5000 miles), when the error came up a second time (this time on "number 2 injector"), I bit the bullet and had all four injectors and the fuel pump reconditioned by a very reputable firm, at this time I also replaced the DM flywheel (which was filling my starter motor full of grindings) and the fuel filter. The filter was clear, as was the fuel pump, so my fears of rubbish coming through the fuel line were removed.
The glow plug light came up again one month ago, another 5000 or so miles on from the last time I had it recoded, "injector number 3 knock threshold reached". I took the car to a new dealership, who said it was likely a duff Injector Control Module. My previous Ford garage had never raised this possibility, I shuddered at the prospect of replacing this by throwing another £700 at the car, so just had it recoded again (I didn't believe the possibility it was the ICM regardless).
2000 miles on - the error light has just come on again. I have no doubt it is a "knock threshold reached" error code. I trust the injectors, and the fuel pump are okay (only being 10,000 miles old if that), so, some clues I have for you fine Ford experts.[list]
[*]When you try and start the car from cold when the glow plug light is on (viz, the car is in limp mode), it requires a lot of turning over before it starts. It belches out plenty of white smoke smelling of unburned diesel if you try and rev it. Eventually, the car starts on what feels like three cylinders, and when it is warm, it runs okay in limp mode (clearly no turbo etc), but it does go. It restarts from warm fine too. I can't help but think, if I can get the car to run right in limp mode, the problem will go away once the car is recoded.
[*]I did a "bleed off test" on the car AFTER having the injectors replaced, concerned one of the injectors had been compromised, the test came up fine, no injector appeared to be squirting. I have NOT done this when the car is in "Limp" mode, might the ICM have been masking the problem? I will be doing the bleed off test again now the car IS in "limp" mode.
[*]When removing and refitting the fuel pump (what a horrid job that was), I removed the manifold and the EGR valve, these were both 'gunked' up reasonably badly. I had no will to clean these out by the time the fuel pump was refitted. Could this be the reason for this error reoccurring? Air as oppose to Fuel?
Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Or a Ford guru who knows these cars well I could take it to? I don't mind spending money on the car so long as I can be reasonably sure it will sort the problem out. I am shocked at Fords lack of diagnostic skills in this, their attitude has been replace each bit, one at a time, until it starts to work, rather than identify the bit that is not performing its function, and just replace the busted bit. In addition to that, their advice has been thoroughly inconsistent.
Any help or advise you can give will be gratefully received.
February 12, 2012, 6:57 pm
Hi Mark, A very useful post, sorry cant help with an engineer.
The trouble with diagnostics is it still needs someone with experiance to get to the route of the problems
February 12, 2012, 8:18 pm
Ok from what I understand your best move here is the following:
*Chuck some BG244 in an empty diesel tank and then fill up with diesel(good diesel not supermarket rubbish).(use the real BG244).
*remove the egr valve and clean
*remove inlet manifold and clean.
* change air filter, oil and oil filter (if you haven't already done so within 2000 miles)
Once above all done drive 100 miles and then get it re coded.
Just out of interest, how much are you charged for re coding??
P.s this is based on what I have found generally on the forum that's seems to help people. It appears 9/10 there is no injector issue.
February 12, 2012, 8:29 pm
Thanks so much for the advice, I will do as you say. The recoding at Ford is coming in at a little over £100 including the VAT
, can you recommend anyone or a better method of getting the car recoded?
Is it usual for the car to take so long to start when it is in Limp mode and to chuck out so much unburned fuel? Or could this be related to the underlying problem?
February 12, 2012, 9:24 pm
Well I haven't had mine done yet so I'm unsure where you live but there is a place near me that might do it cheaper.
Limp mode just limits the revs and cuts the turbo. As far as I know it shouldn't make starting harder. However whatever caused it to go into limp might be causing the starting issues. Ie EGR valve I think is the likley suspect in this case.
Just out of interested, do you do more motoway, more round town or an even mix of driving??
