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Hi there,

I've been having trouble starting my Mondeo Mk1 and am wondering/hoping someone here might be able to help.

The problem first started in spring, when it wouldn't start first time, so I bought some new NGK glow plugs.

However, I didn't fit them at the time, as the weather was warming up and the car began to start ok first time.

Now the weather's gone cold again, the car gradually refused to start.

I say gradually, because for a few weeks it would start after turning the key and keeping your foot down: the car would vibrate and shake, with fumes coming from the exhaust, but the vibration would die down for a few seconds then the engine would start.

However, this then went to the car vibrating/shaking but not starting at all.

So I thought - definately time to change the glow plugs!

After loads of messing around, and not having the right tools, after about 4-5 hours, lol!, I've managed to change them!

Great I thought, and charged the battery as it had gone a bit flat after all the attempts to start it before changing the glow plugs.

However, the car still refuses to start - the first thing I notice is that when you turn the key to light the glow plug light, there is no 'clicking' sound (solenoid/relay??), then upon trying to start it, the car vibrates/shakes and then the vibrations die down, but doesn't start.

A neighbour who is a mechanic has suggested that it sounds like it's only firing on 2 cylinders, instead of 4.

Does anyone please have any idea about what could be the problem, and potential solution?

Many thanks and all the best,

VeronaTD
 

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MEG Corporal
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What about the fuel filter, perhaps it's blocked. Have you tried pressing the primer to see if it's hard?
 

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MEG Corporal
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standing looking atthe front of the car the fuel filter will be to the right of the engine, beside the air filter box.

there should be a black button on top of the filter. Press that. If it's stiff then there should be fuel in the pump but if it's spongey and soft then there isn't any fuel in the pump (I think)

when I changed my fuel filter on my MK1 I didn't tighten the big bolt that holds it all togeather hard enough and that caused the car to start like a b1tch when it had been left for a while. Put a spanner on that and see if it's slack. If so then make it nice and tight.

You could also try putting a volt meter on the bus bar that feeds power to all the glow plugs to see if they're actually getting power. There's a fuse box just behind the N/S head light and I think that contains a relay for the glow plgs only I don't know what one it is.
 

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Hi and thanks for the suggestion.

I've just found and pressed the black button - it was fairly hard, and tried to start it, but just the same.

I'll try to tighten the nut next.

Like the neighbour said - it *wants* to start but there's something preventing it, lol

Checking the voltage is of course a good idea, although I don't have a voltmeter at the moment, so I'll have to get hold of one.

i've also just looked in the fuse/relay box but don't know which one it is either, lol
 

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MEG Corporal
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Push it down a hill and run it in gear. Either it starts and yer laughing or it doesn't and you got to walk all the way back up, lol.
 

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MEG Corporal
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does it sound like it's just about to fire up then die down again?
 

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right have you got a mate their as it could be the cold start thing forgot what it's called on the mk2 but is a waxstat on the mk1

right this is where the extra pair of hands come in

i have used the picture you have a cicled the bit that can cause problems in the cold

this is a bar that moves left and right and should be sprung mounted so springs back to place get the other pair of hands to push it toward where the cable comes from not away (should only move one way) then try to start the car with it held in place and it should start if it is this then you need a new cable or waxstat

did it do the same with the old glowplugs in place or did it start eventually as you might have the wrong glowplugs in

also make sure they are in tight and that the bridge is in place
 

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Hi and thanks

derv - lol, it is actually parked on a hill and pointing the right way, and I suggested that to the neighbour who's a mechanic, but he said not to, especially since it's a residential area with cars parked all the way down both sides of the road, lol. Cheers anyway

+ it tries to start normally first of all, just hear starter motor turning over, then the car starts to vibrate/shake, more and more, then vibration dies down, it sounds like it's going to maybe start (like it did a few weeks ago), but it fails to start and goes back to vibrating/shaking.

a.mad.house - thanks for the tip - I'll try that out asap.

& it's about the same as before I changed the glow plugs + I checked carefully to make sure I ordered the right ones (from ebay), definately for Mk1 diesel and one of the best brands. All the glow plugs and the nuts connecting the metal plates are screwed correctly and are tight.

If anyone else has any ideas, then I'd be very gratful to hear them.

All the best
 

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MEG Corporal
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VeronaTD said:
it is actually parked on a hill and pointing the right way
Fortune favours the brave, my friend :D
 

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Big Megger
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check the feed for the glow plugs the red wire across the top of the plugs take off and sand the connection. this might help.

also i would check that the glow plugs are working on a battery. (i bought new ngk ones and one out of 4 was working).
 

