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Fiesta 1.4TDCI (52REG) - Starting problems


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#1 valleyboy

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 10:17 AM

Hi All,

First post, I have searched but couldnt find the exact answer.

The wifes 1.4 tdci has started to have trouble starting more noticeable when cold, like the other morning when it was freezing it took 11 attempts for the car to start, but over the last few months it has got worse.

My first question, does this model year have glow plugs as i have been told it doesnt and it uses direct injection?? is this true???

the battery seems fine, all lights come on as usual, no warning lights, it turns over but just 'judders' and dies.... I did notice the other morning a 'coil' type orange light did come on a flicker once or twice. i assume this is the engine management light if it hasnt got coils?

could it be a fuel problem?

cheers for any ideas...

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#2 mintalkin

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 05:18 PM

your car does have glow plugs but are only operational when required which is why you have not seen the light. it sounds like a glow plug problem as the cold clynders will give the symptoms your getting.

#3 valleyboy

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 08:25 AM

your car does have glow plugs but are only operational when required which is why you have not seen the light. it sounds like a glow plug problem as the cold clynders will give the symptoms your getting.


many thanks for the reply... i know its a "how long is a piece of string" questions but how much do you think we'd be looking at for replacing them?

#4 mintalkin

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 03:06 PM

before replaceing them check the fuses and relays and if you can get a volt meter on the buzz bar to them to see if you have power to the plugs.

#5 Russ

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:12 PM

before replaceing them check the fuses and relays and if you can get a volt meter on the buzz bar to them to see if you have power.


If you connect a meter across the busbar that only tells you ALL the plugs are getting power, not which ones are getting power and 'glowing'

Disconnect any wiring or "busbar" connecting the plugs together or to the circuitry, get a long length of heavy duty wire and plug one end on the live terminal on the battery. Flick the other end of this wire across ONE of the plugs and if it sparks THAT plug is ok ( u have a complete circuit if it sparks so it is getting power and glowing ) do this with ALL plugs and if you find one does not spark then that plug is a duffer! This is the easiest and quickest way of testing if your plugs are at least 'glowing'.

It's a 5 minute job!

( only do this if you feel confident )

#6 aztecbandit1

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 12:02 AM

If you connect a piece of wire to the battery and then "flick" each of the glowplugs with it they will spark due to the fact that they are earthing out so dont get your logic there as your just making a complete circuit between the pos and Neg of the car by earthing out the battery?? and not proving anything to do with the glo plugs working or not!!

By the sound of the problem, it sounds like the glow plug contoller isnt letting them heat up enough to turn the diesel into a gas so its not igniting enough to start, and the reason its taking so many turns to start is the fuel not vapourising enough so in theory its trying to ignite fluid and not gas and the more you try the hotter the plugs get over the time which eventually turns the diesel into gas so then it starts,

So i'd go for the glow plug contoller and clean your glowplugs to start with as there probably covered a thick layer of unburnt diesel then see what happens..

#7 Russ

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 03:43 PM

If you connect a piece of wire to the battery and then "flick" each of the glowplugs with it they will spark due to the fact that they are earthing out so dont get your logic there as your just making a complete circuit between the pos and Neg of the car by earthing out the battery?? and not proving anything to do with the glo plugs working or not!!

By the sound of the problem, it sounds like the glow plug contoller isnt letting them heat up enough to turn the diesel into a gas so its not igniting enough to start, and the reason its taking so many turns to start is the fuel not vapourising enough so in theory its trying to ignite fluid and not gas and the more you try the hotter the plugs get over the time which eventually turns the diesel into gas so then it starts,

So i'd go for the glow plug contoller and clean your glowplugs to start with as there probably covered a thick layer of unburnt diesel then see what happens..



You obviously do not understand how a glowplug is constructed!
The way the shielding on the plug is constructed around the plug means that if the internal rod has broken down or melted there is no continuity between the busbar connecting the top of the glowplug and the glowplug thread/body which in turn makes contact with the cylinder head giving you your earth! Therefor, if the internal workings of the glowplug have broken down, sparking a livewire across the top of the plug will NOT cause a spark as you do not have a "full circuit". ( it cannot earth out unless you have a full circuit )
If you get a spark the glowplug is ok, if you get no spark, it's a dud!

With regards to the relay, easy to check using a meter.

The following has been taken from http://www.peugeotcl...0/Dec/0193.html but works with any diesel!

From: "Gordon Ilchuk" <ilchukgordon@hotmail.com>
To: <tomsteers@altavista.com>; <Jreadrep@aol.com>
Cc: <peugeot-l@egroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 9:30 PM
Subject: Re: Correct method for testing glow plugs?