By the way I make bo gaurante that thee stuff I said will defiantly work but at the end of the day all of it togeather is a lot cheaper than another set of injectors. Also rather than having it recoded after, try re setting the ECU ( much cheaper)
How to reset ECU: disconnect battery and leave for at least 15 minutes (you may want to check you have your radio cose first though as Ford charge £30 for a new one). Reconnect
The battery and run the car on idle for 15 minutes(it may stall a few times so just re start. Now take it for a driver, gentle round town to begin the slowly build it up ending with a bit of motorway driving.(drive for about 15-20 minutes) the ECU should have now relearned and got used to any changes you made.
February 12, 2012, 9:26 pm
Excuse my spelling, I'm on my phone and it has this stupid predictive text.
February 12, 2012, 9:54 pm
No worries, and I've tried to leave the battery unplugged for over 30 minutes before to clear the error codes and reset the ECU, it doesn't seem to have any effect and when I wire the battery back up, whilst the car has forgotten all settings on the dashboard, it does not clear the error code
I do now do a mix of driving, previously though it was lots and lots of gentle motorway driving, not good for diesels that actually quite like to be thrashed every now and again to clean any rubbish out. I'll let you know how I get on with cleaning the Intake and the EGR, can't make it any worse??
I'm in Sevenoaks, so not a million miles away from you, what is the name of the garage?
Thanks again for the help.
February 12, 2012, 10:29 pm
They all take different amounts of time to fully re set. Ideally its best to leave it unplugged over night. It will never clear the codes though im afraid.
You will need at least 2 cans of carb cleaner and it will take around 100 miles for you to notice the difference once cleanned as it will need to re learn having more air there. and no it cant make it worse.
February 13, 2012, 1:47 pm
with the cold start problem have you checked that the glow plugs are working correctley ,to me it sounds like there is stil an injector problem,when they were reconditioned were thet just cleaned or new nozzels fitted and the spray patten ect checked?
February 13, 2012, 6:38 pm
when ya start and takes ages to start up does the glow plug light flash??? after 20-30sec.
might be worth removing the glow plugs and testing them see if they glow bright or glow at all. if not check it not the live or earth to the glow plugs.
new glow plugs about £45 for 4.
February 13, 2012, 7:14 pm
I personally don't think its a glow plug issue but no harm at all in checking
April 19, 2012, 5:39 pm
I am new to this forum and I found the comments very useful.It helped the garage to find the problem on my Mondeo 2.0 130 TDCI.My engine cutout while driving at 55 MPH towing a caravavan. The engine light came on and I coasted, switching on again started the engine, it ran fine but it would not pull at more than 15-20 Mph before it cutout again. In neutral the engine would start and rev with no problems. We were recovered and the garage found no fault codes. After cleaning the EGR , which was found to be OK the cam sensor was changed. On the test drive the engine cutout but again no fault codes. The crank sensor was found to be cracked on the flange for the securing bolt . Is this a common problem ? since the plastic looks quiet weak. Hopefully the problem is now solved and we have a reliable car again .Can anyone tell me if you should not use the thottle in Limp Mode ? Limited Vehical Mode.The car has been very good especially om fuel consumption ie 50-55 MPG but the gearbox is stiff and a lower 1st gear would be useful to try to avoid stalling at 5-10 MPH.
April 23, 2012, 9:29 am
Sounds to me like an injector issue mate.
I have had exactly the same symptoms.
Drives fine then all of a sudden goes in to limp mode and you have no turbo. -You will find that the starting / smoking issue on first start in the morning will get steadily worse the longer you leave it.
Mine broke down 2.5 hrs after I bought it!!!
Bought it from a dealer in Suffolk and I am in the Heathrow area so was not as simple as just taking it back.
The dealer agreed to pay for 2 reconditioned injectors to be fitted, one of my long term friends owns and operates a garage so he did the work for me, I still have to pay his going rate [just about] but know I am not going to get ripped off.
About three months later the same problem arose, my mate had a look at it again and it was one of the remaining injectors above knock threshold this time. I was a bit flush at the time and as the diesel engineers had taken a long time to sort the injectors last time we decided to fit brand new ones and replaced both the remaining originals, problem solved me thinks. - Wrong!!!!
