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04 Focus 1.8 Tdci 115Bhp - Cold Start Problems


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#1 bigstanno10

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:01 PM

Hi, bit new on this forum so apologies if I'm not in the right location.

Long & short of it is, bought my workhorse in the early summer (what we had of one), didn't have any problems whatsoever, now, it's getting chilly outside, my car is absolutley hopeless.

Looking at forums on similar topics, this seems to be a recurring theme with lots of possibilities......I;m the total opposite of a "know it all car mechanic"" so any help will be greatly appreciated...

What happens >> Turn the ignition key & glow plug sign goes off in milli seconds, then turn key again and car struggles to fire, after about 7 or so repetitions, it eventually fires.

Short term solution >> I'm now parking it in my garage but it's hardly a well insulated garage so although car is quicker to start, the above rigmarole still happens.

What is the next logical steps on what could be wrong?

Other information >> Mot & yearly main service is due January..

Any suggestions/solutions/advice??

Thanks
Stan

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#2 oilburner79

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:36 PM

A good and cheap place to start is changing the glow plugs

#3 Mike77

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:15 AM

If the glow plug light is going out in less than a second, then this probably means that they aren't working, because it would take longer than that to heat them sufficiently to start the engine. Another symptom of faulty glow plugs is somke on first start up in the morning. So there would be my first port of call, about 40 quid will get you a decent set, stay away from the cheap ones on eBay. Hope this helps...

#4 mjt

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:31 AM

I changed the plugs after putting up with bad cold-starting for several winters. I found all four of the old ones were totally dead. It's not been cold enough down this way yet to know what difference it will make. My glowplug light doesn't stay on any longer with the new ones. I'm guessing the ECU tries to save the battery by not holding them on longer unless the temperature drops but we'll see. -_-

#5 Pitmonster

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:22 AM

Try fordonlineparts.co.uk

Genuine Ford parts at prices close to eBay

#6 bigstanno10

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:38 PM

Thanks all, looks like glow plugs is the starting point.....just hope it;s nothing sinister, will be back on if its not solved....

cheers

#7 turbo-rich

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:27 AM

Have you noticed any change with new plugs?

#8 mjt

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

It's still a bit early to say. Yesterday the car thermometer registered 3 Celsius and I think it started better than it used to at that temperature. One morning last winter the temperature was -7 and the car wouldn't start at all. Once temperatures start to get down near freezing I'll have a better idea.

#9 turbo-rich

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

Its not down to starter motor problem also is it?
Mine is same as urs, only had it 5days an last 3 wudnt start at all, had to tow it today to bump it then dropped it back of at garage now..


#10 mjt

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:18 PM

Whilst it's true that diesels are sensitive to poor starter motor performance, needing a good spin over to generate the heat for ignition, I don't think that's been the problem in my case. It spins over well and even on that cold morning the battery held up for several minutes before starting to sag. As I said all four plugs were mullered and I'm certain that was the problem.

#11 bigstanno10

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

Hi all, more bad news I;m afraid, just come back from holiday last week and haven't managed to get car to garage, so been putting up with this and have it booked in for tomorrow.......

now this morning, car slowly turns and fails to ignite, now after several attempts, the dials are now jittering and is car is now not turning at all.........could i have damaged starter motor or killed the battery now??

#12 mjt

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

Sounds like you need a new battery. As you've only recently bought the car it could be quite old. If it's been run flat it will probably need renewing anyway as lead-acids don't like deep-discharge (other than leisure batteries which are designed for it and generally not suitable for engine starting). You can try charging it but if it's knackered it won't hold charge and will wilt very quickly when you try to crank a cold engine. I would try a new battery, you may find that's all you need to get it spinning fast enough to cure your starting problem. Don't forget you need the lead-calcium type for the Focus. If you can hear it cranking briskly but still have problems go for new glow plugs.

If it still doesn't spin over well with a new battery, and you've made sure all the battery connections and earth straps are clean and tight that's the time to begin looking at the starter.

#13 mjt

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

A quick update on my new glowplugs :- Now we've had a few frosty mornings I can confirm that the engine starts a lot better. The glowplug light doesn't seem to stay on for any longer though. I might try clipping a test lamp to the glowplug busbar to see how long the power is actually applied. I think it's supposed to be kept on for a while after the engine has started to improve cold running and it does seem to run more smoothly now whilst warming up.


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