C220 Diesel coldstart

MrDavo

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For some time now I have had a problem when starting my 1994 C220D from cold. When I turn the key, after the heater plug light goes out, the engine fires, races for a second and dies. At the same time the ECD light comes on, I am told that this is a fuel pressure light. After 3 or 4 goes the car starts fine, its perfect when warm. I wonder if air is getting in somewhere, because the longer the car is left the harder it is to start. I checked the return pipes to no avail, I had a big leak from the cap on the end injector a while ago, but fixed it with a new cap.

My car went to the stealership last week when the steering lock jammed, at £426 a big ouch, wont go there again if I can help it, 3.5 hours to change it made the hole in my wallet. I asked them to do a diagnostic check though, thier conclusion was that I need a new fuel pump and a new heat exchanger, total bill about a grand, in which case I'll put up with having to turn the key 4 times from cold!

I did get a list of the fault codes, I wonder whether any members can confirm/deny the dealers diagnosis. The car may not have been reset for a bit so some codes may be old and spurious.

005 Crankshaft position sensor L5/6
008 Fuel metering control fault in operation
010 Intake pressure control
021 Switchover U ARF 727, voltage terminal 87 or not fitted
029 cut off valve 723/271 (they asked me if it stops on the key - it does every time)
 

Brian WH

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I would suggest an air leak on the fuel supply pipes, but do not know your engine well enough to suggest where mate.:confused:
 

glojo

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Brian WH said:
I would suggest an air leak on the fuel supply pipes, but do not know your engine well enough to suggest where mate.:confused:

Hi Brian,
I am interested in why you think it might be an air leak on the fuel supply? (I am not being awkward, more a hunger for knowledge)

From what I read on the original message the symptom only occurs when the engine is cold?

When cold, a diesel will start easier with a little extra fuel and extra heat. (in the old days ether would be introduced into the engine) or if you were like my father soak a rag in diesel, light it and place it under the engine :rolleyes:

Do you think the symptoms are describing very slight fuel starvation when cold (racing for a few seconds then cutting out)?

Once warm the engine runs perfectly, but if left for longer spells it gets more difficult to start??

Is it possibly a problem with fuel supply when cold? Fuel pump\fuel management.

Were the glow plugs checked and found to be working?

I would be grateful for your input,
Regards,
John
 

racall

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I,m led to belive that there is a timer on the glow plug's that helps starting.
My two penneth
 

jimmy

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It certainly sounds like an air leak problem, there is enough fuel in the injection pump and filter for it to initially start and then it takes a bit of cranking to suck more fuel up from the tank. It only does it when cold as it takes a while for the fuel to drain away.

If it were a pre-heater problem the car would start and sound lumpy and create white smoke for a few seconds.

Air leaking into the filter housing is a common problem on the C250TD, I would not be surprised if it were the same system on the C220D.

My advice would be to change the 'O' rings around the filter housing and perhaps the flexible fuel pipes going to and from the filter housing first before forking out more money.
 

Brian WH

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jimmy said:
It certainly sounds like an air leak problem, there is enough fuel in the injection pump and filter for it to initially start and then it takes a bit of cranking to suck more fuel up from the tank. It only does it when cold as it takes a while for the fuel to drain away.

If it were a pre-heater problem the car would start and sound lumpy and create white smoke for a few seconds.

Air leaking into the filter housing is a common problem on the C250TD, I would not be surprised if it were the same system on the C220D.

My advice would be to change the 'O' rings around the filter housing and perhaps the flexible fuel pipes going to and from the filter housing first before forking out more money.

Having just read the request for further info, I would agree with what Jimmy has said. My thoughts were that there was air in the system and it fails to start properly, but once running it would be OK. The reason behind this is that air would enter the pipes when engine is shut off and cause the problem on starting only.
 

glojo

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jimmy said:
If it were a pre-heater problem the car would start and sound lumpy and create white smoke for a few seconds.