A month later she went down again same symptoms - no turbo [in limp mode] a bitch to start in the morning, blocking out the flight approach to heathrow with the unburnt diesel smoke. - I could'nt believe it.
My mate had a look and low and behold it was one of the reconditioned injectors above knock threshold again, he sent it back to the diesel engineers under warranty, they had it for nearly 2 weeks and it when it came back the problem was still there.
My mate then bit the bullet and bought another brand new injector and fitted it [at no cost to me] and she ran fine. - He is no longer using the diesel engineers [he has used them for 20 years].
Car is now going back in to his workshop to have the final recon removed and replaced with a new one as she has started to smoke again and I have diesel knock when cold. Hopefully this will then be sorted.
I think you are more than likely looking at injector / injectors again, clogged EGR valve and inlet manifold would cause rough running / lack of power as it struggles for air, I don't think it would make it go in to limp mode.
Hope my story of woe helps, it may not be what you want to hear.
August 29, 2012, 12:50 am
Hi Mark, and Hi Simon...
I read your posts with interest...I have a 51 reg tdci 130 Mondeo, and alas, am having similar problems with the dreaded flashing glow plug...I'll preface this tale of woe by asking why oh why did Ford not make what is otherwise a good, and popular car, easier to diagnose, and therefore fix?!
A few months ago, around April, I got the glow light, limp mode, and consequential loss of power. I took my car to a local garage with 'basic' diagnostic equipment who charged me 30 quid to tell me that cylinder 3 was above knock threshold, and there was some cam 'bus' communication fault; I'd had that replaced a few months before, and it transpired that this was a red herring...I had the injector replaced, paid the money, £325 via card on the way back from a meeting in another county, and upon picking the car up noted that the glow plug light was still blinking away...After a few strong words with the garage in question, I took the car to a diesel specialist, that were suppliers to them,(and had supplied the part), some 25 miles away...
The specialist confirmed that the injector was fine, but that they had not in fact supplied the new injector, because due to the economic climate their parts delivery service was operating a 3 day week delivery, not 5, as before, and low and behold, did not operate a service on the day mine was fitted...Another 3 way argument ensued, culminating in me electing to have the specialist do recode and diagnostic tests to try to establish what was occuring...
A couple of days later I collected the car, with a clean bill of health-recode done, electrics checked, road test done, and a smaller than expected £108 bill...Thus, the car ran well until about July, when, yes, the glow plug light started flashing again, and loss of power...
I found an engineering firm much closer, and upon speaking with the chap, was impressed at his knowledge, friendly approach, and attention to detail(He cited much of the stuff I remembered reading on the net)...I took the car to him, a chap in his late fifties, and he carried out a leak off test, and found that another injector was leaking fuel badly, and a third was on its way to failing, so I opted to have these replaced with new (he lent me a courtesy car whilst carrying out the work)...At this stage the car had developed a bit of a rattle too when driving, which he suggested was auxiliary belt pulley, and would change that...I rang a couple of days later and asked him to service and MOT the car, as it was due, which he did....I got the car back, and initially it ran nicely-oomph back, and no glow plug light...I did notice that the rattle was slightly there still, but it didn't seem to affect anything...
A few days later whilst on an outing with my partner, as I overtook something, the glow light came on-I could n't believe it! When I pulled over, stopped the engine, and restarted, it cleared...However, a few days ago, the light came back on, and has remained on whilst driving ever since, plus clouds of white smoke when starting it in the morning...I rang the chap back, explained, and that I was not too pleased-the car is due to go back this week....
Realistically, it is a 10 plus year old car, which I've had for 6 of those years, and having spent another £550, plus 108, plus 325, nearly a grand, I'm really beginning to question the economic sense of spending more, although it now has just under 1 years MOT...but, what would I buy for a grand, some clapped out banger, with another set of problems.....I am hoping that this visit to the mechanic will be the last, for this particular problem; if it persists, i will seriously look to get shot of what has been a decent motor...
I remember reading somewhere about Mondeo TDCI with flashing glow plug, and whether or not to purchase if offered-don't touch with a barge pole was the reply...I can now see why...
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