E280 CDI difficult cold start/white smoke

broncc

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Sep 27, 2016
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Bulgaria
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W211 E280 CDI 4MATIC
Ever since the temperatures dropped (they are about 18*C in my garage so I wouldn't classify them as low) I started noticing the engine takes a few cranks to start. When I take the car out of the garage and the temperature is around 5-10*C, there is white smoke coming out of the exhaust the first 5-10 minutes until the engine warms up. From what I've read this is a sign of an issue with the preglow system - either the relay or the glow plugs. I checked the car on a Star Diagnostic tool but it shows no errors. What do you guys think?
 

streethawk

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White smoke is condensation so don't worry. I've changed all my plugs and relay and it still takes a second longer when cold. Unless it's excessive cranking or sounds like it's running on 4 or 5 when first started don't worry.
 

D-18

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On the first start of the day, try waiting for several seconds after the glow-plug warning light has gone off. I have a similar issue with my own car, but waiting a few more seconds allows it to start immediately.
 

Litcan91

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As mentioned above, turn the key, let the glow plug light go off and then crank it up. If it still takes a while to start and puffs out (one) cloud of white smoke, it will most probably be the glow plug relay or glow plugs.

If the white smoke continues whilst the car warms up, I suspect it will just be condensation.
 
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broncc

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Bulgaria
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W211 E280 CDI 4MATIC
It's definitely not one cloud of smoke so maybe nothing to worry about. As it's my first car, should glow plugs be replaced as part of the maintenance or only if/when they burn out?
 

Auto-mobile

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The glow plug light stays on for 30 seconds once the engine has started if there are glow plugs have failed or the relay.
 

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