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Nick Jones

Modern cars and POs

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5 hours ago, TR5tar said:

I also have a Land Rover Disco 3 HSE (diesel).  

Over the last couple of months, when the temperature goes below freezing, it has become increasingly difficult to start. As soon as the weather warms up it is fine, so I'm thinking it may be the glow plugs failing.

Same thing happened with our Freelander TD4, it was the glow plugs. If its a bit smokier than usual for first few secs on cold start up its also a good clue to glow plugs. Also pondered about doing it, but thought hell if I can get spark plugs out of a V12 jag, then what's 4 glow plugs.  Actually fairly easy, got engine warm, poured a tiny bit of plusgas around the base, got a good socket and a long bar, just snicked them a fraction tighter, and then gave a good steady heave anticlockwise, don't piss about, they should just go with a crack, which like the jag sounds frighteningly expensive. Then its just like changing plugs. 

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1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

Gulp......

However, worth doing some checks first.

1.  How quickly does the engine turn over on the starter.  Slow cranking affects starting.  Weak battery (they don't like the cold either) and/or slightly grubby connections on any of the "big" wiring (including earth path) can be factors.  Having the right oil in there makes a difference too.

2. Does it start up like a Triumph PI - ie one cylinder kicking first with others gradually joining in?  That's a sign that you've got just one or two glow plugs left alive.

3.  Vicky's advice is good.  You could also try double or triple cycling the ignition key to get more heat in there - but obv. won't work if the plugs are dead.

4. If you have a multimeter it's worth checking that there is power getting to the plugs when there should be (glow plug relays can fail - they switch high currents) and also checking the resistance of each plug (you need to remove the feed wire to do this) which the internet says should be between 7 - 10 ohms.

4. Suspect these are common rail but if they still have an injector pump, pumping timing can be a factor.  Retarded timing slows starting and much worse when cold.

5.  Whiff of Easy Start (or similar) works wonders.  Suggest emergency use only - some say they get addicted!

The plugs should be fairly long lasting (100 - 120k ish) but they are a service item.  Pity access is so awful and they like to snap off!  Not a problem confined to the LR engine though - most modern diesels are similarly afflicted.

Nick

 

Thanks Nick. 

Battery does turn over pretty fast and keeps at it. I invested in one of those hefty Odyssey batteries a few years back and it has served me well. I don't think that's the problem, but I will test using the battery analyser I have. I'll also go around the connections as you suggest. 

Starting it in warm weather (above freezing) is no problem, but yes, if cold it is lumpy when it does finally start and there's a lot of smoke.

I do usually double, triple or more cycling to get it started. Often, if I leave it a few minutes after a lot of tries, it will catch straight away.

Might try the Easystart as a quick get out of trouble option.     

 

1 hour ago, oldtuckunder said:

Same thing happened with our Freelander TD4, it was the glow plugs. If its a bit smokier than usual for first few secs on cold start up its also a good clue to glow plugs. Also pondered about doing it, but thought hell if I can get spark plugs out of a V12 jag, then what's 4 glow plugs.  Actually fairly easy, got engine warm, poured a tiny bit of plusgas around the base, got a good socket and a long bar, just snicked them a fraction tighter, and then gave a good steady heave anticlockwise, don't piss about, they should just go with a crack, which like the jag sounds frighteningly expensive. Then its just like changing plugs. 

Hi Alan, 

You gave me renewed hope that I might be able to tackle it myself, but then I watched the video Nick posted. It just looks too much of a nightmare and beyond my basic skills. I know what would happen, I'd get it all to pieces, then bugger it up, then find I have a towing bill on top of everything else. And it looks as if specialist tools that I haven't got are required for the Disco. 

Fortunately, as my work is home based, I rarely need to go out on cold mornings, so I can get away with it. It's just a bit embarrassing having a car that is designed to cope with harsh conditions that won't go as soon as it's a bit chilly. 

Cheers, Darren  

P.S. the car has done about 120k, so it sounds about right that the plugs are coming to the end of their life :mad:

Edited by TR5tar

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Does sound like glow plugs.

I think the risk with these particular engines (and also some of Peugeot Citroen ones) is not so much that the thread sticks and won't undo, but that carbon deposits lower down fix the long thin shank into the hole in the head so the top simply twists off the bottom.  Can get similar sticking problems with injectors though they at least are relatively robust and can be given a bit of a beating.  I had to make a slide hammer to yank the injectors out of my A6.  Tested and developed on a scrapyard Volvo (same TDI engine) first!

I expect some cars are done without undue difficulty (you don't hear about them) but the trouble is, it only takes one and you're right in it!

Nick

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Easy Start does exactly what it says on the tin and will start the most recalcitrant engine, but just as Nick said, it is addictive if used too often.  My first (old jalopy of a) truck was a complete addict.  :devil:

Vicky. x

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