Air leaking into the filter housing is a common problem on the C250TD, I would not be surprised if it were the same system on the C220D.

I agree about the pre-heater. Regarding the air getting into the filter housing, are you suggesting that it would only let it in on first starting?
Would the air slowly build up?
How would the air get out please?

Thanks for any advice,
John
 
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jimmy

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There may be a very small air leak allowing air into the fuel system at the engine, being the highest point of the fuel system, the weight of the fuel in the pipes will drain back to the tank. If it is a very small leak then it could take several hours for the filter and pipes to drain, hence during the day when the engine is started more frequently this is not a problem.

The same problem does not happen with petrol cars because the fuel system is pressurised from the fuel tank by an electric pump, this pumps the petrol up to the engine and back to the petrol tank, the engine draws off only what it needs.

Most diesel engines work the opposite, they usually have a mechanical lift pump at the engine that has to suck the fuel up from the tank.

Hope that explains it a bit better. As mentioned this is a well documented problem with C250Td's and E300Td's as they basically use the same type of fuel system, the 'O' rings are prone to cracking as are the clear plastic pipes. I am not sure if the C200D's are the same.
 

glojo

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jimmy said:
Most diesel engines work the opposite, they usually have a mechanical lift pump at the engine that has to suck the fuel up from the tank.

Hope that explains it a bit better. As mentioned this is a well documented problem with C250Td's and E300Td's as they basically use the same type of fuel system, the 'O' rings are prone to cracking as are the clear plastic pipes. I am not sure if the C200D's are the same.

Hi Jimmy
Thanks very much for taking my post in the manner it was intended. I am asking these question to learn, and certainly not be 'a smart alec'. The most important point you make is the fact that there have been well documented problems of a similar nature.

We both acknowledge that when petrol engines run out of fuel it is not a problem. Unfortunately in older diesel engines it is difficult to get air out of the fuel system.

Thanks very much indeed for your taking the time to respond to my questions and hopefully replacing the 'O' rings might do the trick (It is certainly a cheaper option)

Take care,
John
 

jimmy

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No problem,

You say 'older diesels', in fact it is quite the opposite. Old diesel engines always had several bleed screws throughout the fuel system, one after the lift pump, one on the filter housing and one on injection pump. You always had to prime a diesel by slackening off the bleed screws in order and pumping or priming the fuel through by hand. Admittedly this could be a bit messy but in my opinion it is better than cranking the engine over on the starter for several minutes before it will self bleed.

When I have changed the fuel filter on mine and indeed the Golf, as soon as you slacken the filter off you can hear the air rushing in and see the fuel flowing back through the lines, so you can understand how the slightest little air leak will affect the fuel system.

I think the modern technology is all well and good but the trouble with diagnostic equipment is that it quite often tells the technician to replace loads of expensive components rather than try and repair the problem. Hopefully your problem can be fixed with a set of £1 O rings rather than a £1000 injection pump.
 

glojo

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jimmy said:
No problem,

You say 'older diesels', in fact it is quite the opposite. Old diesel engines always had several bleed screws throughout the fuel system, one after the lift pump, one on the filter housing and one on injection pump. You always had to prime a diesel by slackening off the bleed screws in order and pumping or priming the fuel through by hand. Admittedly this could be a bit messy but in my opinion it is better than cranking the engine over on the starter for several minutes before it will self bleed.

Hi Jimmy,
My definition of 'older' diesels are of course engines that required bleeding if they had run out of fuel. My knowledge stops at anything newer than Perkins, or Gardner's. Hence my picking your brains. Self bleeding diesels are 32nd century technology to me.

The modern CDI engine quite simply contradicts everything I ever learnt about diesels (apart from the suck, squeeze, bang, blow cycle) Out accelerate the equivalent sized petrol.... Never :rolleyes: Quiet... Never :rolleyes:

Sadly I never got the oppurtunity to strip the large Foden two stroke diesels, they were quite high revving beasts.

