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Gewitty

Budding Enthusiast
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About Gewitty

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  • Ford Model SMAX Titanium
  1. Intermittent Starting Failure

    OK. I'll give that a try next time it refuses to start. I don't think the glow-plugs are the culprits, since I always wait until the light goes out and I've been told that even if they do go faulty, modern high pressure injection systems are not particularly affected and should still start.
  2. Intermittent Starting Failure

    This has come up before in discussions I've had about the fault. It may well turn out to be the culprit if the hair-dryer solution proves to be a red herring. Talking to an expert on these things, I was told that the most critical sensor for starting is the crank angle sensor. It's the one thing that is guaranteed to ensure a starting failure. A modern diesel engine can cope pretty well with most other faults, but that one will always screw things up. I think I'll make one last attempt to prove or disprove the heating theory, by doing what I suggested the other day - pull off the engine cover and heat any components I can find individually. If that fixes the problem, I'll replace whichever bit responded to heating. If it doesn't work, then it will have to go into the garage to get the crank angle sensor checked.
  3. Intermittent Starting Failure

    Thanks for the thoughts taffg. Much of what you say is in line with some other advice I've had from an engine management systems specialist. The whole issue of glow plugs has come up several times in this discussion, but I'm told that with modern high pressure injection systems, faulty glow-plugs are unlikely to prevent a car starting. Even if they do go faulty, this should show up with a fault light on the dash. When the car went into the garage last week, they actually parked outside for the night, just to see what would happen before they ran the diagnostics. Sod's Law came into play then, because it started first time! As you say, probably the most critical sensor is on the crankshaft, but that's pretty much ruled out given the fact that it's way down below the top of the engine and so would not be affected by the blown hot air. One other suggestion is that there might be a bad connection in a cable loom, which is creating a high resistance and !Removed! up a sensor reading. If the weather improves a bit tomorrow, I'm going to pull the plastic engine cover off and take a look to see exactly what's lurking under there that might be affected by the cold/heat. While I'm doing that, I'll follow your suggestion of checking connectors and using a bit of silicone grease to prevent moisture ingress. I might also try using a narrow nozzle on the hair dryer so I can point the air-stream at individual components, which just might isolate the fault.
  4. Intermittent Starting Failure

    Had to dig the car out of several feet of snow this morning. As I expected, it absolutely refused to start, so I tried the hairdryer trick again. Three or four minutes after I started blowing warm air under the engine cover, it started first go. This is the fourth time I've tried this and it works every time, so it would seem fairly conclusive that the problem is a sensor mounted somewhere around the top of the engine. I suspected the intake air sensor, but have been told that it is unlikely that this would stop the car starting. A more likely suggestion is the camshaft sensor. Apparently, this, along with the crankshaft sensor, is critical to engine starting. Has anyone any idea of what I should be looking for around the top of the engine?
  5. Intermittent Starting Failure

    Thanks for the useful list. I'm guessing that not all of these possible faults would be intermittent, or would respond to the hot air treatment I mentioned in my original post, so which might be worth checking first?
  6. Intermittent Starting Failure

    That's certainly a possibility, but the glow plug indicator light comes on, and then goes out on the display after a couple of seconds, which I assume means that all is well? It also doesn't explain why a bit of heat seems to sort it out.
  7. Since the cold weather arrived I have experienced a sharp increase in the occurence of starting problems which I have had for several months with my 06 plate 2.0 TDCi Titanium. Previously, I would occasionally find that the car refused to start, but if left for a while, it would usually respond. However, since the cold weather set in, the problem has become much worse. Last week, I could not get it started for two days. Although the engine turned over and sounded as if it was firing, it would not actually start. Eventually, I called out my local garage. I looked pretty stupid when they arrived and the thing started first time. They took it in and ran diagnostics, but could find no faults and no indication in the logs of anything amiss. I took it back home and sure enough, the very next day it failed to start again. The one thing I noticed was that when the sun came around and shone on the bonnet for a while, the starting problem disappeared, so I tried an experiment. The next couple of times it refused to start, I stuck a hair dryer in the engine compartment with the nozzle under the plastic engine cover. After five minutes of blowing hot air, the car started with no trouble. This makes me wonder if there is a problem with the intake air temperature sensor. The fault can't be anything actually inside the engine, because five minutes of hair dryer heat could only be affecting something on the surface. Of course, this may be a complete red herring and the fact that it seems to respond to a bit of heat might be coincidence, but it's the only lead I've got and it does seem to work. The questions that remain are: What is it that a few minutes of hot air seems to affect; and why does the fault appear intermittently, rather than all the time? Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.