Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

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pete woods
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by pete woods » 28 Sep 2003, 17:37

This has always been a real pig to get started from cold. New glow plugs, leak off & fuel pipes etc have made no difference. It will always start & runs fine when going but in cold weather takes up to a minute cranking to start reducing to 5 -10 secs on a hot summer day.
I have just noticed that the nipple in the pump end of the cold start cable is sitting about 1 cm past the lever! I took the car out & got it warmed up when I got back the cable was the same.
The only symptoms apart from the cold start problem it that it always ticks over at 1100 rpm hot or cold & is a bit reluctant to pick up from 2500 rpm to about 3000 rpm when it gets into it's stride.
Has some mis adjusted something in the past or is it broken. I can find nothing about the cold start adj in the Haynes so HELP!

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AndersDK
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by AndersDK » 28 Sep 2003, 19:21

Pete -
These coldstart devices usually are simple thermostatic driven cables. The actual device is located in the thermostat housing - with a bowden cable to the diesel roto pump.
They are usually utterly simple to adjust :
When engine is cold (by overnight) - the inner cable clamp at the roto diesel pump is adjusted such the cable is tensioned.
Any end stops for this should never be touched - just have the cable tensioned - can also be done by a ferrule at the outer cable attachment on the roto diesel pump.
If that does not help - the thermostat is simply worn out - a common problem.

JohnD
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by JohnD » 28 Sep 2003, 19:41

Pete - From your description - ie: the nipple on the cold start cable doesn't move, I would think that the cold start device is u/s. A replacement wouldn't cost the earth. On my first diesel car, a Ford Sierra with a Pug engine, the cold start device failed. Back in 1981, Ford parts departments didn't know what I was talking about when I wanted a replacement. In the end, I dispensed with it and installed a choke cable on the dashboard connected to the pump.
But also, I wouldn't rule out an air leak into the fuel line.

Jonesy
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by Jonesy » 28 Sep 2003, 19:50

Pete,
These cold start devices often pack up in my experience, but all they actually do is increase the idle speed, nothing more. I have replaced them both on my BX and my 205. They only cost about a tenner and are simple to fit and adjust.
Sounds more like a air leak to me or possibly timing problem. Have you checked that the timing belt is correctly timed, i.e. Crank, Pump and Camshaft? Don't think this would cause bad starting but sounds odd about the reluctant pick up and unusually high idle speed.
You don't say how many miles its done. If its done mega miles has it been serviced regularly, if not it could just be poor compression from a worn engine!?

pete woods
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by pete woods » 28 Sep 2003, 21:39

It's done 110000. It uses no oil between changes & runs like a clock. it is never lumpy or badly behaved. The slight hesitation may just be a characteristic of the engine. Im judging it against my day to day work car which is a Passat TDI & that pulls harder from lower revs.
The air leak theory was the first one I looked at but if that were the problem then outside temp would make no difference Ie a cold start on a hot day would take the same time to bring up the fuel as on a cold day. The plugs were changed for Beru items But that made no difference either. the timers working there is power to the plugs & the batt must be ok as it happily cranks the starter for up to a minute with no sign of slowing up. The prev owner got rid of this car because of the poor starting after throwing money at garages for months. I had tried to sort it out last winter but the problem went away when the better weather arrived & so I left it alone. With winter on the way again I need to sort it out now.

pete woods
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by pete woods » 28 Sep 2003, 21:42

One thing. While the engine was still cold but running I used a screwdriver to push on the lever of the cold start device.As soon as I did the revs dropped away. I don't know if this is significant or not!

JohnD
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by JohnD » 28 Sep 2003, 21:57

That sounds odd! When the cold start device is working correctly, it pulls the lever towards the centre line and increases the revs. I think someone has been monkeying with the idling adjustment. What make of pump have you?