Digressing slightly, a neighbour has just bought a new S320 or 350 (can't remember what size he told me) I asked if he considered the 320CDI and he said he wouldn't be seen dead driving a niosey diesel. I then explained that my car was a diesel, and he didn't believe me. ;) He had to be shown the badge and then stand outside to listen to it ticking over. ;)

Oh well, off to bed.

Thanks again for spending the time explaining your diagnoses.

Regards,
John
 

Dieselman

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glojo said:
Hi Jimmy,
My definition of 'older' diesels are of course engines that required bleeding if they had run out of fuel. My knowledge stops at anything newer than Perkins, or Gardner's. Hence my picking your brains. Self bleeding diesels are 32nd century technology to me.

The modern CDI engine quite simply contradicts everything I ever learnt about diesels (apart from the suck, squeeze, bang, blow cycle) Out accelerate the equivalent sized petrol.... Never :rolleyes: Quiet... Never :rolleyes:

Sadly I never got the oppurtunity to strip the large Foden two stroke diesels, they were quite high revving beasts.

Digressing slightly, a neighbour has just bought a new S320 or 350 (can't remember what size he told me) I asked if he considered the 320CDI and he said he wouldn't be seen dead driving a niosey diesel. I then explained that my car was a diesel, and he didn't believe me. ;) He had to be shown the badge and then stand outside to listen to it ticking over. ;)

Oh well, off to bed.

Thanks again for spending the time explaining your diagnoses.

Regards,
John

Jimmys description is spot on regarding diesel fuel systems. If fitting a new filter always fill it with either diesel or engine oil / vegetable oil. before trying to fire up the motor, otherwise the battery will be flattened before it starts.

All diesels with a fuel return pipe are self bleeding, the air is returned to the fuel tank.

If you want to hear a quiet diesel then a 250 or 300 will beat the current CDi range due to being indirect against direct injection.


Nice to hear you got one over on your Neibour. :eek:
 

activeirish

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C220 cold start problem

i had a C220 and a C250td and both had similar problems, BUT the C220 was exactly the same, fired instantly after the heater plug light went out, ran for about ten second then rev'd way up high and cut out, I figured it fired because the cylinders were warm but died out 10 - 15 seconds later because it used up what fuel was in the filter and was starved of getting more (airlock?) anyway i checked the fuel line changed filter, and saw what looks like a prefilter bolted to the side of the block under the manifold, i screwed it off and realised its actually a fuel heater? inside it theres a tiny thermostat, i figured if the car is 1994 this little bugger might be closing when it shouldn't because its now hammered, and since Northern Ireland isn't exactly the artic and every other type of car doesent need the fuel warmed "what was the point of this part"? I cut the fuel line off either side leaving the part on the block as its on a water jacket and can't be removed, THEN took the rubber bulb fuel primer from a peugeot/citroen diesel engine in a scrapyard and ran a new piece of fuel line from where the main line starts to turn up from under the floor at the bottom of the bulk head and added the rubber bulb in making sure the arrows are in the right direction, then hooked it directly to the side of the main fuel filter bypassing the fuel warmer, then a couple of squeezes on the bulb primed the fuel system, the car started after a short turn, and had started and ran first time ever since, so anyone finding their C220 is doing the same, now you know how to cure it, hope this helps, or do what i did, sell the heap of scrap and buy an old merc haha, E250D good luck, chris
 
