406 2.1 TD Poor starting when cold

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406 2.1 TD Poor starting when cold

Post by colinfor » 28 Nov 2003, 18:03

Seems to be a common problem in here.
Had my timing belt and level 3 Peugeot service carried out on my 97 Exec yesterday and asked them while they were there to suss out my starting difficulties.
Basically from 3 down to 0 degrees, my car will start after 3 or 4 tries.....just ! Below 0 degs it wont start.
Only had the car about 5 weeks so don’t know if its been a progressive problem or not. When its running it runs nice and smooth, not excessively smokey and reasonably economical. Just wont start when its cold.
Peugeot man said that they couldn’t detect any faults with the diagnostics. Checked my glowplugs and checked the device that times the voltage to the plugs. All working well.
Suggested to contact a diesel injection specialist. Probably looking at £300 to have the pump overhauled and 4 hours labour to remove/refit.
Is there anything that springs to mind before I commit almost £500 to the cause ? Diesel man said that it was possible to check out the supply pump (integral to injection pump) by gravity feeding diesel to it. Would squeezing the priming bulb have the same effect.

Dave Burns
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Post by Dave Burns » 29 Nov 2003, 21:07

If its the Lucas EPIC pump I'm not familiar with it, but being as the lift pump is integral with it I would assume it to be of the centrifugal design, these pumps are not very efficient at starter cranking speeds and so don't come in to play much for starting.
The fact that the car will start at higher temperatures suggest to me that this is one of the area's to concentrate on, even more so as the engine runs ok when it get going, I would think a problem with the injection pump that caused poor starting should also show its self through much more of its operating range.
I would carry out my own tests on the glow plugs and their circuitry and trust my own results as to the integrity of it, disconect the cables to the plugs and put a meter on them, the resistance should be very low, about 0.5 to 0.7 ohm in my experience.
If the plugs are in a poor state the engine will missfire for a few seconds and then run normaly when some heat has been generated from combustion.
You could have air getting in, that will prevent a diesel from starting in most cases, give the primer bulb a good few squeezes before starting to see if it makes a difference.
I would put off doing anything to the pump until all possible reasons for non starting had been thoroughly exhausted.

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Post by colinfor » 29 Nov 2003, 22:27

Thanks Dave, all good advice. I must say that I was dissappointed with the Pug garage ! Didnt really tell me a lot. Spent last night reading the Haynes and decided I'd try bleeding the fuel line today.
Tried starting the car (+8 degs)with no throttle, as you should I believe. Didnt realise the 2.1 was drive-by-wire so to speak. The throttle moves a sensor which electronically tells the pump how much fuel to squirt !!! Anyway car wouldnt start, so maybe its not just a COLD thing !
Reached in the window and turned the key while priming the line, bit of a cough and fart and much smoke but it started (with no throttle) [:0]
Armed myself with a small piece of tubing and bled the fuel line up to the injector pump. As I was squeezing the priming bubble, several air bubbles moved along the line from fuel filter to the pump and a significant amount of air was expelled from the nipple. There is a small section of black, thicker, hose that connects the fuel filter to the line that supplies the pump.
Basically you are correct, there are other avenues to persue before committing obscene amounts of cash.
See what tomorrow brings !
Thanks again

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Post by buzz » 30 Nov 2003, 19:52

I had same problem with my pug. I was priming the car for a year because garages could not find air leak. The problem was air/fuel leak from throttle shaft which pug garage will not touch. Fuel pump specialist put it right (£220) and did a good job.
The car starts grat now. Very pleased.

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Post by colinfor » 30 Nov 2003, 20:20

Mmm really dont think that this is a temperature thing anymore. Same story this morning, wouldnt start ! Had my wife turn over the engine while I was watching the fuel lines. Lots of bubbles in the filter to pump line. None at all in the primer bulb to filter line. Must be getting in at the filter housing or in the small interconnecting piece from filter housing to fuel line.
I also notice that when the engine is stopped that a few bubbles track backwards from the banjo at the top of the injector pump. Bleeding is a bit fruitless, because more air gets in just as quick.

Dave Burns
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x 2

Post by Dave Burns » 01 Dec 2003, 02:11

If you have got fuel running backwards down the supply line, you most probably have an air leak in the return line, this is typical of a fuel system with a Bosch distributor type pump.
Check the leak off pipes if you haven't allready done so, these are famous for hardening and cracking and causing these symptoms, don't forget to check the blanking cap on the last injector in the leak off line.
If its fly by wire there probably isn't a spindle of any kind where air can get in, if so that rules out the pump as the point of entry.

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Post by mg46783 » 02 Dec 2003, 05:30

Just a thought...what about the priming bulb itself?? Ive known them to go down!

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Post by colinfor » 05 Dec 2003, 02:47

Well here's a twist ! Going back to my original post, had the investigation carried out by Pug garage after they did my service and timing belt. They told me that the glowplugs and circuitry all checked out ok and that I should consult a diesel injection specialist ! So when the service manager at a reputable dealership tells you this, do you believe him ?
Well apparently not always ! Booked the 406 into the local Nissan agent who assured me a pointer in the right direction before committing to a pump overhaul (£500 ish). Checked out what they could and even though I told them that the Peugeot garage had given the plugs a clean bill of health, they checked them out again anyway !
So what did they find ? Well, circuitry was all ok, however 2 of the plugs were completely dead and the other 2 were very sluggish ! 4 x £8 for new glow plugs and a bit of labour and its all sorted ! Looking at the 2 dead plugs they are very black with soot (No heat there !) and the other 2 certainly werent an ideal colour.
So what do I do about the Peugeot garage ? Had I listened to them and acted on their advice I would have spent £500 on an injector pump overhaul and the car still wouldnt have started ! Every garage I spoke to for advice prior to putting the car into the Nissan garage said that because the Glow Plugs had tested ok, then the next stage was the pump.....Ouch !!!
Should I make a scene....or be glad that I've got it fixed !

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Post by humpug » 08 Dec 2003, 01:25

I had exactly the same problem on my 205. It was a split in the hose to the fuel filter. Fuel wasn't leaking out but air was being drawn in. On the 205 this hose comes from a heat exchanger mounted on the the engine block below the inlet/exhaust manifolds at the timing belt end of the engine.It wasn't possible to see the split with the hose in-situ but when I took it off (easier to do if you remove the inlet manifold first) I found the split underneath the cloth braiding. I could hear the air being drawn in when I operated the priming pump but it was a bugger to find.