Dave Burns
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by Dave Burns » 28 Sep 2003, 22:03

That should mean your car is an ECU model, on this the idle speed is controlled by the ECU vai vacuum and an electrovalve, this is not your problem though as you have discovered it is allready in the fast idle position.
Is this correct and does it have an ECU behind the offside headlight, I'm not going to get typing away at what else I think it could be if I'm barking up the wrong tree.
Dave

pete woods
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by pete woods » 28 Sep 2003, 23:12

Yes, there is an ECU behind the offside headlamp.
I hope you are going to tell me this means it will be cheap & easy to fix, but I'm not holding my breath!

Dave Burns
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by Dave Burns » 29 Sep 2003, 02:00

Fistly do you hear the solenoid click on the injecton pump, should be an audible click just after entering the last digit of the start code, get a helper to key it in while you listen up front. Don't confuse it with any other relays going click, like the glow relay for instance.
What does it bump start like and have you tried jumping it even though the battery sounds very healthy.
Make sure the timing advance is working ok, disconnect the brown plug on the injection pump while the engine is running, the diesel knock should get very loud and clattery, don't leave it unplugged for too long though.
Try a cold start with the brown plug disconnected on the injection pump, this will hold the timing at full advance during cranking, if the engine sounds like it nearly stops cranking between each stroke then don't go any further with that.
But if by doing that it starts reliably then possibly the high pressure piston/cylinder in the pump is worn and can't generate the required pressure early enough in its stroke leading to late injection at startup, or its return springs could be broken preventing full return travel of the piston, or the pump timing is incorrect.
Can't hardly think of what else to try, but do make sure the plugs are getting red hot.
By the way, the high idle speed is most likely to be caused by a burnt out elecrovalve on the bracket near the LHM tank, but check the valve is not working and that it is getting 12 volts during hot running or while revving the engine when its cold.
Check all the vacuum pipes including those to the EGR valve, if one is not connected none of them will work as the vacuum will be lost, I have just fitted two of these, one to my car and one to my sisters 98'er, its the blue one for the fast idle and the green one for the EGR.
No easey fix I'm afraid and the longer it goes on the more expensive its sounding to put right unfortunately.
Dave

pete woods
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by pete woods » 29 Sep 2003, 12:50

Dave I have not tried all your suggestions yet, but so far:
I have never tried bump starting it as it always starts on the battery.
Jump starting made no difference
A cold start with the brown plug disconected again made no difference.
The plugs are heating up & the timer is working
All the vacuum pipes seem ok
By the way what is an egr valve
Could this be an ecu fault & if so would a Citroen dealer be able to read a fault code?

jeremy
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by jeremy » 29 Sep 2003, 13:52

EGR stands for exhaust gas recirculation - lost on rest! - no doubt my time will come - with the radio telling me the removal of the block exemption this week will mean car prices will be slashed it may be sooner than I thought!
jeremy

Dave Burns
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by Dave Burns » 30 Sep 2003, 00:41

Bugger, where do you go next, well Pete if you are sure about all the other stuff doing what its should be doing the next thing is to take the rocker cover off and see if there are any valves propped open by sliding some feelers in.
After that a compression test, and after that the pump off but these are desperate measures because you say when it starts it goes well, but then starting and normal running are two different things.
Do you mean would an ECU fault cause this starting trouble, then no it wouldn't, it only has control over injection timing as far as the pump goes and that has now been ruled out as making no difference.
I'm not sure if any of the vacuum valves will show up as a fault code, they are easily checked by manualy energising them and they will click if they are ok and do nothing if they are goosed, though they can and often do go intermittent before dying completely.
If they are ok and still don't work in situ due to no voltage present at times when there should be, then this can be an ECU fault but it has no bearing on the main issue because for the most part it is purely mechanical.
Dave

pete woods
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by pete woods » 30 Sep 2003, 17:04

Any one want to buy a Xantia? One careful owner.....................

BonceChops
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Xantia 1.9 TD Cold starting problems

Post by BonceChops » 30 Sep 2003, 22:44

Have you tried priming the pump by squeezing the priming bulb several times until it feels hard before you try and start it.