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Starting Problem/ Poor MPG/ Cutting Out

1597 Views 16 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ChrisDavies
Purchased a 2000MY Mondeo 1.8 Ghia X with Factory Fitted LPG... Rare model, I understand.

Problem is... with the Bog Standard 1.8 Zetec-E engine albeit with the factory gas conversion...

It runs beautiful... when it starts...

Problem is it takes alot of turning over the engine to actually get it started.

Once it's started it seems fine, if I hold the accelerator down it seems to assist starting but to be honest with only 90k on the clock it still should be firing as soon as the key is turned.

The HT Leads, Plugs etc are apparantly new...

One thing I did notice is the sensor above the cambelt was leaking power steering fluid right the way through and dripping down past the wiring... Don't know why there is a sensor for PAS on this line but it obviously needs replacement...

Anyone got any idea of where to start?

Also when I was driving it home, it cut out when I dipped the clutch for a roundabout...

And the MPG is shocking for a 1.8 at 23mpg on the motorway... I was expecting at least 40mpg on a long run.

Crankshaft Sensor?

Does this car have a distributor or a Coil Pack? My BMW and 406 both had coils directly onto the spark plugs... Why HT leads Ford?

Anyway if I can get her running sweet I'd be appreciative... Especially as I've just sold my Octavia TDi to a friend a little too soon it would seem :eek13:
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The sensor on the PAS line is a pressure sensor to tell the ECU to raise the idle revs to counter the extra load from the PAS pump.
I'm going to get the following things from a Scrapyard tommorow....

An Idle Control Valve Motor... well a couple just to make sure.

A Steering Pressure Sensor, to sort out that leak.

Some Petrol Injectors, just incase mine aren't sealing and causing the starting problem.

A Crankshaft Position Sensor or Two...

A Couple of Coil Packs..

Problem is I don't know where anything is apart from the Coil Pack and Pressure Sensor for the PAS.

So any pictures as to where the ICV Motor, Injectors and Crankshafter Sensor are... and how they are removed would be much appreciated... Tonight please and I'll be setting off in the morning to get it all done!

And from my Motor Factor Store...

Some Quality HT Leads... like Splitfires...

And some NGK Sparkplugs...

Then I'm going to do some component swapping, flush my radiator out... put some fresh antifreeze in, change the sparkplugs etc etc.

P.S the Oil is fresh and 5w-30 Semi Sythetic... So no worries there...

Many Thanks.
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Just going to bump this...

The car starts fine when it's Warm/Hot...

Poorly when cold, needs extended cranking and runs rough until the engine is warm, where it is very smooth, quiet and a lovely motor.

When the Heated windscreen, lights etc are turned on there is a noticable dip in revs... from 750 to around 400 and the engine struggles before bring back up the revs but doesn't stall, same difference when the power steering is move side to side when stationary a dip in revs...

Going to change the oil because I'm not sure it's 5W-30 given it sounds tappety when cold...

But what could the poor start and rough running when initally cold be?

It's a late mark two... so only one temp sensor for the dash and ECU in the top of the thermostat housing? Am I right? held in with a clip.

Any advice appreciated.
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Out of Curiousity what MPG should I be expecting out of the 1.8? is 40 on a long motorway run, a reasonable expectation?
The Dip in idle... when electrics are turned on, am I right in thinking that could be the ICV? Just to note it is all the electrical accessories which drop the revs significantly front/back heaters, A/C, lights, foglights etc... before the REVs recover at idle.
Even if it idles perfectly when warm does this rule out HT leads and the Coil pack? P.S The spark plugs are brand new Bosch Super Plus with a 1.1MM gap
I have a 1.8 and I am getting 42mpg and do 38 miles a day on mixed roads but I drive nice and cruise at 56mph on the duel carriage way.
Thanks for the MPG to compare with mine...

Now just to solve this damn starting problem that is taking the P***
get the battery and the alternator checked as it sounds like you have a problem with the battery which is why the revs drop when turning on electrics and also why it is hard to start as whilst you are cranking it over it sounds like the starter is using most of the batterys power and not leaving enough for the rest of the electrics which is why it wont start the voltage may be ok the ampage in the battery may not

I was thinking about the battery... I will confirm this today by using the good battery off my Octavia TDI... which will provide plenty of juice... But it wouldn't explain there not being a dip if you turn the same electrical accessories on and off then on within a couple of seconds... the dip does not happen, same with if you "prime" the steering wheel around...

Any ideas guys.
I tried hooking the battery up from my Octavia... a big new fully charged diesel battery, made no difference to cold starting... also checked the alternator putting out a good voltage. So... any ideas from here guys, please some input would be welcome don't seem to be getting much.
if its not an electrical isue and youve replaced the plugs ect then the next step is to get it compresion tested incase it is loosing compresion somewhere ie worn valve or rings or maybe even the start of the head gasket going

If it was compression wouldn't the car run badly all the time? When it finally fires the car runs fine.... albeit a little tappety until it warms up where it is silky smooth..

I was assured it had recent oil....

Prehaps it's not 5W-30 could that be the problem?

Alternator is putting out 14v...

Plenty of power etc.
It just seems to take alot of cranking to actually get the car started, then it'll splutter and run fine.... Note: no throttle is required to keep the engine running.

It's not the fuel injectors not sealing, I've done the pull the fuse pump fuel and let the engine die routine a few times and the problem still remains once I've replaced the fuse and goto start the car.

Yes, I can hear the fuel pump running...
After knocking off the ignition, try holding your foot to the floor as the engine spins down. If your EGR valve is leaking, then the engine will pull spent exhaust gases from it more easily than fresh air against the closed throttle plate, leaving a manifold full of dead air. As you crank over the next day, the engine has to pump this air from the manifold, through the engine and into the exhaust before it has anything usable - which can be made worse by the plugs getting damp from unburnt fuel coating them...


Hi, have you fixed this? I have an (almost) identical car, same year ish (x) and LPG fitted with EXACT prob. Cant start car without full throttle hold-down, then splutters about until warm, when its fine. So far I have changed coil pack (3x) leads (3x) plugs (2x) the egr valve thing with plactic bellows in, cam sensor, water temp sender, throttle position sennder. Nothing has changed! It started happening kind of overnight, no warnings to the prob. I have noticed though this:

I THINK the car only starts on the middle 2 cylinders until about 2500 rpm from cold. This would account for the REALLY bad starting. At my MOT recently my Hydrocarbons were immensely high, would have failed as petrol, but put it through as LPG, but at 760ppm its extremeley high, which again, says (I think) that the outer 2 cylinders arent firing at low revs, and unburnt fuel is getting pi**ed away! It also doesnt matter if I satrt on LPG OR Petrol, same issue, so this kinda rules out the fuel side imho. Next I picked up a computer from a scrappy yesterday, only to find (to my horror) that this requires re-programming bu Ford before I can use it (Imobiliser I think). Well, thats my story, and I am a bit stuck now as to what the hell is going on to be honest!

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