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as said above check the glowplugs the other way that it could be started if the bridge is suspect is attach a group of wires to the glow plugs and have the spare person touch the bat while you try to start it but remove the wire from the bat once running at least if it starts you will be able to narrow down where the problem is
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi and many thanks for the replies :)

I remembered that I had a free upgrade on my breakdown recovery service, to include home starts - something I've not had before, so when I remembered, I rang them and they came within 30 mins.

The mechanic managed to get it started (just about!) after about 5 attempts!

He checked there was power to the glow plugs, so that's ruled out.

He said it sounded like there wasn't fuel going in, but there was around £5-10 of fuel in there.

So he sprayed Easy Start into the air filter a few times and kept trying.

Eventually it started and we left it running.

Then I went for around 20 minutes drive around the local area, especially to help charge the battery which was quite low, and to get some fuel going around the system.

After I finished the drive, I turned it off and re-started it (first time!) around 5 times, and now have left it.

So maybe it's the fuel pump?

All the best
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi there,

Yes that's rue of course, and I expected it to start without a problem once it'd warmed up.

But it kinda confuses me that the mechanic said it sounded like a lack of fuel why it wouldn't start, but it seems more like a problem affected by cold weather, especially since it had the same problem when the weather was cold in around April/May time, but then as it got warmer the car always started 1st time, then it started getting cold again, and the problem came back.

Therefore it seems logical to assume it's a cold starting issue, and how could it be a "lack of fuel"?

All the best
 

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MEG Corporal
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he says there's power going to the glow plugs but is he sure the glow plugs actually work?

How about taking them out and wiring them to the battery to see if they glow red

Good 10 hours work for you there mate :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi derv,

lol, I think I'll invest in a box spanner for the glow plugs next time!

I ended up removing them all with 2 different 12mm spanners, as I didn't have any long sockets or box spanner, lol, what a complete pain...tests your patience too, and on two of the smaller nuts blu-tak was required, lol

Thanks for the tip, but I think that in this case, with the car behaving pretty much the same with the new glow plugs as it did with the old ones, in fact starting with the new ones...just!...admittedly after Easy Start was added, and as there's power in them, I'm tempted to think that it's something else.

I know people have had problems with new glow plugs, but how common a problem can it be?

I'm half thinking it's because I've let the fuel go down almost to nothing a few times, including recently, with what the mechanic said about the fuel starvation, that that might be the problem, but the link with it being due to cold weather seems too much of a coincidence.

This does seem like a mystery, and my neighbour who's a mechanic is coming around tomorrow evening to help have a look at it and diagnose the problem.

All the best
 

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MEG Corporal
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Actually, My Mk1 recently developed a cold starting issue. Usually when I go to start it I'll let the light goout then fire her up and she'll start within 3 seconds I'd say. No hanging about at low revs coughing and spluttering, straight into action! Only recently she's been in a bit of a mood when being started from cold. It'll potter about just aboue starter motor speed then eventually start after 5 or 6 seconds. I know it's hardly a jump in starting time but still, a bit of spluttering/missing/smoking involved in waking the old girl up.

One time I had the day off and the car lay for a little over a day and I thought for a second she wouldn't start. "Start ya b*****d, start ya b*****d" lol.

Don't know why I didn't think to mention it, mate. Just the cold weather getting to the car.

Strange thing is, last year it started first time evey time all through winter, didn't matter how cold it was. You could even spin the key right round and start it without the glowplugs!!!!

I'm thinking it's getting harder to start this year round because I've had the pump tuned to hell for months and I've probably worn it out a bit :headshake:

Hope you get the beast sorted :L
 

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Megger
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My Mk1 is getting a bit more difficult to start these colder mornings as well, I simply heat the plugs 3 or 4 times before starting, and all's well. My mechanic advised me that rather than just waiting until the glow plug light goes out, wait until it has gone out and you hear a 'click' as the relay clicks off, as the plugs are still heating after the light has gone off.

Occassionally a wee bit lumpy and smokey for the first couple of seconds, but clears straight away. Not perfect, but I can live with it meantime :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
lol thanks derv and cotter

I tried starting it again after work today, and after a bit of a struggle did start.

The neighbour who's a mechanic says he thinks it's probably an air leak somewhere.

All the best
 
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