> An easier way to test glow plugs is to unhook just the elcetrial stuff
> leaving the glow plug in engine. Then take a test light from a battery
> positive and touch the electrical top where the nut threads are and if the
> test light lights up it is good. If your test light does not light up the
> plug is dead. Has never failed me since 1967.
> Gordon

All this guys used is a test light instead of a bare wire! ( good plug, the test light lights up or using a heavy duty wire, you`ll get a spark........dud plug, test light fails to light up or if using a heavy duty wire, NO spark! )

#8 valleyboy

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 07:54 AM

cheers everyone for the answers, the car is booked in for an MOT next week, although I would love to give it a go myself i don't feel confident so going to get the garage to take a look.

i miss the days of my old mini where i knew what was what and you could fix everything with a few tools ;)

also its the wifes car so if i b*gger it up you can imagine the fall out!

#9 Swisstonihasher

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:37 PM

cheers everyone for the answers, the car is booked in for an MOT next week, although I would love to give it a go myself i don't feel confident so going to get the garage to take a look.

i miss the days of my old mini where i knew what was what and you could fix everything with a few tools ;)

also its the wifes car so if i b*gger it up you can imagine the fall out!


Sorry to jump in, I've had the same with my TDCI but not as bad, 2 starts before shes running then chugs a little (past month or so with it really cold), within a min or two back to running sweet. I tested the busbar wire and it does have signal during starting for short periods as expected but no glow light. To be honest, had her 2+ years now from 45K and only seen glow plugs symbol twice and that was some time ago (not had bad running during that time although had odd doesn't catch on first turn of engine, fires on 2nd and runs clean - I understand the cut out can also be plug related).
My quick question is regarding fuses and relay for the plugs, I've tried locating them, not inside car from the guide lable. Where are they located? They must be beefy as I've read they can take 25 amps each plug at first.

#10 Swisstonihasher

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:07 PM

Sorry to jump in, I've had the same with my TDCI but not as bad, 2 starts before shes running then chugs a little (past month or so with it really cold), within a min or two back to running sweet. I tested the busbar wire and it does have signal during starting for short periods as expected but no glow light. To be honest, had her 2+ years now from 45K and only seen glow plugs symbol twice and that was some time ago (not had bad running during that time although had odd doesn't catch on first turn of engine, fires on 2nd and runs clean - I understand the cut out can also be plug related).
My quick question is regarding fuses and relay for the plugs, I've tried locating them, not inside car from the guide lable. Where are they located? They must be beefy as I've read they can take 25 amps each plug at first.


Its not my plugs, changed 3 of them, tested old ones against new by connecting to battery for 5 seconds each, all glow at the tips and old/new look same in length and tip shape. Rats, I guess the relays and that are by the battery, what I dont get is why the busbar was sending signals down and yet no glow light in dash? The voltage did seem a little low though but she only clicks on for short periods during starting so hard to tell for sure.

#11 Claudia

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 02:28 PM

I'm havin the same problems...any idea what to do?

#12 Russ

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 07:54 AM

I'm havin the same problems...any idea what to do?


Glowplug relay

#13 wellzy

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 07:23 PM

Glowplug relay


just noticed this thread, i have just bought a 04 fiesta van 1.4tdci with 138,000 on the clock now when i bought it, it started on the key but fast forward a week and i was pushing it into my garage by hand cause it would not start. now after a few hours of stripping down the engine and doing electrical tests i found that the glow plug relay (thanks to bad placement of it) was getting damaged by weather and it ended up shorting out blowing the glow plug bulb in the dash and every time the ignition was on the glow plugs stayed on so whilst the car was runnin the glow plugs where on and overheating causing them to melt under the high temperature.

now if you are having problems where the glow plug light is not coming on and the car is taking a lot of cranks before it will start or not starting at all you may have the same problem and i am sorry to say that it's not just a simple case of new relay and new glow plugs. as has happened with mine the end of the glow plugs melts into a ball larger then the Dia of the glow plug hole and the only way i have found of gettin the glow plugs out is to remove the cylinder head and cut the end of the glow plug off in order to get them out however there is light at the end of the tunnel for some people because i have found that ford recalled the 1.6tdci and 2.0tdci engines due to glow plugs melting problems i think they were from 2002> but i'll try and find the sheet. if you are having problems and think it could be the glow plugs post up the problems you are having.

#14 wellhouse0

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:28 PM

this seems to be a common problem, what are ford doing about it? ford garages don't seem able to diagnose problem.

#15 Jonny87

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:30 PM

Yo! Wellhouse! Whats the deal with dragging up all these old posts! Even I get a bolloking for that!

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