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activeirish

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C220 cold start problem

i had a C220 and a C250td and both had similar problems, BUT the C220 was exactly the same, fired instantly after the heater plug light went out, ran for about ten second then rev'd way up high and cut out, I figured it fired because the cylinders were warm but died out 10 - 15 seconds later because it used up what fuel was in the filter and was starved of getting more (airlock?) anyway i checked the fuel line changed filter, and saw what looks like a prefilter bolted to the side of the block under the manifold, i screwed it off and realised its actually a fuel heater? inside it theres a tiny thermostat, i figured if the car is 1984 this little bugger might be closing when it shouldn't because its now hammered, and since Northern Ireland isn't exactly the artic and every other type of car doesent need the fuel warmed "what was the point of this part"? I cut the fuel line off either side leaving the part on the block as its on a water jacket and can't be removed, THEN took the rubber bulb fuel primer from a peugeot/citroen diesel engine in a scrapyard and ran a new piece of fuel line from where the main line starts to turn up from under the floor at the bottom of the bulk head and added the rubber bulb in making sure the arrows are in the right direction, then hooked it directly to the side of the main fuel filter bypassing the fuel warmer, then a couple of squeezes on the bulb primed the fuel system, the car started after a short turn, and had started and ran first time ever since, so anyone finding their C220 is doing the same, now you know how to cure it, hope this helps, or do what i did, sell the heap of scrap and buy an old merc haha, E250D good luck, chris
 

activeirish

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C220 cold start problem

i posted a message about this problem, in the messages i stated the car was 1984 haha a wee bit of senile dementia going on folks, it was 1994, byeeee chris
 

hobbsy

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Apologies for resurrecting an old thread.

I'm thinking of fitting a peugeot/citroen bulb primer to my C250TD.

I've replaced all the clear plastic pipes but I think I'm still suffering with fuel drain back and there might be a couple of other o-rings that I haven't replaced that are letting air in (there was a thread somewhere which mentioned these but I can't find it again!).

Anyway does anyone know if it contains a check valve.

Would fitting a check valve be a good idea anyway as it would stop the fuel all draining back to the tank and causing poor starting.

When you do get air in the lines (eg fuel filter change) even when filling the filter up it takes quite a lot of cranking to shift the air through as it moves so little through at a time.

Its often enough to drain the battery and I've got a massive MB battery (twice the size of a small car's battery).

Few squeezes of the bulb would save all that cranking and time (wear on starter motor and battery).

I'd still want to keep the fuel heater though so guess just stick it in at the last place where the fuel line from the tank is still rubber and big bore.
 

simboson

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Did you ever fix the original problem here? i am experiencing exactly the same at the moment, its my aim to sort it this weekend hopefully, hope to hear how it went
 

hobbsy

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Yes I did. The reason why I still had problems after doing all the clear plastic pipes was that there are still 2 or 3 other o-rings that you need to replace. From memory - one or two on the pre filter (white plastic mesh thing) and another that is between part of the pump and the block.

Once I'd done these the difference was unbelievable - no more air bubbles etc.

You could also visibly see the difference between the old and new o-rings.

Make sure you don't strip the bolt heads that hold the bit of the pump on to the block (sorry can't remember exactly which bit it was but there is an exploded diagram on one of the other posts). They are quite tight if its not been off before. They are torx bolts IIRC. So push hard against them and use a decent bit.
 

Rash0775

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No problem,

You say 'older diesels', in fact it is quite the opposite. Old diesel engines always had several bleed screws throughout the fuel system, one after the lift pump, one on the filter housing and one on injection pump. You always had to prime a diesel by slackening off the bleed screws in order and pumping or priming the fuel through by hand. Admittedly this could be a bit messy but in my opinion it is better than cranking the engine over on the starter for several minutes before it will self bleed.

When I have changed the fuel filter on mine and indeed the Golf, as soon as you slacken the filter off you can hear the air rushing in and see the fuel flowing back through the lines, so you can understand how the slightest little air leak will affect the fuel system.

I think the modern technology is all well and good but the trouble with diagnostic equipment is that it quite often tells the technician to replace loads of expensive components rather than try and repair the problem. Hopefully your problem can be fixed with a set of £1 O rings rather than a £1000 injection pump.

I had same problem with my 220 cdi on a 03 plate
I replaced the leaking high pressure fuel pump
And o rings filled up
Ran the car at 70mph no more did 50 miles
That bleed the system with air out
Running well after that longer I left the car it wouldn't start
Below 12 hrs perfect to start but over 12 hours no start
 

Rash0775

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That was the problem
 

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